<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=474710470599804&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

CMI Blog

the latest from cmi speaker managment

empowerment

4 Keys to Make Habits Stick by Stacey Hanke

By Stacey Hanke | May 16, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Repetition creates automation. Getting better at anything requires deliberate practice.

Think about the hours one might spend at basketball practice, shooting hoops and mastering drills. These skills eventually become automatic. The same is true for you! We all want to be influential, but few deliberately practice communication skills until they stick.

When we practice, actions become habit and the brain no longer needs to get involved. The body can automatically complete an action while allowing your brain to focus on the strategic aspects of a conversation – not the delivery. Deliberate practice requires feedback for development to improve.

Think back to when you learned how to drive. Your parents taught you when to change gears, brake or accelerate – all while following the rules of the road. It was challenging and frustrating. Just when you got the hang of one thing, it was time to learn something new. Eventually, your practice paid off. Now, you just get in your car and drive.

Being an influential communicator doesn’t just happen. It requires deliberate practice coupled with ongoing feedback from someone you trust.

Four steps to grow your influence and have others act on what you have to say.

1. Break it Down

We’ve heard the saying “quality over quantity.” The same holds true for improving your influence skills. Start first by recording yourself in an upcoming interaction – whether it’s in-person or virtual. Immediately review the playback. Write down everything you see that needs improvement. Then, break it down into manageable pieces. Focus on one habit at a time. Repeated deliberate practice executed in short bursts at regular intervals is better than working on something all day. Practicing in short durations will reinforce your subconscious, creating permanent long-term habits.

2. Put in the Work

Learning something new requires repeated exposure. Studies show that some habits can be solidified with 7 hours’ worth of practice, while others can take up to 7,000. I promise you will see substantial changes in your daily interactions if you’re willing to put in the concentrated effort for each interaction. Set aside five minutes each morning and write down the skills you’re willing to commit to throughout the day. Carry it around with you as a reminder to remain focused in each conversation. You’ll be surprised how quickly your habits begin to change.

3. Get Clear

Goals partnered with practice become a powerful motivator, creating the momentum needed for ongoing improvement. It’s easier to stay motivated when we see ourselves getting better. We get comfortable being uncomfortable because we know change lies ahead. Get clear on what specifically you want to accomplish in the next 30 days. Focusing on 30 days at a time will create instant changes to your influence skills.

4. Seek Immediate Feedback

Practice makes permanent, so what you practice matters. Seeking immediate feedback is crucial to reinforcing what you’re doing and why. Don’t settle for “you did great.” Instead, ask for specific feedback on exactly what worked and what still needs work. Specific feedback helps you create a plan to immediately focus on skills in need of improvement. If you want to grow your influence, start by determining which communication skills need improvement.

Make the commitment today to take to your communication skills from good to influential. It’s worth the work!

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

New call-to-action

Are You An Inclusive Leader? by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Apr 26, 2022 | Comments Off

 

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Learn More About Heather R Younger >

My daughter had a tough middle school year. She agonized over how she felt left out of circles and discussions and events. I would often coach her to look past it all and realize that many of her classmates were going through similar things.

Her situation felt different. She told me that she felt like her classmates looked past and through her to talk to and include other people. She was really hurt, and so was her self-esteem. I supported her and told her to hang on a little longer since she would be graduating. Then, one weekend, she looked at one of her social media pages and noticed that one of those classmates had a birthday party that included mostly everyone from her class but excluded a few.

She was not invited. And although this was not a new occurrence, it still hurt.

I get it!

Everyone has the right to invite whomever they want to their parties. However, social media changes the impact in many ways because people can celebrate and exclude others in a more public way.

I can’t help but think about how Inclusion plays a similar role in the workplace.

Are there people inside your organization who feel passed over and looked through? Are there high-performing employees who have great things to say but don’t get a chance to say them?

How inclusive are you?

