I often coach executives who are preoccupied with their image and how they’ll be perceived by their teams, the public etc.
This is very understandable. All of us are concerned about how the public sees and hears us at some point.
Here’s a secret though…whether it’s mission critical or not, your message is best appreciated when its delivered from your heart NOT your image/ego.
Over thinking a message, piece of analysis or sales plan often works against you. Determining what your audience truly needs to understand trumps what you need to look like. It really isn’t about you. It’s about conveying your message effectively so that listeners understand how it affects their business and lives. Do your best to come from this place, not your own.
Have Your Heard Yourself Lately?
Here’s an example I wish I wasn’t sharing with you that occurred recently:
I was referred to an executive who runs a large international investment firm. Upon meeting him and probing to understand his goals and challenges, he lamented that he’d become quite frustrated. He felt there was a lack of understanding on the part of the investment community with regard to his investment methodology. As a result, they hesitate in placing funds with him. He was really upset by this.
Upon videotaping his delivery of this investment methodology, I was struck by how complex he made it. So much so that I had to remark, “Were you aware that when you present your methodology it’s as though you’re speaking to yourself?” He was not. Looking at himself on the video, he could clearly see what I meant. It shocked him.
At this point I stressed that his investment methodology was NOT about glorifying himself or his smart team. Rather, it should be about educating unsophisticated listeners as to why his methodology works. I said to him, “Its not about you, its about them.” For the next two hours we focused on how to re-engineer his methodology so that his listeners could self-realize the secret sauce he and his team have discovered, in their own aperture, not his.
I speak a lot about listening first. But when was the last time you listened to yourself from THEIR perspective. Give it a try and let me know what you discover.