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!

Achilles Heel

My boys (10, 12, 14) are loving Greek mythology right now—from Percy Jackson’s books to any movie reference. Lately, Achilles is having a major moment in our household, popping up in Coldplay lyrics and in post-NBA finals discussions on Kevin Durant’s recovery. Achilles also happens to be trending in the … 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

The Price of Connection

How do you put a price or value on connection? On being present? Jay-Z is a genius and talent in music who is practically unequaled. As I watched him as a guest on David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, I was fascinated by the subject matter … Continue reading

SHARPen Your Edge

For those of you who know anything about Decker, you know we always push people outside their comfort zones—that’s where change happens! Last week, the marketing team here at Decker pitched a new idea to me. They were seeking buy-in on something that’s outside the scope of what we’ve done … Continue reading

How About a Little Wabi-Sabi With Your Communications?

Almost Famous is one of my wife’s favorite movies. There’s a part in it when the main character, Russell, travels to Topeka and gets sick of hanging out with his rock and roll band and crew — instead, he just wants to hang out with ‘real people.’ I think craving … Continue reading

Smile With Your Eyes

As Guy Kawasaki says, don’t be afraid of the crow’s feet. That’s right, the most sincere smile is a Duchenne smile (named for French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne) that lights up your eyes and shows off your pearly whites. Guy is a powerful influencer and speaker – and his Duchenne smile … Continue reading

Product vs. Solution Selling: Learn it from a Plumber!

Our leadership team recently got into a conversation about product selling versus consultative selling. And it got me thinking about our clients and how many of them deal with this same issue. We’re asked and tasked to help with this. A lot. How do we do it? It’s similar to … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2017

Communication drives moments, and moments matter. When we experience something bold, it jolts us to action, leaves a measured impact, ignites a collective memory, or empowers the afraid. These are the moments that punctuated 2017. These are the moments that changed the way we think or inspired us to act. … Continue reading