Leadership Checklist: 1 Month of Communicating as a Leader
August 24, 2018
The leaders at the top didn’t get there without solid communication skills. Commit to one month of small yet mighty daily (Monday – Friday) tasks aimed at helping improve your communication skills. From professional branding, to active listening tips, this four week plan will help motivate you to pursue new opportunities and propel your career.
Eager to get started on your leadership journey ASAP? Register for “Excellence in Communication: Presenting as a Leader” and receive expert strategies on how to exude executive presence, persuade your audiences and inspire action. Download the printer friendly checklist using the link at the bottom of this page. Keep it on your desk and mark off your accomplishments!
- Today, listen to your voicemail outgoing message, and then re-record it! Your voice is a powerful communication tool. Use your voice to project leadership, confidence and charisma.
- ‘Thank you’ notes are becoming a lost art. The simple act of gratitude can go a long way for leaders. Take a moment to order some beautiful stationary. Have the stationary symbolize your personality. Also – buy some stamps! You’ll be much more likely to write ‘thank you’ notes AND send them when you have all the materials already in your desk!
- ‘What do you do?’ How often do we hear that question in Washington, D.C.? Take a moment to craft your response.
- Schedule a lunch with a colleague you haven’t had a chance to catch up with in a while. Maintaining professional relationships is rewarding and strategic.
- Create a “ta-da” list of accomplishments. Add to this as often as possible. On days when you need a boost, refer to this.
- Leaders do not rise to the top alone, they have a support network. Take a moment today to thank a colleague or mentor who helped you along the way. Today, open that stationary and write someone special a thoughtful note. Pro Tip: Never start a ‘thank you’ note with the words ‘thank you.’ This trick helps elevate the sentiment.
- What are three strong adjectives that define your leadership style? Write them on the last page of your notebook. Evaluate if you embodied those adjectives when you reach the last page.
- When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn page? Today is the day you re-write your bio! Use direct language, avoid passive phrases and promote your leadership skills.
- Commit to something outside your comfort zone today. Sign up for a networking event, register to volunteer, or deliver a high-stake presentation.
- Power Pose Today! Start the day off with a 120 second Power Pose! Lead your colleagues in this exercise! Confidence can be contagious.
- Introduce yourself to a co-worker you don’t know. Be even braver and ask them to coffee to learn more about his or her role. You can lead the way to a more collaborative work environment.
- Posture is a large part of executive presence. Today think: shoulders back, chin high and smile. Focus on your posture in meetings, walking the halls and sitting at your desk.
- How many emails do you write per day? Per week? Gasp, per year?! What if some of those emails you replaced with a phone call. Today, stop typing and pick up the phone to connect with a colleague voice to voice. Chances are, you’ll get all the details you need in one 3-minute phone call that may have taken more than 15 emails to discover. Leaders get tasks done.
- TedTalks are amazing. Watch one today! What makes the speaker unique? What tactics do they use to communicate as a leader? **Did you know before anyone gives a TedTalk they are required to participate in 100 hours of presentation coaching?! That’s preparation.
- PREPARE! So often our confidence is undercut due to lack of preparation. Every Friday take a hefty amount of time to look ahead at your next week. What can you do to prepare to communicate as a leader? Are there email chains you should re-read to recall conversations? Can you outline a particularly difficult email you’ll have to write next week? Can you craft key messages that highlight your positive work on a project for an upcoming briefing? Yes. You. Can
WEEK FOUR- THE FINAL WEEK
- Be positive! Negative communication kills leadership communication in you and others. If you are stressed about a project or situation, take a deep breath, step back from the problem and analyze it strategically. What’s the most important issue? What are the positive ways you can manage the issue? Remember, you are a confident and capable professional. You can do anything.
- A confident leader also listens. Today, pay particular attention to your active listening skills.
- Who inspires you with his or her leadership? Think of three leaders (in your organization, personal life, or world leaders) and consider their backgrounds and what each had to overcome to become the confident communicator they are today. What are your obstacles to confident communication? Identify those obstacles and then create a plan to overcome them. Be inspired by the people you admire.
- Cut the weak speak and opt for power speak! For a full 24 hours avoid these words and phrases: “I’m sorry,” “I just wanted to….” “um/like/ya know,” and “I’m not sure this is a good idea or not but…” Especially avoid saying “I’m sorry” for things you should not be sorry for!
- Review or create a “Leadership Communication Action Plan.” Consider three areas of your communication skill set you’d like to improve. Identify a method you’ll use to improve the skill and a time-frame that provides a deadline for action.