Business owners, professionals, and senior executives (and anyone that wants to be any of these) need to have more than technical skills or industry knowledge. They must also create a memorable, authentic influence on people. Here are 5 ways to do just that:
- Presentation Skills: This is a blend of appearance and language. It means being able to communicate an idea or vision with clarity and enthusiasm. If you are an owner or a CEO, you should be the best presenter in your company. Although presenting comes more naturally to some, it is a learned skill. At a minimum, be a good storyteller - not just about your story, but the stories of others. Tip: While there are coaches, books, and courses on presenting, start by finding a local Toastmasters chapter.
- Interpersonal Skills: This is what they used to call "people skills". This doesn't mean only having good manners or being able to work a room. Most of this skill is related to your mindset. Do you see everyone you meet or know as unique individuals? Are you genuinely interested in people's stories? Interpersonal skill without intent is just pretentiousness. Tip: when you travel or go out to eat, have real conversations with the staff at the hotel, etc.
- Technology Awareness: You don't have to be a tech geek or an early adopter of technology. You do have to keep up to speed on tech trends - and how to properly apply technology in your life and business. If you buy technology, learn how to use it. Again, this is largely mindset - having a curious mind about how things work. Tip: Find an early adopter to be your "filter" for new technology. They will try the new stuff and let you now what works and what doesn't.
- Style: This is one is for the men (I'm not brave enough to give women fashion advice - at least not in writing!) Although you should be aware of fashion trends, having style doesn't necessarily mean wearing the next "look" that comes along. It means having your own look; a distinct sense of style. Think Sinatra, Jay Z, George Clooney, etc. Style is defined by many things, but mostly smaller details like hair, watch, ties, shoes. Keep in mind that the technology you use is also a reflection of your sense of style. Tip: You can't go wrong with a black suit - it goes with everything. The jacket can go with jeans - and a white shirt with a black bow tie will make an almost tuxedo.
- A Non-work related Passion: People that are well-rounded are more interesting than workaholics. They are happier, with deeper relationships. So find a hobby or passion that is not related directly to your work skill or role. Then you can weave that passion in to your stories - and use it as a way to connect with others. Blog about it, take pictures, shoot videos - show that it is not just a past-time, but a passion. Tip: Choose something that will require you to work at it. This will give you energy and a sense of accomplishment.
What did I forget?