Is your strategy showing? You may be a knowledge expert with a strong leadership lens, but unless others can see it through the way that you present your ideas, they may discount your expertise.
How can you showcase your ability to be strategic, so others take you more seriously?
1. Lead with the end in mind.
Give the answer first, and then back this up by bulleting your main points before you go into details. This is a strong way to begin your delivery and helps listeners remain focused as they know what to anticipate.
Here is an example:
The Answer: “We will be expanding into Texas, Georgia, and Virginia.”
Bullet Points: The three reasons we have decided to do this are:
- The cost of doing business;
- Available workforce; and
- A solid economy.
The Details: Here’s why…(go into each one of your points to expand as much as you need to provide backup with evidence while keeping it succinct).
2. Eliminate distractors.
Rambling and awkward fillers such as “um” and “uh” give the perception of searching for answers and weaken your message and credibility.
Record yourself with your phone a few times to identify what fillers you might inadvertently be using.
- Do you repeat yourself in an attempt to convince?
- Do you ramble with tactics instead of remaining linked to the broader context?
Redirect as you relax in the knowledge that others will ask questions if they need clarification.
3. Link your ideas to broader goals.
Whenever you can, refer to the broader strategic goal that your idea supports. Demonstrating that you keep the organization’s goals and the broader picture in mind when considering problems reminds others that you are a leader.
4. Play the devil’s advocate.
Show that you consider multiple perspectives as you make decisions and move through creative problem-solving. This can be done by referring to other possible solutions you considered before arriving at your conclusion. Share with the listeners how these other approaches worked (or didn’t!), and why you feel your solution is best. Others will see that you followed a carefully researched and open-minded approach to the problem, and this builds trust.
5. Back up your idea with the business impact.
Identify the ways in which your idea or solution will have a positive impact on the business. If you can show this, and line it up with larger goals (more revenue, shorter product cycles, etc.), you will gain credibility quickly.
Translating your strategic thoughts into words will take practice, but the outcome is well worthwhile. If you want others to recognize your strategic abilities, show them the depth and breadth of your thinking as you speak.
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.