Do you make sure that unpopular voices have a seat at the table? Are they in the room but not really recognized as an important voice? Do you look through certain people to cater to those who look a certain way or speak a certain way?

Below are five considerations if you are striving to be a more inclusive leader:

1. LISTEN AND ACT

Who do you listen to? Do you consider the narrow view of just a few, or make sure you include people with varied backgrounds? Do you act upon the most common voices, or are you courageous enough to act upon the uncommon feedback?

Inclusive leaders both look for and listen to diverse perspectives and take certain actions to show that those perspectives are valued.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, listen to everyone and commit to taking action on much of what you hear.

2. EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

Who is in your inner circle? Leaders who take the time to ensure that their circle is only homogeneous in values and purpose and not based upon the same physical characteristics or background are simply more inclusive.

Some years ago, I had a diverse coaching client who recalled a time when her boss held a firm party and excluded her. She found out about it, because others in the office were talking about it and brought gifts back they received at the party. She felt like an outsider and did not understand why it happened. Her boss never gave her an explanation.

Was this type of behavior typical for this leader? Most likely, yes! We are often more comfortable with people who share our same lived experiences. But, unfortunately, when we surround ourselves with people like us, we create more blind spots and minimize our chances of creating more innovative teams.

Inclusive leaders go out of their way to include people who might challenge their thinking and bring innovative ideas to the table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, review and expand your inner circle.

3. COLLABORATE OFTEN

To collaborate means to admit that you alone don’t have the answers. Instead, the best solutions spring from the back and forth at the collaboration table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, dare to invite many different types of people to the table because that is when the fun begins!

4. AUDIT HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES

Affinity bias is real. It is when we are inclined to include those around us who are like us. When hiring and promoting team members, this type of bias can be a barrier to real Inclusion. Audit your hiring and promotion practices and consistently ask yourself whether you are letting bias get in the way of including others who aren’t like you.

5. MONITOR THE LANGUAGE BEING USED

To be an inclusive leader, we must consider the language we use around those inside or outside our circle. To include also means to make someone feel welcome or like they are important. If we are or someone in our circle is using words that exclude, then we have a problem. Take the time to evaluate and research the right things to say and how to refer to certain situations and people in your space. So often, we or those around us initiate microaggressions against those in marginalized groups and harm them by our words.

Inclusive leaders monitor for this and tweak and adjust along the way.

________________________________

Someone once told me that “diversity is being invited to the party, and Inclusion is asking them to dance.”
So, let’s all commit to being the kind of leaders who ask many people to dance!

 

New call-to-action

Think Before You Act by Stacey Hanke

By Stacey Hanke | Apr 11, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.

We have heard the old saying “think before you speak;” but have you ever heard “think before you act?”

Our actions are always under surveillance. Someone is always watching what we do.

What message do your actions convey?

Is your behavior consistent Monday to Monday, or do people wonder which version of you they’ll get when they interact with you?

Influence isn’t one-dimensional. It’s sights, sounds and how we make others feel. You’re always under surveillance. Everything you do and say either enhances or jeopardize your influence.

It’s easy when stakes are high to try and ‘turn on’ our A-game, but then we tend to get lazy in casual conversations.

This inconsistency leaves others wondering… who we really are. It damages our reputation, credibility and our ability to influence others to willingly act on what we have to say.

The idea of turning on your personality in one place versus another is exhausting. It’s a charade no one can keep up with. You must be believable.

What if you had that high stakes presentation and you nailed it.

Everything you practiced was performed perfectly. But then, after the presentation, you ran into a co-worker in the hallway, and you resorted to your old habits.

Which person – do you think your co-worker is going to believe?
There are three reasons leaders must demonstrate consistency in all they do.

1. Practice what you preach.

Hypocritical actions are reputation killers yet fail to practice what they preach.

It’s the executive who says employee contributions matter but then fails to get to know their staff.

It’s the manager that demands everyone put away their phones before a staff meeting yet are seen distracted on their own device.

