On March 26th, while attending the South Korea Summit, President Obama was caught on an open mic talking to Russia’s President Dimitri Medvedev. He told Russia’s president that he would have more flexibility for a missile deal during his second term, asking him to pass this on to incoming President Vladimir Putin. This caused a lot of flack in the press and with his Republican opponents.
It seems that Obama had not learned the core lesson Judith Humphrey teaches in her book Speaking as a Leader, which is “Remember that the microphone is always on.” I’m not sure that Humphrey was thinking specifically of being in front of a microphone, but her point is well taken. Leaders must always communicate as if the mic is on – every word matters to our ability to lead.
Humphrey introduces the Leadership Model, four steps that can unlock your leadership potential every time you communicate.
- Think like a leader – this first step is mental preparation.
- Create a leader’s script – the script structures your ideas and influences the audience’s thinking.
- Use the language of leadership – the best leaders are conscious of the language they use, and deliberately choose words that have the power to influence and inspire.
- Achieve a leader’s presence – a leader, like a good actor, brings a script to life through energy, eye contact, gestures and voice.
Communication is the number one issue for everyone in business, whether it’s speaking in public, running a meeting, talking in the elevator or composing an email. We’ve invited Judith Humphrey to speak with our customers about this important issue in our upcoming Soundview Live webinar How to Lead Every Time You Speak. Please join us and invite others in your office that might benefit as well.