In a world moving more and more to the digital environment, people meet less in direct meetings. Face-to-face conversations have moved back and left the long circuit connection of the internet communication step upfront of the shadow. Leaders need more time to influence others to follow them for the company’s greater good. People need more than just an order to do something. Free will has turned into a powerful weapon for winning from others while being selfish at the same time and not being interested in what the framework of the company culture presents to them.
Leaders often struggle with winning people’s attention in a complex environment like the one we need to exist in today. With no intent to move people forward, leaders need to rethink all the strategies used to win and keep people’s attention. Because without awareness and focus on the big picture, people often start missing details until they lose sight of the big picture and start playing small, only for themselves, only to satisfy their EGO, only for the pleasure of seeing someone else suffering while they at the same time suffer also.
In such a complex situation, complex solutions do not work. The small elements that can turn the picture upside down are often hidden in the small things. And if the leader wants to win people for the cause and offer them a way for self-motivation, they need to focus on those small things. They may look insignificant at first, but some are more powerful for the people than the words of the most excellent guru in a particular area.
USE THEIR NAME
Do you know what the more personal thing about someone is? – It is their name. This name was given to us by our family, relatives, the people we love and respect in life, and those who support us. The name is the most excellent test separator for people. It is full of energy and creates images filled with our uniqueness. No matter who you meet, do the small experiment to turn to them officially or with their name. In the first case, you may get a business-like behavior showing long distance. In contrast, the second approach will often generate informal conversation and shorten the path to the person in front of you. Knowing and using someone’s name is like a blessing, making them feel recognized for their uniqueness and valued as an individual
DOWN, NOT UP
Do you remember when you had to meet someone much higher in the hierarchy than you? Was that person behaving like an average human or trying to show you the requisites of their status – the clothes, the accessories, the fancy jargon only known to them? Did that make you feel mad? Well, you are not alone. Today people do not have tolerance for such behavior. They want to be seen as part of a group of equals. Therefore, humbleness has become a narrative in modern leadership behavior. The arrogance seen back in time is not more actual. People do not want to be connected to someone who shows up arrogant, disrespecting and neglecting others while demonstrating superiority. That is why humbleness has evolved and become the new norm for leadership.
SAY WE NOT YOU
This is the mantra today. We want to be seen as part of the greater good. And at the same time, the world has changed from collective thinking to individual goals. Being part of a community or a group feels great and simultaneously creates safety and comfort in results. And still, with that in mind, many leaders continue to say, “I did that,” “I made that happen,” etc. However, learning to create belongingness and put WE in front of ME is a prerequisite for better results and builds loyalty, commitment, and engagement.
DO NOT TALK WITH A REPROACHFUL VOICE
“Let me tell you what did not happen” “If you had been more careful, that wouldn’t have happened.”
We all have experienced such reproachful talk. Unfortunately, people often do it without understanding that it hurts more than it helps. To be respected and trusted as a helper, the leader should think about transforming that reproachful talking into a supporting initiative, showing the person that their role is valued. More energy and eliminating the buzzwords that show mistakes are an excellent start to transforming someone’s behavior toward you and making them think about supporting instead of opposing leadership decisions.
TALK IN TERMS OF THE LISTENER’S INTERESTS
Everyone wants to support causes and initiatives that bring some win for the company or the wider group and them. At the same time, many leaders make the mistake of talking about what the effect of something will be for the company, the wider group, or themselves and forget the person’s individuality. What wins people for a cause and creates trust that this thing is meaningful is the element that shows what will be the winner for the person from all this. If you., let’s say, promote a new culture or values set in the company, you do not need to talk about what the company will win from that initiative but what the individual will benefit from. Making that change in the talk is another stone in the wall of trust-building.
HAVE A GOOD TIME DELIVERING THE MESSAGE
People can easily recognize if someone is not feeling well while trying to present a message in front of them. You can call it 6th feeling, Gut, or whatever you want, but this is normal. Preparing to deliver a message to influence others must be coupled with the proper energy set. No matter the message, if the leader having it does not feel comfortable, the auditorium sees it and reacts to it. Using the right attitude to deliver the message can be a turning point in the message acceptance and the whole set of behaviors.
