Posts Tagged ‘Corporate Leadership Development’

How To Overcome Resistance From Team When New Leader

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

executive presenceWalking in to a new team can be exciting and intimidating. So what is the best way to transition so they embrace your leadership style, remain open to ideas and stop resisting change?

Remember to the team you are a powerful unknown–you are the one who can most influence their paycheck. This leads a team to want to “prove” to you their value.

Unfortunately this leads to people defending what has been done in the past, to watching you skeptically and to people not openly sharing the elephants in the room until they feel they can trust you. This means you end up with limited information that is improperly skewed.

So how do you level set the field and open up the dialogue?

1. Openly share your working style.
Since their brain’s natural tendency is to want to protect themselves, they need to know right up front how you work, what is most important to you, and how they can best interact with you. Don’t make them spend months speculating on what you want or need. Take the guess work out by sharing your values.

2. Share a story that demonstrates your style of thinking and working.
One executive I worked with shared with his new team about managing a cucumber patch and how tenacious he was in working that patch. It became the theme for the group when they knew that Ron wasn’t going to give up on something. Another executive, John, shared how when he was newly appointed as a manager the mistake he made, what it cost and what he learned. He then wove that all in to a presentation on his values and expectations. John said that the level of trust it usually took him 6 months to get to, he got within 2 weeks with his new team. This lead to faster productivity and results.

3. Find out what each of your direct reports needs from you in order to perform better and to challenge you when appropriate.
By you asking these questions, it demonstrates your expectations and let’s them know that you want them to appropriately challenge. You create a street of Trust that is two way.

When you use these three simple steps you can drastically reduce the time to build trust and rapport with any new team.

I would love to hear your success as you apply this as well as your stories of what you did to build trust with a team rapidly.

Impression Management Professionals

Team’s Productivity – Stopping Negative Talk In Your Team

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Presentation SkillsI have watched one negative person bring a team’s productivity down 90%! I know that sounds dramatic but this person’s negativity actually dropped sales in one division from $100 million down to $10 million within 2 years!!

Think of negative talk as a virus that can kill all productivity. Here are some things as a leader you can do to stop negative talk:

1. Ask the negative person ONLY questions that can be answered positively. I find most negative people actually want two things- one is to connect with others. In their mind the negative talk is just conversation and they don’t even see it as negative. As you ask them questions that can only be answered positively, they begin to build new brain pathways to “conversation”.

2. Call them out on the negative chatter so they need to be accountable. For example saying, “If you want to be seen as proactive, how does saying_______ align with that?” Begin to educate them on how they are coming off. Notice I started with a positive assumption which was that they want to be seen as proactive.

3. Play the Devil’s Advocate. When they bring up a negative point, ask them to turn it around and see it from another perspective.

4. Give them responsibility that allows them to be visible to others in a POSITIVE way. The second thing most negative chatter people are craving is POWER. They want to be viewed as knowing things and seen as informative. They feel that sharing the negative view gives them power. You just need to feed that need for power in a positive way and show them how to get it without being negative.

The worst thing you can do with negative chatter is to allow it to continue. This reinforces to your team that negative chatter is acceptable and even rewarded. Make sure you stop it today!

Join us for our September session on Managing Your Message to see exactly how to say things right the first time even in high pressure situations.

Share how you have effectively stopped negative chatter in your department or a situation you would like to know how to turn around.

Impression Management Professionals – 952-921-9421 – Minneapolis, MN


What Mashables Can Teach You About Communication?

Monday, July 15th, 2013

pete cashmoreWhat can you, as an executive, learn about communicating from a 27 year old? Pete Cashmore at age 19 started Mashable, a tech blog. It grew in one year to 2 million followers.

So what does he do that you can learn from in order to make your communication as an executive more profound?

1. Visuals stay, words just play. Pete started studying his reader’s behavior and found they were more eight times more likely to share an image than they were a link. So he had his team design a more responsive system that is based more on images.

ASK YOURSELF- what do you do when you speak to create visuals? Is your mission/vision statement one that can be defined by a picture or is it just a bunch of words?

2. Stay focus, play loose. Pete is constantly watching the shifting landscape and then adopting his company to fit his client’s lifestyle. He is focused on his goal but allows his clients to help shape the delivery.

ASK YOURSELF- Do you have precision in what you need to execute on but do you have flexibility in how your team executes?

3. Execute Thoughtful Disruption. Pete realizes he can’t rest on his laurels so he is constantly looking for new ways to disrupt thought and generate new ways of doing things. He switched his sight to be one where as people click on links and share that news story starts to move to the top. He is essentially letting the clients manage the site.

ASK YOURSELF- Who has control? Do you put your client’s in the driver seat?

John Maxwell said, “people do what they see.” In other words, your team will perform in accordance with what they see from you. So you are being a Pete and creating the world you want for your team?

Bonus for you! Get your no-cost strategic leadership report at www.impressionmanagement.comĀ  – Written for you by Anne Warfield, Impression Management Professionals in Minneapolis, MN – IMP is a strategic leadership development provider with focus on executive presentation skills, negotiation skills and train the trainer programs.

Strategic Presentation Skills – Being Sent Back For More Information

Friday, July 12th, 2013

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Today’s Topic – Are you being sent back to gather more information before you get a yes?

Strategic Presentation Skills Tips by Anne Warfield, – based in Minneapolis, MN

Leadership Skills – Want Better Results From Your Team?

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Here is your leadership skills development tip from Anne Warfield, Impression Management Professionals.

Jim told me he was tired of always having to have all the answers for his leaders. He just wanted them to step up to the plate and make decisions on their own.

While we were sitting there talking a leader, Mary, came in and told him about a problem her team was having with another team. Jim shook his head and said, “okay, deal with it.” Then about 15 minutes later as someone passed by his office he said, “just a minute Anne”. He then ran outside, had a conversation and walked back in the office. He told me the person who had just gone by was the other leader Mary needed to work with on the problem so he thought he would just quickly chat with him and get it ironed out.

As you read the above you can probably see why Jim’s team came to him for all the answers. Jim was great at stepping in and solving problems but he wasn’t great at teaching his team how he thinks so they can solve the problems on their own. On top of that he is an impatient person so if he sees an opportunity to fix something he just did it rather than wait for the leader to do it.

I told Jim, “there are unintended consequences from your desire to take action and you are seeing it in a team that waits for you to make the decisions.”

Here are the steps I gave Jim to reverse the situation:

1. Share the thinking.

When your team comes in with a problem help them think through the problem rather than just about the problem. Show them not only what you would do but WHY you would do it.

2. Define the optimal solution.

Once you have talked through the problem and they have defined solutions, find out which one they will pursue and why. If you disagree, help them think through the consequences of what could go wrong with that plan. They may have insight you don’t.

3. Define the waiting period.

Define how they will circle back to you and when about the problem. For Jim, this meant having clear defined lines of what he would do if he hadn’t heard back from them. He was upfront about how antsy he would get and that he needed a clear defined date/time they would get back to him so he wouldn’t take action. This way he could negotiate the timeline if he thought they were taking too long.

4. Debrief the results.

Jim had them come back and share the results-what happened that they expected and what happened that they didn’t expect. This then allowed him another coaching session with that person.


No matter what level you are in your organization start trying to teach your thinking, not just the doing. Be open about deadlines and consequences so people realize the time frames they need to work within.

Get a no-cost strategic leadership report at from Anne Warfield, CEO, Impression Management Professionals, Minneapolis, MN
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