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There is always a way…..


Sometimes in a workshop, I make it clear at the start that there will be nudity at a critical point in the day. Of course, this is a form of ‘click-bait’ to keep people on their toes, but there is actually a flash of nudity! I give an appropriate warning for people to look away, but I’m not sure many do. Here is the link to the 45-second advertisement that shows in no uncertain terms that “there is always a way”. YouTube also provides a warning 😊 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwONNZ7iadQ

Listening to a podcast last week, I was curious to note that no matter the question asked by the host, the interviewee skillfully managed to shape their answer into the message they wanted to get across. In this case, the host was a master at acknowledging these messages to ensure the podcast fit the advertised topic brief while honoring the special guest.


When helping people prepare for promotions, media opportunities or interviews for C-Suite or Board roles, I am surprised to discover that it is not the lack of performance of the applicants, but often the poor skills of the person or panel of people conducting the interview.


This means the applicant preparation is all about finding ways to get their messages across so that the interviewer gets to see their entire suite of value while themselves feeling respected by how the applicant communicates with them.

You may not be preparing for an interview but possibly going through some form of change, or you may be wishing to get brave and advocate for yourself or someone else in something important. How do you find a way to get your message across?


Having written previously about speaking up in change, you can review these topics in the specific links at the end of this blog.


The model I would like to suggest today, should you be continuing to master your abilities in this space, is shown in the diagram below. There is a lot in here, and it actually forms the basis for a training program I run on how to influence to get the results you want.


If you were to take one thing away from reading this short blog, I would shout it from the mountain tops that you need to prepare prepare prepare as it can only grow your competence and then your confidence.


You know all this, but let’s put the key points down:

  • Do effective research. Take the key things you learn, and add your ideas and thoughts in a way that shows your thinking and the value you can bring.

  • Tip: Find the five key things going on in the industry, organisation or specific area of the role you are applying for. Be ready to discuss at least 3 of those things.

  • Speak to other people who have been ‘before you’. There is usually someone in your circle who has been through a promotion process, an interview, a request for a pay increase etc.

  • Tip: Ask them if they know of anyone else you might be able to speak with. This builds your network and may provide more diverse approaches you can choose to take.

  • Work with a coach to practice, and not just once.

  • Tip: Permit them to approach the interview in various ways – for example, a great interviewer and a poor interviewer.


So what do you think is the hardest thing about an interview? Typically it is the first 5 minutes and the last 2 minutes.


"So Shirley, why don’t you take a moment to tell us about yourself? " Aggghhhh, where do you start? How do you get your life story and the key messages into a ‘moment’, and how long is a moment?


The interview has gone well, and you can tell it is coming to a close, as you have had a chance to ask your prepared questions. How do you finish well? What do you say to ensure they understand the most important messages you want to get across?

If you need to grow your competence in these areas, don't hesitate to contact me, and I would be happy to assist you.


Until next time, my warmest regards.

Shirley