Getting Over Yourself

March 24, 2016

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”–Donald? are you there?

Although I’ve never subscribed to that concept (saying you’re sorry to a loved one can make a huge difference), apparently Donald Trump does. Clearly his supporters love him regardless of what he says or does–they may even love him, in part, because he doesn’t apologize. And, it’s obvious that he is committed to standing by what he says and never apologizing. We’ll know after the election if that was a good overall strategy.

However it works out for him, I don’t recommend that you emulate this model.

There are, of course, people who apologize for everything all the time and it’s annoying. Apologizing inappropriately just draws attention and not admiration. Definitely not a leadership quality.

Yet, there is a time when apologizing gets you more credibility–with your family, your co-workers, your boss, your employees. If when you are wrong, you acknowledge it, own it, and move on–with no sense of shame or loss of credibility, you’ll get more credit and more cooperation.

 

August 31, 2012

Governor Tim Pawlenty is an example of looks not matching sound

The former governor of Minnesota’s speech at the Republican Convention is a good one for you to watch without listening and listen without watching. He sounds much stronger than he looks. So radio would have been kinder to his speech.

And, interestingly, this man who was apparently on the short list for Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, gave a very vice-presidential speech. That is, he did a good job of being the attack dog–a role that traditionally is expected of the VP candidate.
On the other hand, Senator Marco Rubio, in terms of his speaking style, was completely congruent. His body and voice matched what he was saying, so if you watched and listened separately there was no disconnect. He handled the pauses well; his gestures were appropriate; and his voice indicated that he was in the moment. Present.

August 29, 2012

What was Romney thinking?

Really. What do you think Romney was thinking when the convention erupted at the end of Chris Cristie’s speech?

I can hazard a guess that he was uncomfortable and didn’t want to look like he was showing off. It was the moment of everyone’s jubilation at Mitt being the nominee and he stayed seated and kept his face neutral.

This matters to you because you can be tempted to try not to look inappropriate when someone is praising you–in a meeting, as they introduce you, as you get an award. But if you look at how it makes him look distanced from the idea and what’s going on, you should be able to see that letting yourself appreciate the bigger picture rather than focus on yourself will actually make you look interested, happy, appropriate–and invisible.

If you didn’t see it, watch and let me know what you think: http://video.pbs.org/video/2273864818. It’s at the end of the evening. Because it’ll be a quick lesson for your own speaking.

Try this to improve your speaking while watching the political conventions

You can get a whole different perspective on the speaking if you’ll mute the sound for a bit and just watch. You may get a different message that way. And you may find you didn’t need the words to get the message.
Then look away from the TV and just listen for a bit.
I’d like to hear from you on how that worked for you.

So, what did you think of Ann Romney and Chris Christie last night?

You’ve probably noticed the speakers get more polished (those with more experience) as the evening goes on.

What did you think of Ann Romney’s speech? Of Chris Christie’s?

It’s not too late you can watch all of them from last night, or just skip though and watch parts of it. PBS has it at http://video.pbs.org/video/2273864818

I’d like to hear what you notice about the speakers.

I like seeing how they deal with thunderous applause while waiting to speak.

Governor Scott Walker just started talking right over the applause.

Rick Santorum while quietly waiting for the applause to die down kept repeating “thank you” at reasonable intervals.

Ann Romney just waited quietly as she beamed at the audience.

And how did you like seeing Ted Cruz (Senatorial candidate from Texas) speaking without a lectern–the only one who did that? Did his cowboy boots make a statement to you? If so, what?

You can also notice an interesting range of passion and how it affects the message.

Ann Romney’s passion was evident and not combative or gooey. Her timing was great. She spoke at a pretty good clip that wasn’t asking for sympathy and wasn’t milking her points. Yet she spoke two lines in a measured way, with complete conviction, good pauses and good body language. It was almost as though there were periods between the words. “This. Man. Will. Not. Fail.” and “You. Can. Trust. Mitt.” Her focus, her body language, the pauses, made those simple sentences electrifying.

Governor Christie’s passion is much more emotionally delivered plus he doesn’t display the carefulness many speakers of the evening had which tends to sweep the audience along. Later you may rethink what you heard, but he makes it easy to get caught in his rhythms.

In spite of the passion, he doesn’t sound angry. Committed to his ideas and his party, yes. Personally angry, no.

Contrast that with the between-speech interviews with Governor of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuna and Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad. Governor Fortuna spoke thoughtfully and with conviction. Governor Branstad was obviously passionate but angry. It felt personal. And he wasn’t going to let anyone get in his way to grind in his point.

These are good opportunities to observe other people’s approaches to speaking and use what you see to tweak your own speaking.

February 27, 2012

Will this NASCAR analogy break down?

Does Rick Santorum really want the NASCAR analogy to hold? He likened the possibilities of coming from behind in the NASCAR race to coming from behind to win the race to become the Republican presidential candidate. But that was before he race was postponed because of rain. So, if his analogy holds true, does that mean that there will be an open convention for the Republican nomination?

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