In this episode, I talk with Katja Schleicher, whom I met at a conference many years ago. Katja has been working in TV productions, advertising, PR, corporate communications and has been running her own company for 15 years, working on a pan-european level
We talk about:
Recommendations for first-time leaders:
- Before even raising your hand in your company that you want to lead a team, go through some thought work by asking yourself: is a leadership position really what you want to do? Do you like people? Why and what is it you like in working with people?
- For day 1 – think in 360°! Whom do I want to talk to first or second? Can I influence the agenda or is it being set for me? Talk to people even before you are starting.
- Everyone has a story! Share what is important to you and what defines you in the leadership position in future. Lay it out and wait what comes back – make the story the beginning of a dialogue!
- Recommendations on preparing your story: What shaped you and made you the person you are right now? Get help from friends and their feedbacks! Or have a look at what stories capture your attention! Why are they resonating with you? Take this as a prompt for your story. Make the wording as easy as possible and concrete!
When communicating to a larger audience such as at townhall meetings:
- In the preparation phase, listen actively to people in discussions and also passively – how do people talk to each other generally in your organisation? What’s the general tone in your company? Tune in!
- Ask yourself: what is the cognitive and the emotional thing you want to get across? Emotions and thoughts have to partner up. A very practical preparation can be to take a sheet of paper, write on the left side what you want to say and on the right side how you want to say it e.g. do I make a pause, does my voice get louder?
- What kind of music do you imagine you are hearing in the background in your head when giving the speech?
- Be as short and precise as possible! Take people on a journey about what they are going to experience with you as a boss.
- Be sure to know how you will be announced! That way you can make sure the framing is right of your introduction.
- Book short-term successes! “Within the first two weeks, I promise you..” – be concrete! This way you will meet people’s expectations.
Gender communication patterns:
- Feminine and masculine communication patterns – a feminine communication pattern is for example to speak more of “we”/ asking questions/etc., whereas a masculine communication pattern is shown by speaking of “I”/giving directions/etc..
- In order to be successful in leadership communication, we need to be able to use both communication patterns and especially know when to use which! When you start something, it’s more the feminine way that leads to success, but that needs to be coupled with the ability to communicate in a masculine way when it comes towards the end to e.g. getting to results.
More about Katja…