Do you have Communication Skills questions? Listen to Andrea answer 12 communication skills questions from a live Q&A event hosted by FishBowl. Learn how to handle a difficult boss, communication tips for introverts, ideas for how to network and secure a new job, and more!
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Dr. Andrea Wojnicki & Talk About Talk
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Welcome to talk about talk episode #102. This episode is different from any other talk about talk episode you've ever heard. You're going to hear a recording of a live Q&A that I did a few months ago. Youre going to hear my unscripted answers to unscripted questions about everything from how to deal with a difficult boss, to how to improve your communication if you're a shy introvert, to lots of networking advice, including what to say when you're re-entering the workforce after mat leave!, and how to ask for feedback
This Q&A was recorded live from The Fishbowl app. Have you heard of Fishbowl? Fishbowl is a platform for professionals where they can have honest career conversations. You access Fishbowl from your phone and you can choose from thousands of Industry, Community or Company Bowls (or Groups) to have honest conversations with other verified professionals that are working in roles and industries similar to your own.
The conversations on the Fishbowl app are in the form of questions and answers. You post a Q to a bowl and random fishbowl members will type their answers. It's an incredibly supportive environment. They also have these live verbal “Ask an Executive Coach” Q&A sessions, which is where the content for this episode came from.
My friend, an ambitious and impressive young leader named May Samoiel. Invited me to participate in one of these Fishbowl live Q&As.. Maye is a dedicated forensic accountant and consultant by day and in her spare time, she’s also a Community Leader on the Fishbowl app. When Maye asked me to do this, I jumped at the chance. And I'm glad I did. It was great fun and I had the opportunity to hear real communication skills Qs from a live audience of over 750 professionals. Yah. SO there were well over 750 FishBowl members in attendance, raising Qs, which Maye moderated and asked me. Live.
It turned out so well that I asked the Fishbowl folks if I could get a copy of the audio file so I could turn it into a podcast episode. And VOILA, here we are!
A few things you need to know:
The audio is definitely comprehensible, but if you hear a few glitches it’s because we aren’t on fancy microphones, its all through our smartphones and via wifi. So there are glitches. But you’ll easily be able to understand everything,
Also, you wont hear a summary at the end of this episode, because the answers to each of the Qs are relatively succinct. Like I said, this episode is different from any other. But like other TAT podcast episodes, you can always go to the shownotes for this episode on the TAT.com website and reference relevant links and the transcript there.
One last thing: what you’ll hear first here, is my friend Maye giving me a pep talk, then Rachel from FishBowl telling us its time to go live. I thought you might enjoy this peek behind the scenes. Ok – here we go!
Hello, Maye. Hi, how are you?
I'm so excited. This is totally outside of the norm for me,
right? You're gonna do great. No doubt. I seen your work so I have total confidence gonna be amazing.
Thank you for the pep talk Maye.
Yes, that's it. Absolutely.
Give it another minute. Welcome, everybody. Welcome, welcome. Okay. So I'll leave it up to me and I'll drop down to the bottom.
Thank you, Rachel.
All right. I see people are joining in. Well, fellow fishbowl members, and especially you Andrea was sneaky. Welcome to our Ask an Executive Coach event. My name is Maye and I have the pleasure to host today's fishbowl live session. I'm a manager in a consulting firm and a fishbowl leader. But most importantly, I'm very excited because today, we have Andrea Wojnicki with us. You might have heard of Andrea, if you don't know her yet. She is a Communication Coach and podcaster I talk about talk a learning platform to help ambitious executives improve their communication skills. She earned her doctorate of Business Administration and marketing from Harvard Business School, where she focused on consumer psychology and word of mouth. over her career, Andrea served on the faculty at the University of Toronto where she taught MBA students, she authored several academic papers and HBs cases. And she worked as a brand manager at Kraft. So for the very first time since we started the ask an executive coach series, she is generously donating an hour of her time to help each and every one of us with professional questions, dilemmas about communication. So thank you so much, Andrea, for joining us today. Before we jump into the subject, Andrea, can you tell us just a little bit about yourself and what led you to coaching?
