The Power of Likability – Have No Missed Opportunities!

When someone runs for President of the United States, and a regret they have is that they were possibly “too serious” – that’s a learning moment for all of us.

“I did feel a heavy sense of responsibility. I wasn’t as loose or open as I could have been.”

This week on The View, Hillary Clinton shared a key takeaway from her presidential campaign: she came across as “too serious” — and it inhibited the warmth that many said she had off-camera.

We all know hindsight is 20/20, and as leaders, many of us don’t get a do-over. We have to make the most of every opportunity, every pitch, every meeting—it’s our ability to connect, authentically, that requires a shift. Our clients often say, “to be taken seriously, I have to be serious,” which is practically the same thought process that Hillary shared, was part of her downfall.

Like Hillary, our default is to lead with competence—when, in reality, our audience needs connection. As Dr. Amy Cuddy says, “Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and communication and absorption of ideas.”

Start by connecting with others through a light face or a smile. It’s an easy thing to practice. Lift your cheeks and lighten your face when you speak. Show more affect and emotion—it boosts your likability and allows you to influence. Almost all of us can do it better. If we coach one thousand people, there’s only one that probably smiles too much.

Let’s learn from these misses—we all have amazing opportunities every day that we can smile about!

From the Boardroom to the Living Room

In a recent Leadership Presence for Women program, we were discussing the Decker Grid™ when a participant raised her hand. “Can I use this on my husband?” she asked. This question comes up a lot, and the answer is a resounding yes! While Decker’s main objective is to teach communication … Continue reading

“I” Language Doesn’t Influence

A few times a week, I endure a rigorous indoor cycle class where all I want is a decent workout. As a communication junkie, what I’ve noticed (and that bugs me more and more) is the use of “I” language. Now, I get that we all learned the importance of … Continue reading

Thanks for the Feedback

“Can I give you some feedback?” Rarely do we meet an offer like this with eagerness, curiosity or excitement. Our reaction might be more aligned with concern, skepticism or even fear. However, feedback is essential in all aspects of our lives. We need others to shine a light on our … Continue reading

Feedback That Others Can (Actually) Use

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark A few months ago, as Decker was wrapping up a series of programs with a large pharmaceutical company, an L&D leader surprised us with his takeaway, stating, “This program made … Continue reading

Raise Those Hands High

When my son was in kindergarten, I volunteered to chaperone a class trip to a local museum. While the majority of the day was spent escorting five-year-olds to the bathroom, I was able to make some keen observations about the students (beyond just that little kids have small bladders). The … Continue reading

Mr. Rogers in the Boardroom? You Bet!

The Boardroom was the U.S. Senate Committee Hearing in 1969 as Chairman John Pastore was investigating whether to pass a $20 million funding bill to PBS. And he was losing his patience as PBS was losing the verbal battle—until Mr. Rogers stepped in. You know him—Fred Rogers, PBS star and … Continue reading

Make Your Content Pop…Like a Rock Star

Nicky Jam. Ozuna. Gente de Zona. I am a huge Latin urban pop fan. I love dancing bachata to Dominican music. I listen online to a Spanish-language radio station. And I have a celebrity crush on Grammy award-winning global artist Pitbull. So when Pitbull recently hosted a weekend Caribbean cruise, I … Continue reading

Remote Presenting: Commit to Connection

Last week, I shared what not to do on a video conference. Here’s some tips on what TO DO to ensure a great experience, every time. For most of us, the challenge with video calls is treating them like in-person meetings. It’s important to remind the audience that they matter … Continue reading

Remote Presenting: Set Up For Success

Webex GoToMeeting Zoom BlueJeans Google Hangouts You’re probably using one of these and if you’re not, you should. Here are some tips to make any and all video conferencing better: If you look at every video call as an experience, you’ll want to make each one that much better. Avoid … Continue reading