Here’s food for thought: when you meet with senior management in your organization, do you know what to say? More importantly, do you know how to say it and when to say it? If not, then you may be selling yourself short when it comes to stating your value to the organization.
For junior executives in particular, learning how to speak to and with upper management is an invaluable skill. In fact, communication skills coaching in this precise area is one of the most frequent requests from Accent On Business clients.
Getting the results you want in the boardroom and similar settings can mean the difference between being “listened to” and just “being heard.” Likewise, senior managers want to know that you are listening to them and that you understand their message.
Consider the example of one of our “executive communication skills” success stories, who we’ll call Mark.
Mark is a top-notch salesperson – so good at what he does, in fact, that he is his company’s sales leader.
Mark is also very affable, unassuming and giving. In the field, communicating with clients, he is a veritable tour-de-force. He can and does build relationships faster and deeper than anybody else we know. In the boardroom, however, his communication skills tended to miss the mark. In a nutshell, the same style and approach that worked with customers just wasn’t appropriate or effective with senior management. Interestingly enough, the issue for our client was not as much what he said as how he said it. Not infrequently, Mark also didn’t really know when to stop “saying,” and just sit back and listen. Conversely, sometimes he just didn’t want to talk because he wanted to avoid the inevitable objections.
When Mark’s organization began to incorporate routine sales report meetings into their operations – something it had not previously done – our client truly saw the need for some professional presentation and communication skills coaching and training. His goal: to eliminate or at least minimize the frustration, miscommunication and confusion that seemed to permeate all his meetings with senior management.
Through regular “executive communication skills” sessions with Accent On Business, our client learned to temper his “sales speak” communication style into something much more appropriate and productive in the boardroom. Specifically, Mark discovered the keys to engaging in two-way communication and making it work to his advantage and to succinctly state his point of view without going into “information overload” mode. Additionally, we helped him understand the strategic advantages of holding back from time to time as well as asking more questions during his meetings. For many ambitious junior executives, these tactics can be tough to embrace; however, they are essential to boardroom conversations. Why? Simply put, both foster the clarity, engagement and understanding that bring shared visions – those of the junior executive and of senior management – into fruition.
In Mark’s case, communication skills training and coaching paid off in more ways than one. He now enjoys conversations in the boardroom and his company values his insight and input toward achieving sales goals and objectives.
So, we’ll ask you again. Where do you stand with your organization’s senior management? Do you speak fluent “C-Suite” – that is, are you able to communicate in an effective and efficient manner? Is your point of view being heard AND listened to – moreover, are you hearing and listening to upper management’s point of view? If not, perhaps it’s high time you came in to see us!
We’re Accent On Business – the nation’s premier public speaking and executive communication skills coaching firm. We can help you learn the skills you need to present yourself in the boardroom and beyond with confidence, expertise, and efficiency so that you, too, will always be known for your value.
Contact us today at: info@AccentOnBusiness.net