Sure. Thank you so much. Maye it really is a pleasure to spend this time. As you know, when you asked me to do this, I jumped at the opportunity. Yeah, it sounds like it's right up my alley. So the difference between what I do and what many other executive coaches do is, I'm not focused on being a life coach, or even on being an executive coach, I'm really more focused on communication skills. So about three years ago, I started talking about talk really as this platform where you can choose whatever works for you, if you want to subscribe to the podcast. That's great. If you want to subscribe to the newsletter. It's basically like getting free communication skills coaching. I also do one on one coaching with executives, some entrepreneurs and some people at big companies. And I do workshops and online courses. So it's really kind of multimedia. So I thought this is a medium this fishbowl through which I haven't participated yet. So I'm really excited. And I have spent some time in various bowls, lurking and reading. And I was just telling Maye, I love the supportive environment and the atmosphere.
Thank you so much, Andrea. And so I see a lot of people join today's conversation. So, Andrea, someone already contacted me through private messaging. And the person is asking if you have a supervisor who is negative or critical, is it worth wasting time communicating your worth and defending yourself? Or is a more productive use of time to move on to a better opportunity with a more supportive boss?
Okay, this is a great place for us to start. I think it's it's also a very common question, unfortunately. So I think I have two ways of thinking about how to answer this question. The first is actually some advice that I got from my father. When I had this happened to me, I was working as a brand manager. And it wasn't my boss. It wasn't my immediate boss, but it was her boss, who was it not just berating me, but berating other people. He was really making work, not fun. And I was very upset. And I remember when I called my dad, and I said, I don't I don't know what to do. And he asked me this great question, which I've shared with some of my clients. And they say, Yeah, that's a great way to think about it. He said, Does the values of this person who's giving you a hard time does his or her values reflect the organization? If they do, and you aren't aligned with them, you should probably move on. However, if this person is an anomaly, things have a way of working themselves out. And you may actually learn a lot from learning how to deal with this person. And I said, No, his values really aren't aligned with the organization. I would say that he's the anomaly and he said, well, then stick it out and you'll be fine. And he was right. So that's kind of my first piece of advice on that one. The second thing is you If you can think about what might be making this person, so negative or critical, there is a model called the scarf model. And scarf is SC, AR F. It's an acronym. And it's a way of diagnosing what might be actually going on psychologically with people. If they're being negative or difficult. Each of these letters is a word that could be something that they believe is under threat. So S is status. C is certainty. A is autonomy. R is relationships, and F is fairness. So the question is, and almost 100% of the time, one or more of these things, you can probably diagnosed as the person is feel feels that they are either feeling that their status is being threatened, they are uncertain, they don't have autonomy, their relationships are being compromised, or they think that something's not fair. And if you can figure that out, then that can help you understand how to best deal with the person. So we're getting we're getting kind of immediately right into the nitty gritty of some psychology here. But this is a really powerful framework for understanding how to deal with negative or critical people.
I love your advice. I mean, first of all, the question about is that person really their actions? Or what they do? Does it reflect the organization's value? I find that really key thank you for sharing that piece of advice.
That's my dad. Yeah.
Yes, and yeah, this car model, so status, certainty, autonomy, relationship and fairness. Thank you so much for that. I also picked a question that I saw in one of the bowls, and someone posted that they've just joined a new position and need to introduce themselves during one-on-ones to the team. Any tips you can share?
