November 2014
In This Issue
Executive Presence - Tele and generating positive mutual relationships
It - the leadership language of anonymity
Executive Presence 2015
Free Podcasts: At the Heart of the Matter
Leading with Confidence Feb 2015
Executive Presence - understanding tele and generating positive mutual relationships

 

Executive Presence is not a skill or a tool. Executive Presence reflects your capacity to care for people and your willingness to create open positive mutual relationship with those around you as you enact your role.

 

In two-way positive relationships there is a positive flow of feeling from the leader to the individual or group, and there is a positive flow of feeling from the individuals and group to the leader. 

 

Leaders who balance technical and professional competence, their track record, personal credibility, authenticity and personal qualities are likley to draw people to them.

 

Leaders integrating these aspects of their identity produce mutual (two-way) relationships.                                                    

 Executive Presence includes the capacity to connect with people. Whether you know each person individually or not, you are drawn to them, and they are drawn to you. The emotional relationship, the feeling that flows between you and the group, is mutual.

This mutual flow of positive feeling towards others creates an open two-way channel for communication, for acceptance, for understanding and together, possibilities for the future can be created. Within any group, people are "attracted" to one another, or draw away from others, as in magnetic fields, or chemical attractions and repulsions, e.g. oil and water.

Let me introduce a word to you encompassing the flow of feeling amongst and between people. Jacob Moreno, a psychiatrist and social researcher whose work influences many in the field of interpersonal and group relationships, identified this two-way flow of feeling between people, as tele. Tele meaning distance as in tele communications, communication at a distance.

Moreno identified the flow of feeling between people relates to their interpersonal responses to one another. Tele, that flow of feeling, may be positive, negative or neutral. Tele has intensity and can be subjectively measured along a continuum of weak to strong. Tele emanates from the limbic system and enables us to gain insight to, appreciation of, and feelings for the makeup of the other person. Another way to describe tele is as two-way empathy. Tele creates interpersonal chemistry. The experience of positive tele can be described as hitting it off with another without 'knowing' them, producing positive vibes, and the experience of negative tele as personality clashes, or negative vibes.

How does tele, this flow of feeling, work?

Let me give you an example. I was working with Peter earlier this year. Peter is a seasoned leader, highly able, delivers results, has good interpersonal relationships and has a reputation for being innovative.

However Peter found leading groups nerve-wracking. As he approached a group, he described feeling anxious, as if he was going to have to stand up and account for himself. Obviously in leading change projects he did experience many challenges from teams he was working with. He would fret prior to leading groups and his way of coping was to be blunt, perceptive and direct in groups, both as a leader and as a participant. Peter would enter a group, ready for combat. In short, he felt a negative flow of feeling from the group to him. And as he reflected, Peter realised he had a negative flow of feeling towards the group, mostly generated by his anxieties and what he imagined.

Now I knew Peter quite well. I said have you thought of approaching groups as if they are your friends? Your companions, not your competitors. I want you to consider that group members are positive to you and they want to hear from you. Currently I notice you approach groups and respond everyone as if they are your enemies. This mirroring has had a significant affect on his life and his ease with groups.

Peter learned to re-orient from having his own feelings of anxieties and fears (of stuffing up, of not doing a great job, of everyone knowing more than he did) to the people he was with, and to their shared purpose.

Peter let me know what he was noticing. One affect he noticed was people there felt more included by him, more at ease, more likely to participate. He also noticed people ready to listen and to engage with one another.

Peter learned that people wanted to hear what he had to say, even if it wasn't good news. Both his warm up to entering groups and his emotional expansiveness shifted. He discovered he could be friendly and look forward to being in groups where there were tough decisions to be made, and where strong different views existed.

Peter learned that by being open and positive towards group members, by reversing roles and standing in the shoes of those there, learning to see the situation through their eyes, he learned that this affected others, and they connected with him as the leader. He noticed groups he was were more open to him, and they connected more easily with one another, even though their views on the matters in hand, were different.

Here are some questions

How on earth do you do project a positive flow of feeling toward others? How do you as a leader communicate that you like and care for others, whether your message is positive, or whether you are about to communicate bad news.

The long and short of this article, is if you are open to others, and accept their quirks, foibles, dreams and ambitions, then you are likely to be able to generate a positive flow of feeling towards them. If you are resentful, anxious, hurt or angry, the chances of you communicating aspects of these feelings is likely and the chances of communicating a negative or ambivalent flow of feeling, is more likely.

As I prepare to be with a group, I do my best to learn who is in the group, the range of drivers and concerns people have, and how this relates to our shared purpose. Mostly I am able to approach a group with positive emotional flow of feeling, and as we begin our work together I am aware of the reciprocity of this flow of feeling, and use this as a guide to how we proceed.

If you want to review or reshape your approach to be with groups you are leading, enrol in Executive Presence, or talk with Diana

It... it... it - the leadership language of anonymity 

I want to talk about it. I really do. In this article I want to discuss the pronoun 'it'. Actually, 'it' is a particular type of pronoun, 'it' is a dummy pronouns.

 

'It' doesn't refer to anything or anyone. Or as one of my teachers used to say 'It! It! You can put 'it' in a wheel barrow and wheel it around but you still wont know what 'it' is!" Define it, she would say to me, define what 'it' is and your reader or listener will stay alongside you and understand what you are communicating.

 

Here's an example..... this example comes from Tim. I'm working with Tim and his leadership team. Tim's organisation is facing significant public criticism of their handling of an issue and he was preparing to talk with his team.


 

Tim was saying....It isn't a good situation. It isn't going to go away. Its affecting our ability to focus on our work. What are we going to do about it? I reflected this back to Tim. That doesn't really nail what I want to say does it? Listening to you, I think there is a translation. I encourage him to identify each of the 'it's. Here's Tim's translation....

 

These current criticisms aren't helpful to our progress. I realise these criticisms are not going to go away. The endless criticisms are taking  our attention away from what we are achieving. How do we want to respond? I encourage Tim to give his team a Direction.  As we respond to these criticisms, I want us to hold to our goals of transparency, and respecting confidentiality of individuals. I want to see us land up with.....

How might we do this?

 

In this example, Tim has defined 'it'. IT is both the current situation and IT is the criticism.

 

Taking the time to specify 'it' to those around him, Tim was likely to be more easily understood with what he was communicating.

 

Listen to the effect on you of these two examples.

Leader 1.     It is not going to be easy  vs

Leader 2. Continually responding to criticism and focusing on what we are achieving is not going to be easy.

 

Which of these two examples makes sense to you?

 

Here's another question for you. How often do you use the word 'it'? How often do you assume those around you understand what you are talking about?

 

In this next week, Give 'it' an identity in your communications, and notice the impact in how others respond to you.

Talk with Diana if you want to increasingly engage with those around you. 

Leadership Workshops 2015

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