Accountability matters. You must act in the same way you expect others to. Trust is not built from a “do as I say, not as I do” approach.

2. Think before you act.

How many times have you overreacted in a moment of frustration?

Maybe you’re frustrated with the poor service at a local coffee shop and decided to speak up in a way that doesn’t reflect patience or respect.

Have you ever stopped to consider who is watching your reaction

Maybe it’s the prospect you’re meeting with next week, or the investor researching your firm. Perhaps it’s the employee you’re trying to recruit or the executive you want to partner with.

You’re always under surveillance. Someone is always watching.

Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.

Next time you feel frustrated, save yourself the embarrassing foot-in-mouth moment by thinking before you act.

3. Seek honesty.

Even the very best require continual coaching to get better. Every successful athlete seeks the honest feedback of a coach to improve.

Unfortunately, the higher up the corporate ladder most leaders climb, the less likely they are to receive honest feedback.

Eventually, everyone glosses over the hard truth needed to really improve. No matter how impressive your title is, you need coaching to improve.

Get yourself a professional coach or mentor. They will help you really understand how others perceive you.

Coaching is necessary to become consistent. It helps you fine tune every aspect of your communication skills so you can treat every conversation like a high stakes interaction.

Think before you act to remain consistent in everything you do.

When you communicate with consistency Monday to Monday, you’ll enhance the way you do business, build stronger relationships, and move your listeners to act.

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

New call-to-action

Diana Kander Joins the cmi Family!

By Diana Kander | Apr 10, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Diana demonstrates why curiosity is your greatest asset to drive constant innovation and help your company thrive

A highly sought-after keynote speaker, innovation consultant and New York Times bestselling author, Diana demonstrates why curiosity is your greatest asset to drive constant innovation. She teaches you how to challenge your own assumptions and ask thought-provoking questions. A serial entrepreneur who entered the United States as a refugee at the age of 8, she has launched and sold millions of dollars’ worth of products and services.

Diana delivers an engaging and captivating program that walks leaders and teams through specific ways to boost innovation and ultimately future-proof the organization.

“Diana delivered an on-point message about entrepreneurship and innovation which was a perfect complement to our program and was one of the highlights for our more than 400 attendees. Not only was Diana’s talk anchored in data and evidence, it also included plenty of relevant personal anecdotes as well as a dose of humor. In addition, she helped us structure a reaction panel for her talk which made every one of her points come through that much stronger for our audience.” Grupo Guayacan, Inc

Diana knows how to build a business from the ground up. Her first book, All In Startup, has been used by over 100 universities in their innovation courses and countless large organizations to help their employees think more like entrepreneurs. Her second book, The Curiosity Muscle walks readers through a methodology to keep curiosity alive and thriving inside of an organization, ultimately, future-proofing the business.

Diana’s most-popular programs, delivered in person or virtually, include:

Why Curiosity is the Ultimate Competitive Advantage

This keynote explains exactly why most companies reaching the peak of their potential lose their curiosity and crash into irrelevance. From how we develop blind spots about our business, to the pitfalls of feeling like an expert, this thought-provoking, engaging program reveals the smokescreens obscuring imminent threats to long-term viability. It walks you through specific ways to boost innovation, uncover customer needs, solve problems, create new value for customers, and increase employee engagement. Most importantly, Diana demonstrates why curiosity is your greatest asset to drive constant innovation and help your company thrive and compete on more than price alone — ultimately, future-proofing your business.

ROI & Key Outcomes:
  • How you can institutionalize curiosity, ask better questions to stay competitive and relevant to your customers and drive growth
  • How you can dramatically reduce the risk of new ideas and create a more innovative culture that leads to results
  • How to determine pitfalls within your organization and avoid falling into the “expert trap"

Ideal Audiences:
For All Company Meetings

Increasing the Speed of Innovation

The pace of change in today’s economy requires innovative, value-adding ideas to come from all parts of your organization – whether they are internal improvements or new sources of revenue. The way managers were traditionally trained stifles innovation and forces out-of-the-box thinkers out of the company. This interactive presentation outlines the must-have skill sets to effectively lead your employees. Diana will provide the framework for how your organization – and the people within it – can flourish in this hyper-competitive world.