I have Maye a fantastic framework that I'm actually really, really excited to share with you all here. I'm excited to share it with you. Because this actually was a podcast episode topic that I released less than a year ago, probably six months ago or less. And it's already the number one most downloaded episode of all time. Yeah. After it was released. I got emails from strangers thanking me and I have the shivers right now. Because even just a couple days ago, I was talking to one of my clients. He's a wealth advisor, and he has these very, you know, wealthy prospects that he's talking to. And he has to introduce himself, and he used the framework. And he said, Andrea, it's gold. It works every time. And I'm like, yes, yes, yes. So let me let me share with you all, this one, this one, you don't need to write down, okay? It's so easy to remember, it's three things. Are you ready? Yes. present, past future. So it's not chronological. Once you remember that it's not chronological, it's easy to remember, it's present, past future. So it's also not a script. It is simply three words. The present statement is, I am. So hi, everyone. I am Dr. Andrea wash Nikki, I'm a Communication Coach at talk about talk. So you say who you are and what you do, it's present tense. And then the second step of the framework is past. This is where you elaborate with relevant details that give you credibility. Now, it depends on who you're talking to who you're introducing yourself to. But you could say, in the past, I earned my doctorate at Harvard Business School where my research focused on word of mouth, as you can tell, I'm really obsessed with communication. So you go you go past statements, maybe things that add credibility, if it's in a job context, which is what we're talking about here. You could talk about previous positions, you had previous projects that you worked on. And then the third step is the future oriented statement. And here's where it's not. It's not just and I'm looking forward to working with you. It's a really enthusiastic statement, there is research out there in psychology and in organizational behavior, that proves that when you express enthusiastic emotion, be it in writing or be it verbally, the outcome of the relationship, or the negotiation or the meeting or whatever it is, is going to be more positive. So end your self introduction with a positive statement about the future that you're expressing with enthusiasm. So a great one would be I'm really excited to learn your questions that you have for me in this fifth fishbowl session. Let's do this. Wow. One of the reasons that I think this works so well for people is we've all been in this situation, whether it's in real life sitting around a boardroom table, or whether it's going around the zoom, the Zoom screen, one by one, we're introducing ourselves. And you know, whoever's leading the meeting says, Let's go around one by one and introduce ourselves. And suddenly your brain starts going, Oh, my goodness, oh, my goodness, what am I going to say? How long should I talk? Am I saying too much? Am I not saying, right? You're not listening to anyone, if there was a quiz about people's names, or what they said, you'd get zero, right. But once you have this framework in your mind, you just have to fill in the present, past future. And you nail it every time.
Amazing. It is true that like when we have to, when we go in circles, and we have to choose ourselves, sometimes my brain freezes, which is quite funny. So present, past and future. Thank you so much for sharing that. All right, I'm going to go on with someone that just pin me actually privately a question. So someone is saying, as I'm progressing in my career, I'm being presented with more public speaking and moderating opportunities. However, I'm more of an introvert. What tips or advice can you share to become more comfortable and be successful in these settings?
Okay, I love this topic. Ah, there's so many things I could say. Let me start by saying that most of us feel nerves. And in fact, a great majority of us feel nervous or a lack of confidence. When we are quote, unquote, on stage, I always say quote, unquote, because it's not always literally on stage, it could be physically on stage, right? But it might be you're leading a meeting, or you're giving a presentation, it doesn't necessarily need to be on stage. I have a story of when I was a young brand manager at Kraft and I was asked at the last minute to give a speech about one of the brands at the national sales meeting. And I was so nervous that I was shaking. And I went up to the podium and there was a spotlight on me, and I felt like it was a heat lamp. I was sweating. And I was red. And I was shaking. And I got off stage. And my boss said, Andrea, I almost had to grab you and save you. Are you okay? I said, No, I'm not okay. And she said, your face is redder than your hair. And I made a promise to myself. At that moment, that is never ever going to happen. Again. That is absolutely ridiculous. This is what I said to myself. And so I really did two things. One was, I went out of my way to volunteer for every opportunity that I had to get, quote, unquote, on stage. And as I said, that doesn't mean necessarily physically on stage, but it could be. So that's one thing, volunteer, every chance you have, I promise you, I promise, promise promise you, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Okay, so that's one thing. And then the second thing was I just I started collecting, at first informally, and now certainly formally, tips and tricks and mindsets to help me kind of overcome any confidence issues that I might have. So I have all sorts of tips, you know, from, you know, making sure you're very, very well prepared if you have the opportunity to practicing. If it's a speech or a presentation, things like adopting a mantra, things like and Manos that I've asked people to do this for me before, and she jokingly started doing this before it before we've got on quote unquote onstage tonight. That is to give me a pep talk. So you could literally ask a friend or a colleague, to give you a pep talk. So there's all sorts of tips and tricks. But if you want to improve your skills really quickly, there is one thing that is really, really hard to do, but incredibly effective. Do you know what
