During the recent heatwave across Europe, I was working with a client in a Madrid workshop. The heat was intense but the air-conditioning unit was defective. Apparently, the built-in thermostat wasn't reading the temperature correctly so we had to play with the controls to get it right. We eventually figured it out by 4pm, just an hour before we finished at 5pm.
The phone rang from the communications director of a certain organisation. Their CEO had asked her to call me to provide managerial development coaching for their incoming president. "Before I meet with the president myself," I began, "is there any particular behavioural trait this person exhibits which is prompting this call?"
If you have ever managed a meeting, led a team project, workshop or brainstorming session, you, my dear reader, are a facilitator. And, like too many roles in a professional organisation that require deft communication skills, the position of facilitator is often one left to chance. You're expected to intuitively know how to guide the process and group of very different individuals, and meet the goal, for the listening session set before you, without first understanding or even being made aware that there are systems to help you be more successful.
He did it again. The latest Twitter tirade from Donald Trump this past week prompted the Democrat-led House of Representatives to issue its first condemnation of a US president in more than 100 years. Although I'm a former CNN correspondent who reported from the White House, I realise this is not a political column. But Trump's tweets offer such a powerful case study on leadership communications that I hope you'll indulge me for a moment.
I just got off the phone with an executive who oversees his organisation's learning and development (L&D) programmes for all its global employees. Without revealing what company, I can tell you that we're talking about 55,000 people. That's a lot of L&D.
The past week The New York Times dedicated an entire article to the humble garment known as "leggings". Controversy was stirred up in my home state of Indiana after a mother of a Notre Dame college student wrote an open letter urging female students to stop wearing the skin-hugging pants because, according to her, it made it harder for men to control themselves.
Q I've been working with an advertising agency for three years. I am hard-working and get all my projects completed on time, but have trouble conveying this to management. Is this to do with my presentation skills? How can I improve them to ensure I can prove my worth?
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