ROI & Key Outcomes:

  • Learn new skill sets required of the innovative leader
  • Avoid common pitfalls of innovative leadership
  • Create an internal culture of innovation so that every employee is a resource to the effort

Ideal Audiences:
For Executives & Managers

How to Compete on Value Instead of Price

This presentation teaches a methodology used by both entrepreneurs and established organizations to continuously create new value for their customers. You will learn the key questions you must ask in order to uncover value-creating opportunities, as well as precisely how to ask them to effectively yield useful insights. Questions like: are you competing on price or value with your customers? If your focus is on value (which it should be), are you missing some key blindspots in your product or service? Are you measuring true data about the health of your project or just relying on vanity metrics that are concealing what’s really going on?

ROI & Key Outcomes:

  • Change the way you solicit feedback from customers to make it more actionable
  • Learn the key customer questions that will uncover value-creating opportunities.
  • Learn detailed examples to improve curiosity, creativity and leadership skills

Ideal Audiences:
For Sales Meetings

Diana is captivating and thought-provoking and provides provides highly tailored presentations – audiences leave with real world examples and takeaways to ensure success.

To learn more about creating a lasting impact at your next event, connect with us here.

 

 

Diversity and An Inclusive Culture by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Mar 21, 2022 | Comments Off

 

"Organizations that want to bear great fruit include the voices of all employees and enlist them in the change that they're looking to do." 

Learn More About Heather R Younger >

Let’s talk about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging - and in the context of your “Why?” Understanding why you are embarking on the journey is just as important as understanding any of the steps after that.

What I want to talk to you about today is using the voice of your employees to really gauge the proper direction of your organization. What often happens in organizations is that the leaders talk amongst themselves and maybe to the level right below. But, organizations that want to bear great fruit include the voices of all employees and enlist them in the change that they're looking to do.

1. DO A CULTURAL AUDIT OR DEI SURVEY
So, have you done a cultural audit or a Diversity, Equity Inclusion and Belonging survey recently? You want to do that because you want to be able to listen in aggregate and gather the themes that are important to the employees of your organization and use that as a way to drive everything forward. Then, you can move forward to create a strategic plan.

2. CREATE A STRATEGIC PLAN
Right now, you don't know what you don't know. And so, if you're consistently committing to using the voices of your employees as a barometer for whether you are in the right place or not - also as an information hub, to make you smarter on this journey - you are going to garner a lot more success in the process.

Remember, creating a diverse and inclusive culture is a journey.

Focus on the next best step understanding that you are on the road to success. And, you want to be focused on improvement, not perfection.

 

New call-to-action

3 Ways To Consistently Earn Influence by Stacey Hanke

By Stacey Hanke | Feb 02, 2022 | Comments Off

 

"Many leaders think delivering a perfect presentation in a high-stakes scenario is enough to earn influence, but it’s not."

“People don’t believe what you say, they believe what you show them.”

I gave this advice to Tracey, a frustrated client whose team only half-heartedly listened when she spoke. She couldn’t figure out why she lacked the influence to keep their attention during meetings and conversations.

I asked her to confess whether she was ever distracted when they spoke.

The answer wasn’t surprising.

Tracey confessed to being frequently distracted by text messages, emails during meetings. She realized her team exhibited the same behavior she showed them.

Like Tracey, we want influence, but rarely do we demonstrate the consistent actions to earn it.

Influential professionals ensure their message and delivery are consistent Monday to Monday. They know they must show up the same way every day and in every interaction. Here are three ways to grow your influence by doing the same:

1. Identify Inconsistencies

This week, ask someone you trust to honestly share the inconsistent behaviors you demonstrate in and out of the office. Then, write it down.