it is? Like to sing good? Viet. I mean,
it's actually recording yourself. Right, right and watching or listening to it? Yes, I do this as a podcaster. I record my podcasts. And I always do the first round of edits. So I listened to myself. I've forced myself to watch myself on video a few times. And now with my clients who are asking me these questions, I also asked them what and we do it together. Sometimes we'll watch them and we'll point out the things that worked really well and the things that they should work on. That is the fastest, I promise you, the fastest way to improve is to listen or watch yourself. So if you want to ask your boss if you can record a meeting and then watch it later. It is very hard to do, but highly effective.
Great, amazing. Well, the person just said love this great advice. Thank you. So yes, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that. I see that we have DaVinci who just joined
Hey, how's everything? My background has been entrepreneurship. I'm moving into investment banking and And moving into the finance game, obviously, it's different because I will be go, I will transform from being CEO to, you know, a managing director or some other form of employee. My question to you is, what information or guidelines can you present to someone like myself, that's going to be the most optimal, the most effective way to utilize my time when it comes to a position search. And I would also like to throw in there that I'm not at the entry level part of my career. So what do you have for someone like myself who’s seasoned, who's been an entrepreneur, but now moving into an employee role where like an investment bank or something like that, what advice could you share? Thanks.
Great question. Davinci. I think I can I can answer that from a communication perspective. And what I would do if I were you right on, yeah, the first thing that I would do is, I would go to LinkedIn. And I would make sure that you have everything in order there. And I will probably connect with you later. If you don't connect with me. First, the three elements on your LinkedIn profile that you absolutely have to nail are your your headshot, your banner image in the background, and your headline, and all three of the, this is free real estate, right. So just make sure those are filled in and for your headline, it's not just your current title. So use that. And don't be afraid to incorporate some key words, like investment bank, you said ibanking. And these titles that you're seeking, like, don't be afraid to put things in there. I mean, as long as you're being authentic, and you're qualified for them, right. So but you can put industries, you can put disciplines, you can put titles that you have, you can put interests in there. So that's the first thing I would do. And then the second thing is, you need to start doing some strategic networking. So on fishbowl you got up on stage, people are seeing your name, they're there, they understand that you're looking to make a career change, I hope lots of people will will connect with you on on fishbowl and maybe on LinkedIn as well. Reaching out in terms of networking, as you said to executive recruiters, I happen to know several executive recruiters very, very well, I speak to them on a regular basis. And, you know, letting the ones that you know, and maybe the ones that you don't know, know that you are actively searching right now for a new position is a great idea. Don't expect them to spend an hour with you going out for lunch, or they're really networking with organizations who are hiring them to find people like you. So the idea here is you want to become top of mind for them. And you can do so by you know, getting on their radar, making sure your LinkedIn is looking great, asking them if they have any ideas for you. But don't don't be too I guess, greedy in terms of asking them to serve you because their clients really are the organizations that are hiring them. So just understanding the dynamics there is very helpful. But there's a lot of great networking opportunities out there. As you probably know, it's going to be your friends friend that helps you secure your next job. And so getting out there networking with people going to online events, going to real life events. And the one piece of advice that I really have for networking that I promise you works. And it may or might not seem as obvious, but it really works is to be generous. So be a giver, not a taker when you're networking. And then people will remember you exactly the way you want to be remembered. Not as that guy that was trying to sell me or that guy that was trying to get me to do favors for him. You want to be a giver, not a taker. So whatever you're doing when you're networking, you can try to add value. And there's lots of ways you can add value, right? You can add value by offering advice, offering suggestions, listening to people providing resources, it could be information or other resources that you're helping them with, by connecting to other people is a great way to add value in a network. So sometimes it takes some creativity but if you always go into a networking opportunity thinking, how can I add value? How can I be a giver, not a taker? Things will work out much better for you. I think that's fun. Oh, I'm glad Yeah, you think I was gonna say you suck or something. No, that's great. Thank you, nice to meet you. Dementia pleasures mine
stay in touch. Amazing. So we have more questions coming in. And over here I have someone asking any tips on how to remain impactful when going for maternity leave break and upon returning back.
