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You know senior leaders who are powerful influencers. You would love to emulate them.
How can you develop their sharply honed skills? Consider this. Look at what you are actually doing right now. For example, perhaps you just nailed a presentation to the senior leaders in your organization.
What did you actually do?
More than likely you did some of the following. You,
- Were concise and clear in your presentation
- You knew your audience, message, and yourself
- Asked thoughtful questions that showed that you had a deep understanding of issues
- Included your audience as partners in seeking clarity and solutions
- Demonstrated that you had a grasp of strategic issues (You saw around the corner into the organization’s future)
Now take an additional step.
What do effective executives do in a similar situation?
Your boss is a brilliant communicator. What behaviors does he/she demonstrate that makes for an influential communication? More likely than not such executives,
- Demonstrate an unwavering confidence in their position
- Have spent time nurturing close relationships with their peers and superiors (Networking)
- Show humility in admitting when they are wrong and include your input and build on it (Emotional Intelligence)
- Depend on the domain and skill expertise of others (Collaboration)
- Always have a big picture perspective in mind (Strategy)
- Continually focus on how to get the job done through others (Execution)
- Are deeply committed to the development of their leadership bench (Leadership development)
- Know the levers to pull on the path to profitability (Business savvy)
- Tell a concise and compelling story that influences others at an emotional level (Communication)
Executive skills are not the stuff of a secret society. They are best practices from all effective influencing practice. You already have some of these skills in place so go ahead and refine them. The one’s you still have to learn get experience and coaching in acquiring these skills. See you at the top.