Anchoring is a fantastic term, if only because of the clear imagery it offers. There is a lot of security implied here for business leaders and decision-makers and that can really help some to get focused. This is sometimes clumsily described as a person being “stubborn.” And while there may be little between the two terms that is discrete, anchoring allows us to develop an on-the-job vocabulary. And this vocabulary focuses on behaviours. Simple as that.
Anchoring is best understood as having one’s thinking connected or, as the anchor image suggests, tied to a specific point or idea. I have often seen it explained and used in medical arenas when a practitioner refuses to abandon an original diagnosis even in the light of new potentially contradictory information on a patient’s condition. Ego can be a dramatic promontory at times to leading well. Simple as that.
Anchoring can be a strong indicator of a leader’s clear vision and, for this reason, is the start of almost every successful political campaign. What are the values or party platforms that literally anchor each candidate’s choices? Close to home, what are the underpinnings that anchor your recommendations, your ideas for that new parking structure, how to organize the year-end holiday office celebration and so on.
The challenge is to locate the language that anchors you, repeat that language and educate and re-educate others of how your vision is tied to a solid foundation (anchored) over time.
One of the very first lessons I learned in being a successful group leader or facilitator in corporate settings is how significant people’s names really are - they relish them. Take names seriously, respectfully and intentionally - your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.
There are some months when I may lead fifteen to twenty different groups of people in different companies, in a variety of industries and in several countries. What is true in each group, no matter who the members are? Each person wants to be recognized as a member of the group, and the only way we have of doing so equitably and legitimately is by both learning and using each other’s names. I have learned that there is much tolerance for mispronunciations as long as there is effort. And, of course, a sincere effort is being made at getting the name right. We are quite forgiving of our names being poorly pronounced if there is an intention of truly getting it right. While, on the other side of this tolerance is brutal judgement, and even a trace of scorn and malice when we have our names misspelled, especially in an e-mail with a mass distribution. In this particular case, one misspelling can lead to a long-term, multi-person confusion, which often then also leads to the same name being mispronounced. There are clear implications to building one’s brand if your brand has either been misnamed or renamed by unfortunate spelling. Brands can happen by accident or malice. They are designed with intention.
Learn people’s names; make it your mission to correctly and often refer to others by name. Remember, as professionals we are all quite vain, myself included. We like to hear the sound of our own names. We like to see our names written by others. Use this to your advantage.
Your brand is the combination of tangible and intangible characteristics that make you unique. Branding is developing your specific image with an eye toward specific results in your relationships.
If you do not choose the specific language to describe your skills, competencies, educational background, experience and overall contributions, it will be chosen for you. It’s as simple as that. Be active and choose your brand or be branded. The next part of watching your brand is in the absolute necessity of then repeating your specific chosen language. When you educate those who you work with on the quality and uniqueness of your work - that is your brand. When you allow others to label and assign language describing your work - that becomes your brand.
Because if you don’t brand yourself, others will for you.
Most professionals are not proactive in establishing and building a career brand. You hope your actions speak for you when you are seeking promotion or a new job. It is necessary to take the time to implement some very basic marketing practices to help build a career brand and to make you a more attractive professional: choose your language and repeat.
Over the years, I have worked with more than a few outplacement career transition management and/or consulting firms. Brand is almost exclusively discussed only when a person is seeking employment and it can simply be too little, too late. Your brand is a day-to-day reality, an on-the-job personal challenge. Don't delay in establishing your brand.
Sometimes, a meeting leader/facilitator/chair must recognize that the best way forward for the team is to gain consensus on an action item. Gaining consensus as opposed to majority voting lessens the prospect of in fighting between those who publically agree with an item and those who disagree. Consensus is not necessarily a quicker or easier route to take. Instead, consensus is the best route to establish and perpetuate team buy-in and overall commitment levels. It also alleviates the stress that arises when team members are individually singled out when their ideas don’t work. When the team makes decisions as a whole they accept responsibility as a whole, and will be more inclined to find future solutions as a whole.
Every professional in the business world, regardless of level of authority, has been sending emails for the past 15 years, if not the past 20. In all of those years not much has changed about how emailing works. Sure our preferences for receiving certain types of emails have changed, and we’re constantly trying to apply the best writing practices in the hopes of improving our writing competencies for emailing, but the basic structure of the email platforms like Gmail, Hotmail, and Outlook function much the as they did so many years ago. You would think that with 191.4 billion emails sent each day (Radicati Group), and with workers spending an average of 13 hours a week in their inbox (McKinsey & Company), emailing would have evolved more.
Well I’m here to tell you that it is evolving. There exist browser extensions built for emailing (specifically for Gmail) that can boost your emailing capabilities. In this post, I’m going to show you 4 of my favourite ones that will help you supercharge your emailing.
Michael Jordan scored more baskets in his mind than he ever did on the court. He didn’t become one of the greatest athletes of the century with physical skill alone. Before every match, Jordan relaxed and visualized himself making basket after basket, in every imaginable scenario.
Recent studies have proven what athletes have known for decades: Mental rehearsal is a powerful skill. Imagining yourself doing an action triggers neurons to fire in the same areas of the brain that are activated when the action is actual being done. These neurons control attention, perception, memory, and motor control.
Just like athletes, you too can practice mental rehearsal. It’s especially impactful when utilized for high-stress situations like giving presentations. In this post, I’m going to quickly run you through mental rehearsal steps for your next presentation.
You know those emails that are sluggish to read, or feel like a make-work project? One of the most common reasons for this is the writer mixed grammatical forms in every sentence. The writing felt choppy, uncoordinated, and unprofessional. This is because the author wasn’t employing parallel construction.
After reading the first two parts of our “Strengthen your Email Writing” series you’ve learned how to make your writing more impactful and easier to read.
In this post, I’m going to share with you a powerful writing tip that will make all of your business writing more succinct and consistent – writing in the Active Voice.
Have you ever read a “beach book” before? They’re those books you take with you on holiday that help you pass the time while relaxing, ideally on a beach. They’re short, fun, and above all - easy to read. What they lack in depth is made up for in readability.
People have enough focus-laden tasks in their day-to-day routine. The last thing you want to do is make your email writing dense; your emails should be as easy to read as possible.
In part two of my four past series “Strengthen your Email Writing,” I’ll quickly walk you through two best-practices employed by “beach book” authors that will turn your emails from dense thickets of words into sleek message carriers.
108.7 billion business emails were sent and received per day in 2014 (The Radicati Group, 2014).
With so many emails landing in our inboxes every day, we spend less time reading each one. The result: no-one is focusing on one document or task at a time, including your email. All of us are skimming to pick out the main points, so it’s important to write your emails to be skimmable.
So how do you write at a level that allows your reader to easily skim your email but still understand its core message? I’ll be answering this question over a four part series entitled “Strengthen your Email Writing.”
Diana is President of The Soft Skills Group Inc. She is a senior training & development professional with 20 years of experience in delivery, design & consulting with Fortune 500 companies, Universities & Colleges in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.