How to remain impactful? I think what this person is asking is how do you stay in the game when you've left the game for a little while, you know, the first thing that actually came to mind was is the fact that this platform fishbowl provides a fantastic opportunity for people that are in that situation, right? I mean, I can imagine being on mat leave, or having some sort of extended leave, and wanting to keep one foot in the door, so to speak, and grabbing my phone and turning on fishbowl and maybe even creating a bowl for executives on Matt leave, right or joining one or, you know, actively participating or whatever your style is. I think that leveraging these these platforms, like fishbowl is really a low stress and probably highly effective way of keeping in the loop. And you can also connect directly with the people that you were working with and with the organization and with the industry through social media, and then come back at least not having missed kind of the main headlines. You know, I think that the your mat leave should be your mat, leave. But obviously this person is concerned about also reentering. And I think fishbowl is fun. And like I said, for the most part, the the conversations that I've seen are very supportive and positive. And people love uplifting others. So, to me, if I was on leave, it wouldn't feel stressful to stay involved with my industry on a platform like fishbowl at least.
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I know that some people like to reconnect as well, like once they're back, and just what I liked when people returned is when they share their experience as well. So
yeah, sometimes people feel awkward about reaching out to people in their network to maintain relationships. And I have to say, coming back to work after a leave a leave of absence for whatever the reason is, and saying, I'm just back from a leave of absence, I'd love to go out for coffee with you, or I'd love to have a quick zoom call or whatever it is. That's a catalyst, right? You have a reason? Because you're re entering the workforce. Can we just get reacquainted? Or can we get caught up. So I would say make a list of the whatever it is, whether it's 10, or 30 people that you want to reconnect with, and then use your leave as the reason that you want to reconnect, say, aye. I've been out for whatever it is three months, six months a year. And I just love to get caught up with what's going on with you personally and professionally. Use it as a reason to reconnect with as many people as you can.
Great advice. Thank you so much. I have a really a ton of questions coming in at the same time hair goes the next one. What is a first impression? In your opinion, what is the best framework to think about it?
What is a first impression, it's an evaluation or a judgment of someone, often based on stereotypes, right? Our brains are wired to make judgments about people. But we can take the knowledge of that to try to create a positive impression around other people remember what I said at the very beginning expressions of positive enthusiasm, sharing enthusiastic emotions with people about the work about the connection that you're having with them, is going to make an incredibly positive impression. So put a smile on your dial one thing that I did, I was giving a workshop and I took like a piece of cardboard, and I taped it next to my camera with an arrow pointing at the camera with a happy face next to it. And then as I was giving delivering the workshop, I would see this happy face and it would remind me to smile and to look at the camera. Because it's that impression, right that people are going to be left with so people care about your body language. They care about eye contact, and they care about your enthusiasm and
yeah, okay, we're talking about introductions. I know you shared the Present Past and future tip. Someone here just sent a message saying, I'm a Foreign lawyer who became a New York lawyer lately. Can you give me some advice on introducing myself? I find it difficult to dig out my past experiences, and have difficulty writing up some impressive experiences that I have.
