Jennie Marshall | 8 September 2014
We’ve probably all said it. We’ve definitely all heard it: “I’ll only take a few minutes of your time.”
That opening line always makes me wonder how long the
conversation will actually take and with some people I
unconsciously set the stopwatch ticking … and I'm always thankful I
had scheduled more than a few
minutes of my time to listen to the speaker.
What is it with the apologetic nature of so many skilled people? Whether it be a skilled speaker or a key stakeholder with some critical questions. Or someone calling with some important information.
I've worked with literally hundreds of managers on their meeting and presentation skills over the years. Nothing makes me wince more than seeing someone who is confident in their material stand up and use words that immediately diminish the power of what they are about to say.
Sometimes it's not even a full sentence, it can be a throw away word like 'just'.
- "I just want to . . ." "Just"? (Oh, it isn't really all that important).
- "I know how busy everyone is. . ." (Right. But we put you on the agenda. Start talking).
- "Thank you for taking your time. . ." (You're welcome. You just took up even more of my time with that intro).
Whether you are standing up or seated, at a conference table or
on the phone, people want you to lead with confidence. When you do
something to apologise for your presence, you diminish your
Language is one of your most powerful leadership tools you have at your disposal. People all around you are looking for leadership.
Check out your leadership language today.
QA Learning Expert: Leadership, Management and Business Skills