Leading By Example (II)

Developing rapport and trust
People are different and their needs for information and motivation are different too. But there are a few key traits in leaders that influence almost everyone, almost all the time! Here are just some of those we have identified:
Smile Show teeth, be natural, let the smile involve the muscles around your eyes.
Ron Gutman has shown on stage, the difference between a smile and a smile involving the eyes. The first, authentic or not authentic, does not create a warm feeling in everyone watching them. However, even a slightly fake smile that involves the muscles around the eyes, impacts on neural-pathways in our brains; these pathways have been hard-wired into humans for millennia. Ideally, you do not have to fake this! If you have genuine interest in others and honestly desire to help and support them with your words, then the smile should appear beautifully authentic! The human warmth and authenticity of a leader can be instantly known by anyone near them; they do not need a profile to understand their leader, the presence of true leader carries its own messages more obviously than any psychometric test could. A smile involving the eyes is part of that winning strategy.
Ask Questions
Telling, trying to be clever, attending to your own projection, rather than attending to your audience, will alienate some of your audience. In group settings, we need a cohort of ‘positive enhancers’ to carry a positive, responsive mood, to those around each of them. Anyone who has presented should have been aware that there will be 3-6 percent of people who are actively engaged, nodding, responding to them. By smiling and making connections, attending to those individuals (left, right, front and rear), we have the best chance of getting the positive leverage in the room, to infect the others and create the best possible receptiveness for our messages.
Notice and Repeat ‘Energy Phrases’
As a novice, do not overdo this! However, by noticing the people around you as you speak, you can observe and pick up on key words and phrases that create positive energy in the space. Use these words and phrases, with a touch of emphasis (including any earlier gesture). If you chose correctly, the ‘anchored’ energy phrase is doing its work for you. All great orators in history, and today, use this device to create energy that makes their audience feel empowered and connected to the speaker - Churchill, Gandhi, MLK Jr., and JFK are fine examples.

Understanding and expressing the real desires for key ‘others’
If we think about politicians on the TV and those that try and be ‘something for everyone’ we know that we cannot trust them. And there are politicians who stick firmly to political beliefs, whether those beliefs are tired and failed, or not. These politicians also fail many of the people who listen to them. The politicians fail because they do not connect to the needs of the people in the space, but rather to an ideology. So what does work?
Let’s imagine that we have an important presentation or meeting coming up very soon. The average manager and executive would either ‘wing it’, without preparation or, better, will prepare themselves in terms of objectives, key messages and areas of influence, with arguments and counter-arguments being carefully thought-through (in advance).
This second approach is obviously favourable to the first, but is still not good enough to make the first-rank in leadership, when followship is the objective. So, how do you make that leap to next-level impact?
Followship requires the leader to think deeply about the outcomes in terms of the wants, needs and aspirations of the other people in the space. This can be complicated. Some people want detail, others are affected easily by big-picture visions of the future, others are affected by communications that heal something they do not like or, alternatively, by things that they do want in their work! The trick is to try and satisfy all, without undermining previous statements! We must anticipate by thorough preparation, and to imagine being several different types of attendees, with different communication needs. Some will need those big-pictures, others more specific detail to understand; some will want to listen, others to see visual charts. By mixing in multiple forms of content, we hope to appeal to ALL the audience and to keep them all motivated to listen.
Preparation must include an evaluation of the drivers of the people in the room and then a process of judging: what are the key people-motivators for the changes in perception, motivation or policy that you are proposing? Answer this question and the content, slant and pitch are created into a new and more impactful set of messages.
At the event, use the language of your audience. Listen and ask rhetorical questions. Where there is energy, follow the energy by saying more, and repeat the same ‘energy phrase’ (that created the energy in the first place).
Vocalize issues and link them to realistic solutions. If the solutions are part-solutions, be honest about this up-front; avoid disappointment. Our guiding principles should be: “Give them what they want” and “under-sell, over-deliver”!”
Leadership traits and styles are not all equal. When our objective is followship, key traits of great leaders jump out at us. The followship-generators that we propose represent best-practice for modern management. Above all, the essence of humanity will always prevail thorough the events of life and on all aspects including professional. When you go to work, take your humanity with you! People will remember how you have touched their hearts and gave them the gift of self-development.