Okay, so first of all, I have to say that a lawyer with global experience is very impressive. So turn that thing that is unique about you into the positive and memorable thing that becomes your superpower. So yes, I'm qualified to practice law in New York City or wherever it is. But I also have this global experience. So you're probably twice as valuable to your potential client than someone who doesn't have that experience. That unique thing about you that you can't deny, that becomes your superpower. And you need to you know, figure out the words to describe it in the way that is authentic and impressive. And lean into it. Don't shy away from it. So, you know, you've got for an experience, call yourself a globally experienced lawyer.
Wow. Just hearing that is already impressive. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay. Someone else is asking what is the ideal way to maintain a consistent healthy relationship with an immediate supervisor. I'm guessing through communication here.
It's gonna say, communication, communication communication. So beyond I mean, that's obvious, right? But I think asking questions. If your boss says that was great, asking questions. So can you tell me what was great, and maybe what I can work on for next time, right? So. And that leads me to another point, which is the whole thing about having a growth mindset, if you can demonstrate to your manager, that while you have, you know, certain technical expertise, and maybe leadership potential, that you really have a growth mindset, you're proactively focused on improving and learning. That's one of the most impressive and satisfying things that as a manager, you could have, right? Is you want the person to want to succeed and to want to learn,
right? And how can we showcase like, growth mindset? Or how can we, you know, develop that in ourselves?
The way I define a growth mindset is, I know what I know. And I'm keen to learn more. So there's really two parts of it, right? So I'm confident about my expertise. And my experience. That's part one. And part two is, I'm always keen to learn more. And by the way, I'm walking into for the first time and open q&a, it's a little bit nerve racking. So you know what I said to myself, Andrea, you're gonna be fine. You have a growth mindset, you know what you know, and you're keen to learn more? If someone asks you a question that you can't answer, or that you haven't thought about before, great, there's an opportunity to learn. So this kind of mindset can get you out of a lot of challenges and issues. But if you can demonstrate to your manager and frankly, to everybody, but to your manager, that you have a growth mindset, what does that mean? I know what I know. So that means you are performing your job duties above and beyond you are delivering what they asked for plus, plus plus, on time on budget. And then the second part is, you're sticking your hand up, you're proactively volunteering to go the extra mile and to learn. And if they see the two of those things in combination, I promise you your career is going to take off.
Yes. Because oftentimes we can feel stressed when when we get a question, like you said, for which we don't have the answer. But a growth mindset would help us out of that.
The growth mindset helps us out of a lot of things. When we're nervous, even if you're about to go on stage and you're thinking, just remind yourself what you know, and what you want to learn.
Absolutely. All right. I have another question that came in. It says recently, I joined a company. Soon after I was offered a position in a dream company where I had interviewed before joining the current job. How can I justify myself? I get this guilty feeling, And what should I say while I’m resigning?
So this is a little bit outside of my realm. Right? So I'm not a career counsellor. But I am a communication expert. So just in terms of communication, I would think about the parties that are involved. And what can you leverage, if you're sure you want to take the dream job and you've just taken this other job, the best thing you can do is tell your future employer that you made a commitment and you need to not just leave them in the dust. So you need to be fair to them and give them at least whatever it is two weeks or a month notice. And by the way, by doing that, you're also signalling to your dream job employer, right, your new boss, that you have integrity. So you're not just going to like not show up one day and switch jobs. Yes. Yeah. So being I think being open and as fair as possible to both sides.
Okay, so someone here is asking any advice for an introvert who needs to create more energy chatter on Zoom calls?
