Allow your personality to shine through! Part 2

July 28, 2008

Role Model by Joan Hasselman

In my last post, I gave you one good reason why you, as a leader, should reveal your personality when you talk to your stakeholders. As if that weren’t convincing enough, here’s another benefit of letting the real you shine through:

“When you want your values to guide the organization, you need more than carefully articulated words. The more you reveal your personality, the more your people will see you’re a whole person, understand what you really mean and then, like you, demonstrate those values in their thoughts and actions. If you communicate candor in your own personal way, you will provide the model your organization needs — to follow the leader. People get values from people, not from statements.”

Again, this idea belongs to Anett D. Grant, and I love it because it’s so true. To be effective, be genuine with your people to demonstrate that you expect authenticity from others as well. Here’s a terrific instance in which the most effective communication is allowing your actions to speak for you.

At least one more post on this… see you then.


Allow your personality to shine through! — Part 1

July 25, 2008
Karen Combs quilt Inner Glow

Karen Combs quilt Inner Glow


I found a very compelling argument that explains why you, as a leader, should reveal your personality when you talk to your stakeholders, whether they are employees, shareholders, customers or community members. I’m tackling this is three parts, and here’s the first:


Reveal your personality to inspire trust.

“When you work closely with people, one-on-one or in small groups, you establish trust in a natural, evolutionary way. But as your span increases, relationship-building over months transforms into impression-making in just a few minutes. Rather than having your people get to know you and then trust you, your people have to feel they know you and then trust you. By revealing your personality, moving from official to authentic, you will be able to establish that feeling, and build trust.”

This idea belongs to Anett D. Grant, whose executive speaking program was highly praised by my PR professor. He shared one of her speeches* as a model of effective speech construction, but the content itself is what captured my attention, obviously!

Managers, how many of you find yourselves in this situation? Many of you are lucky enough to build those relationships with teams over time. But for those of you out there whose span has increased a bit, how are you making it work? My next two posts — at least — will cover more on allowing your personality to shine through. See ya then.

* Note: If this speech has a home online, I’ve been unable to find it. I have a Word doc I’d share with anyone who wants it, complete with Ms. Grant’s copyright.

Another aside: Anyone who digs the image above should check out the work of Karen Combs, whose quilts are like none I’ve seen.

Be at the decision points.

June 30, 2008

On Saturday my husband and I slathered ourselves with sunscreen and ventured off into the Columbia River Gorge. On our way back from Latourell Falls, we intended to complete what we thought was a trail loop that would return us to the parking lot. But the forks in the trail weren’t marked, and we had to guess which way to go.

Are you as “directionally challenged” as I am? Unless I’m staring straight at a sunset or a known landmark, I don’t know my north from my south, east or west. We kept choosing the widest path, the path that looked most officially maintained. (I am such a northwesterner. Only the coarsest among us would sully the natural landscape by veering off the maintained path!) But that path took us to the historic Columbia River Highway, some ways up the road from where our car was parked.

A sign sure would have been nice. Something to tell us what was ahead, no matter which path we chose. “This way to the parking lot” or “This way to the next waterfall” would have been perfect. So it got me thinking, as a professional communicator, that’s where I need to be for my reader. I need to be at the crossroads. I need to be at the critical junctions where the audience has choices to make. It’s not my job to make the choice or influence the choice necessarily. It’s just my job to inform them what’s down the path. What could I learn if I took just a few minutes to think about what my audience will experience? What would it mean to them if I were there, present and talking with them at points that might otherwise be confusing?