Maybe devices distract you, or you are sometimes late to meetings. Maybe, you are slow to respond to emails or inconsistent when you do.

Become aware of inconsistent tendencies to identify your inconsistencies.

2. Avoid the Perfection Trap

Many leaders think delivering a perfect presentation in a high-stakes scenario is enough to earn influence, but it’s not. Consistent behaviors in day-to-day conversations matter most.

Set aside 30 minutes before your day begins to prepare for your daily meetings, even those not high stakes. Write down discussion points and the actions you want others to take.

Spending time preparing for meetings will ensure consistent delivery, no matter the stakes.

3. Prioritize Actions, Not Words.

We all know someone who commits to a deadline and rarely follows through. Trust is earned by consistent follow through.

Beginning tomorrow, for every commitment you make, follow up with an email reiterating your promise.

If you promise to deliver a project by a specific date, do it. If you claim punctuality is important, don’t be late. If you value responsiveness, then respond to emails in a timely fashion. Consistent actions, not words shape the perception others have of you.

Earning influence requires consistency in every situation, with every person, Monday to Monday. If you lack the influence you need, follow these three simple tips to become consistent today.

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

New call-to-action

3 Ways to Fill Your Cup in 2022 by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Jan 11, 2022 | Comments Off

 

"It’s so important to give our mind, body, and soul sustenance so we can put forth the best versions of ourselves." 

What Does it Really Mean to Fill Your Cup?

Coming into a new year, filling ourselves up and understanding what this means for us will make all the difference with how effective we will be in 2022. Filling your cup is taking the time to care just as much for yourself as you do for others. It’s so important to give our mind, body, and soul sustenance so we can put forth the best versions of ourselves.

We cannot give what we do not have.

Someone once gave me the metaphor of a cup on a saucer. As we keep pouring into our cup, eventually it will overflow onto the saucer. If we continue to give from inside the cup and not from the overflow, what happens? The cup runs dry. We run dry too.

Implementing Positive Daily Changes

My best advice is to calendar everything that you do. Personal or work-related. Build those physical, mental, and spiritual health time blocks into your day. Mind Over Latte gives great examples on how to sprinkle small changes into your day to give yourself the personal time you really need.

Nourishing Your Body, Mind, & Soul

Take the time to move your body, whatever that means to you. When we feel good about ourselves physically, we feel good mentally. Everything is connected.

  • Go for a walk
  • Take a yoga class
  • Stretch for five minutes
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go swimming

The most important thing you can do is give yourself grace. As easy as it may be to forgive others, remember to also forgive yourself of your imperfections. Giving yourself this grace and keeping your mind positively stimulated plays a huge part in your mental health.

  • Listen to an inspirational podcast
  • Read for fun
  • Call a loved one
  • Write a journal
  • Go for a coffee with a friend

Take quiet time to reflect, meditate, or pray. Think deeply about your day or week. In this new world full of chaos and drama, take the time to be quiet and sit with yourself.

  • Meditate for five minutes
  • Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths
  • Write down what you are grateful for
  • Attend prayer service
  • Cuddle with your children

Make time to move, be quiet, and give yourself grace. There is power to be found in the silence of your mind; cherish it and fill up your cup in this new year!


 

New call-to-action

Influence & Communications Expert Stacey Hanke joins cmi Family

By Stacey Hanke | Dec 16, 2021 | Comments Off

 

We are excited to announce Stacey Hanke, a best selling author and CEO of her own successful consulting company, as our newest member of the cmi family!

In today's demanding business environment, it is imperative for leaders and sales people to communicate at the highest levels through all mediums. Stacey teaches attendees how to:

  • Identify communication miscues
  • Create standout messaging 
  • Move people to action 

Her best-selling book Influence Redefined, and her Communication Quick Start™ process are resources that help leaders get to the point, communicate with confidence, build trust and deliver messages that drive action, creating lasting results.