Okay, I have so much to say about the introvert and extrovert scale. First of all, introversion is not a negative thing. In fact, introverts have many, many superpowers. Introverts, research shows are better listeners than the rest of us. So think about that for a minute, right? The introverts that are maybe in your or maybe you are an introvert, in your life are listening. They are genuinely interested in what other people are saying. They spent a lot of time in their in their heads ruminating about conversations that have happened. So don't put yourself down for being an introvert, maybe kind of lean into that power that you have for being such an effective listener. And if you ever listened to my podcast at the very end, I asked five, what I call rapid fire questions and one of them is simply introvert or extrovert. And, you know I am I interview some very impressive people So I have to tell you, a significant majority of them, tell me something like I am a quote unquote, reformed introvert, or I am a high functioning introvert and I'm like, What the heck does that mean? And they said, I'm naturally an introvert. I'm very internally focused, I'm a little bit shy. And I have, over the years volunteered enough times to get quote, unquote, on stage or to speak at a meeting or to give a presentation, that now it's not such a big deal, but it's not. It's not kind of wouldn't wouldn't have been my natural preference otherwise. So many, many successful people in business and in life are introverts. And if you just practice with the, you know, verbal skills and being out there communicating, you can definitely be an effective communicator. And the last thing I want to say is a big part of understanding where you sit on the introvert extrovert scale, by the way, most of us are in the middle. So I ask in my podcast, introvert or extrovert, it's kind of a trick question. Most people are in the middle, and the term for that is ambivert, and bi ambivert. But for the people that are introverts, that means they get their energy, when they are alone, right, being alone fills fills their cup. So just knowing that can help you kind of figure out how to manage your day, and how to manage your week. So if you have something coming up, that's going to require a lot of energy, you should probably have some time alone before that. And if you need to be in a big group or conversing, if you're going to like whatever a networking conference or something, then you know that after it, you're going to be drained. So just when you're organizing your day, and especially if you're working your way up to important meetings are a presentation, think about where your energy is going to be and how you can fill yourself up. So I'm an extreme extrovert. I know that after I am doing presentations, or I'm with people that I'm going to be wired afterwards, so I always scheduled stuff on my calendar after so I can calm myself, Dale, I think it's a big thing about it's not just about being shy or not being shy. It's also about how you manage your energy.
What a great point actually, I consider myself to be a natural introvert and I can say, like, over the years, I just developed some tips for myself, I don't know if that's going to be useful, but there are some subjects that I can bring up in a conversation. I really don't mind talking about them. And like, you know, like, for example, my, the dog I had for a weekend or I can really bring up that subject easily. And just even if I'm kind of repeating the same story sometimes or obviously not to the same person, but just have these little stories about specific subjects that you know, you can speak to, and just give your brain a break, like, a moment to breathe. Yeah. I find that it's very helpful to do that. Because then you can think of okay, what's, you know, why are we here? What are we supposed to talk about? And it kind of gives you a few minutes for the pressure to go down to.
That's true. That's true. And actually, I really love your point about stories and anecdotes, or even topics that other people seem to find interesting and then kind of storing those away. I don't know if anybody in the audience here is is a member of masterclass or if they've joined masterclass, but I've been watching some of those lately, and I watched the Sara Blakely masterclass recently, and her storytelling is phenomenal. And then today, I was in Tony Robbins, breakthrough 2022 session, and she was on as a guest, and she told exactly the same stories. And I was like, but you know what they're compelling. Like, she's filed them away, like, these are the stories that people want to hear. Yeah. So you don't need to reinvent yourself every time. You're in public.
Absolutely, no, that's great. Oh, I have one more question that just came in. How do executive leaders view the future of executive leadership? That's a tough question, Andrea.
