by: Ellen Egan
As I have mentioned before, public speaking is at the cornerstone of your successful career. Years ago I had a wonderful mentor who taught me how to apply my public speaking skills in my role in our team. The more that I applied these skills that I am about to teach you, the more I became a leader within our team. This eventually led to a promotion and a much more secure position within the organization. Once again – developing your public speaking skills can develop your career.
When working within a team, there are public speaking skills that you can apply which will lead to the team success and then your own success as well. These tips can be applied to team meetings or any other interactions with team members.
1. Listen generously. Effective team members and effective leaders are those who are good listeners. Listen first and then speak. Try to hear all aspects of the situation before giving your opinion. The other members of your team will recognise that you are listening to the situation, their concers and viewpoints. It is a lot easier to think of different options and solutions when you have all the available information. Also, you will be better able to understand the different perspectives of your audience (the other team members) if you have taken the time to listen.
2. Look for options. It is easier to complain and speak of problems. But the mark of a true leader is someone who looks for solutions. While you are listening to the information given by others, begin thinking of solutions to the concerns and challenges. When you offer the solution, you can begin by clarifying what you think the problem is. Then, offer options for solving the problem.
3. Take a different perspective. When working with teams, there can be differences between team members. In these situations, try to bring the conversation back to the client (or audience) perspective. You can use phrases like “Well, for our client X, it seems that their needs are centered on acheiving Y. If we are helping them to achieve Y, then we need to focus on Z” This helps to bring people back to the main goal of helping the client rather than on the mini-battle within the team.
4. Transitions. There are many different types of transition phrases you can use when you begin speaking that help to begin your presentation of your opinion without causing conflict. “Jim, Iagree with what you are saying …… and I would like to add….” “If I can clarify some of the details of …..” “It seems like we have one core challenge X….. with several options x,y,z for what we can do next.” When you are transitioning to your opinion or solution, try to put on a positive spin.
5. Credit where credit is due. One of the main skills I learned from my mentor is to be generous in giving out the credit. People will remember other team members who shared the spotlight for a job well done or a good idea. These are the people who are then given leadership roles.
One of my favorite quotes is from President Harry S. Truman “It is amazing what you can accomplish, when you don’t mind who gets the credit”
To your success,