Stacey is an engaging and high-content keynote speaker, a consultant for Fortune 500 companies and a mentor to C-suite executives all over the world. 

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

New call-to-action

How to Attract Top Talent in 2022 by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Nov 29, 2021 | Comments Off

 

"Listening is actively listening, it’s seeking to understand" 

Video Transcription
After over 25,000 surveys and years of working with organizations to transform employee engagement, here's what we've seen over and over. When you know how to listen, employees will tell you exactly what they need to bring their full selves to work. When they feel seen, heard and valued, they will do whatever it takes to help the organization be successful.

You can’t reimagine a better workplace or move forward a new project unless you recognize what's not being said inside your culture. So, how do you feel when someone listens to you, and I mean really listens to you? When they take time out of their day to listen to your thoughts, your concerns and your ideas. It feels good to be heard, doesn't it?

When we feel heard, we feel understood, we feel valued. We feel validated. So, for the last several years, I have been on a mission to help organizations understand the impact of listening, and I mean really listening.

Some years ago, I worked at an organization where I led customer experience and I loved my job. Then one day, I got the news. They were going to be merging our company with four others. Now, I'm sure you could imagine what that brought up. Mistrust, anxiety and fear.

There was a lack of communication that was going on all around and no one knew what was going on. So, I had gone to the head of HR and I said, “You know what? We have got to do something about employee engagement, something about our culture. It's going downhill fast.”
And she said, “You know, you're right. You go do that.”

I’m like, “I'm in customer experience.” So, I took her up on it and I created an employee engagement council. Inviting people who were from the other companies who I thought might be open and receptive to being around the table - trying to get to the bottom of what would make this merger a success.

But, it needed everyone. And the leadership team? They looked outside. They didn't get it. They didn't get that there were people right there. Five companies. Ready and willing to give them all they needed to know to make this merger a success. But they didn't know how to listen.

So how do we do it? How do we get there? Well, there's a process. The first thing we have to do is recognize what's not being said. How do you do that? Well, you have to be kind of aware enough to say, I know there's something I don't know. And that's because probably people aren't safe enough or don't trust me enough to tell me what I should know. And, I know that because I don't know it. There's a blind spot. That's a problem.

So, I need to acknowledge that first, before I can even move on to listening. Listening is actively listening, it’s seeking to understand - it’s digging deep and removing my own ways, removing my filter to be able to step into your shoes and understand your filter. So, we’ve got to get there first and then we seek to understand and then we actually listen.

When we’re thinking about diversity, inclusion, belonging and we're thinking about the things we can influence and control - we can control this. We can control how we seek to understand and how empathetic we are and the compassion we exhibit for people in their shoes. And we can decide to be courageous, when it's necessary.

We all agreed earlier that when we hear people's stories, we learn, we get better and we grow. It’s the action behind the act of listening that makes our voices come to life, makes us realize we matter and that action is the same thing as compassion.

You can own a part in this process and you can use it to ensure that those that are in your presence feel listened to, feel valued, feel validated.

This is the future of work. When you invest in your people, they invest back into you. They will tell you everything you need to know to be successful and to get the outcomes you're looking for. Let's get to listening.

 

New call-to-action

How Leaders Can Identify Microaggressions at Work and Shut Them Down by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Nov 08, 2021 | Comments Off
560x316_CoverforBlog

"Ending Microaggressions Promotes Employee Retention" 

Creating a safe work environment is imperative if leaders want employees to stay with the organization, innovate, go above and beyond for the team, and exceed customer expectations. If employees don't feel safe, they will not feel loyal or committed to the team and seeing the organization succeed. Acknowledging microaggressions and protecting employees from attacks on who they are is a major move toward making the workplace safe for everyone.

Read Full Article (PDF) >

This article originally appeared in HR NEWS
https://www.ipma-hr.org/stay-informed/hr-news-issues/hr-news-issue/hr-news-october-2021 (members)

 

 

New call-to-action

Archives