So I'm not sure what that means, to be honest, but it's related to another topic that it might be related, I think. And that is how to demonstrate leadership. Imagine you are in your, your year end review with your boss, and maybe you're a director or your your vice president, you want a promotion to become a partner, or to become an executive vice president or to join the C suite, right? And they say, Well, you need to demonstrate leadership skills. What the heck does that mean? Here I am, I'm doing my best. I'm demonstrating a growth mindset. I'm technically Excellent. How do I demonstrate leadership? And so I get this question often enough that I've actually created like a list of a podcast episode on this. And there are many kinds of leadership, right? There's people leadership, there's thought leadership, right? There's, you could lead a meeting, you could lead a project, you could lead an initiative. So for any of you out there who have aspirations to get promoted, obviously, job number one is to deliver your deliverables with excellence, high quality, work on time on budget, every time being proactive about exceeding expectations. And then beyond that, demonstrating leadership. So maybe formally or informally mentoring more junior folks in your organization, that is absolutely demonstrating leadership, right? Or maybe identifying that area where you are an expertise in creating thought leadership. So start off start a bowl on fishbowl with this area that you're an expert, or start a like a special interest group at work. I know some, for example, some female executives in various industries that I've that I've been working with, they would do like once a month they invited you know, the 10 women in some organization to go out for lunch for networking and for supporting each other and the person who initiated that absolutely is demonstrating leadership. Thinking about the topic that you're really passionate about and going deep, deep deep on it, and then sharing your knowledge on LinkedIn or maybe internally by writing white papers or doing presentations or training, doing training in an organization. It's a fantastic way to demonstrate leadership. And then I guess the last one is just really being proactive. And not just putting it out when they say, Does anyone want to volunteer for this saying yes, and actually adding to it? So I'm not sure if that answers. I don't think it does. But I think it's really important in the back of our mind to always be thinking about how we can take the next step.
I don't know the person said, Excellent. So I have someone here. And they have a question about feedback. Does anyone ask for feedback from peers? Or colleagues? How do you ask for it or approach to the conversation?
feedback is a gift, I want to say thank you to my friend Sharon, who, by the way, is an executive recruiter and a very, very successful one for that little little line that she shared with me. feedback is a gift. And sometimes it can be hard, especially if you're hearing something that you didn't want to hear or that you're surprised about. But please, please try to consider feedback to be a gift. We, we only know what we know, right? We don't know necessarily what other people are thinking or observing or how something may be interpreted. And we know that things, things will be misinterpreted all the time. So if someone says something to you consider it a gift. That's the first thing. And then two other things. So when I ask for feedback, be it on a presentation that I've given, or coaching that I've given, or maybe a website that I've just updated, or a course or something like that, I like to ask people, and some of you may have heard this, but I just want to reinforce this is a great framework. It's called Start, continue stop. So based on what you've seen, whether what again, whether it's a meeting, or a website, or whatever, what should I start doing? What should I continue doing? And what should I stop doing. And by asking people that in that way, you're it's really sort of a non threatening way for them to provide you with the good, the bad and the ugly, you're expecting it and they see that you're expecting it right. So start, continue, stop. That's the one thing. The second thing is, if you can only ask them, for one thing, ask them to highlight something negative, because people telling you what you're doing great is never as helpful, I shouldn't say never, because maybe maybe you need an ego boost that day. But it's rarely as helpful as someone identifying the thing that could use improvement. So I am creating an online course that I'm going to be sending to about 20 people in my network. And I'm going to be giving it to them for free. But I'm going to be asking them for feedback. And I'm going to be specifically asking them for negative feedback on it. And yeah, it's gonna be hard because I'm gonna have to reduce things and but I know that that is really going to take it to the next level. So feedback is a gift, especially negative feedback.
Wow, that's wonderful. Thank you so much. Yes, it is a it is a gift, specially if we know how to use it afterwards, to better ourselves. So thank you so much for for taking the time today, Andrea, and thank you for all the participants for joining in on our session today. I hope that you will be joining the next one. And I wish you all a wonderful evening or day depending on the time of the day where you are. But depending on which one you're in, I want to say thank you to everybody for the fantastic questions. I really had a lot of fun. And thank you me for inviting me and for moderating this and if anyone's interested, I would love to connect with you on fishbowl and on LinkedIn, I’d love to hear from you.
That's it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed this unusual podcast!
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