“I am sorry to inform you,” “The results are not good. I have to apologize to you that we couldn’t manage them well,” and many similar sentences. Standing in front of a group and apologizing may lower the pressure on the group but simultaneously create a feeling of irresponsibility. At the same time, apologizing for everything lower’s leader’s credit toward the group of people.
APPEAL TO THE NOBLER EMOTIONS OF THE LISTENER
Have you been in a situation where you talk and talk and talk, and people around you seem as if they do not want to listen? Many leaders have been in the same situation countless times. Unfortunately, things often go wrong when the leader starts a talk to talk and be heard. A good leader can and must consider the other side’s emotional world. People are different, and they have different approaches to the world around them. The leader’s job is to understand the auditorium’s emotional level and status and adapt their talk and message to that specific configuration. While talking to others and not considering the emotions flowing in the environment can become a disaster, recognizing the status of the emotional quotient of others can win them for what you, as a leader, have and want to say.
DO NOT WRITE YOUR PITCH
Feeling nervous, leaders often write down everything they want to say. Guess what happens after that? Monotonous reading with no emotions. The fear of failure often causes this mistake, and the fear of failure is boosted by the fear of forgetting to say something the leader thinks is important. But there is no such thing as missing information. What the leader wants to say is only in their head. No one knows the whole content and all the words and phrases used during communication. So trying to keep to the main idea and talking to others improperly creates better results. And if the leader wants =s to have this helping leg in their speech, a small piece of paper with notes on the main bullets in the address is just enough.
DO NOT MEMORIZE A SPEECH
It always seems like an escape from stress way. Of course, it would help if you only memorize every word you will say. But, as it seems tempting to do it, leaders who learn their speeches look less credible in front of the auditories they present. Why is that happening? Well, trying to remember every word and then transfer that structure and mixture of words, in the same way, drains all the energy of the speech, focusing it on controlling “the right order” of the lesson. While concentrating the power of the address into the structure of the sentences, the leader loses their connection with the people and starts looking less confident and credible in what they want to say.
KNOW MORE THAN YOU SHARE ABOUT THE SUBJECT
Telling everything you know is not always a good strategy. While there is limitless knowledge outside us, we cannot know everything. But to win someone’s attention, the leader must find the “golden middle” where they tell not less that is needed and not more than the content that will keep listeners’ attention high. At the same time, there are always unexpected questions asked by intelligent listeners. Showing that they know more than they share, leaders can quickly build the image of an expert on the topic, and at the same time, their appearance can be supported by the balance they create in sharing the right amount of information without going too far.
BE YOURSELF AND DO NOT IMITATE OTHERS
This lesson I have learned the hard way. Many books about presentation skills describe a particular person’s presentation style. If you search the internet, you can easily find the titles “Present like a TED,” “Presents like Steve Jobs,” and many more. The worst thing someone can do is copy another person’s presentation style. There are many rules and recommendations for preparing a meaningful and catching attention presentation, but no one tells you that if you want to win the people, you need to look like yourself. Many people call it authenticity, but it is more than that. Everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not be appropriate for others because of our posture, facial form and expression, unconscious movements, and many more. The less the leader tries to imitate someone else, the higher the attention toward their speech.
LOOK AT THE MIRROR
While preparing for a speech or something else, a minor thing every leader can do is look in the mirror. There is no better feedback than the one you see in the mirror. Leaders often build an image of how their speeches and presentations will have to look. While telling others to look at their appearance, the leader often creates prerequisites for receiving false feedback. Why is that? Others try to find elements in the speech or the presentation that are close enough to the ideal style. They often mislead the presenter by giving only positive feedback and saving the critical part for themselves. In cases like that, the input does more harm than good. That is why the mirror is the better way for feedback. Standing in front of it and practicing their speech makes the leader see details and change behavior, posture, and other elements in how they can help the presentation of the speech based on their understanding and uniqueness. In the mirror, the leader sees their smiling face, their hands moving, etc. And all that makes the leader’s appearance unique, strengthening the speech or presentation.
Often we hear that the devil is in the details. No matter how this sentence looks, the re is more accurate than fiction. Winning someone’s attention is hard to do the job, but with the appropriate approach, the stress level in this process can be easily lowered, and the results can be imagined for everyone. The leader must only make small steps toward the win.