Updates from QA Training

How a few words can impact your leadership influence

We’ve probably all said it. We’ve definitely all heard it: “I’ll only take a few minutes of your time.”


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'.

Here are some common sentences that will instantly impact your leadership influence :

  • "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 presence.

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.

Jennie Marshall
QA Learning Expert: Leadership, Management and Business Skills

QA Training | Jennie-marshal

Jennie Marshall

Learning Programme Director (Enterprise and Outsource Services)

Jennie Marshall is an award winning learning professional (Winner of the 2016 Learning Performance Institute, Learning Professional of the Year Bronze Award), who joined QA in 2010 as a Learning Consultant in the Leadership, Management and Business Skills team. She has gone on to progress through various positions to her current role of Learning Programme Director where she now designs, develops and manages the delivery of end to end learning programmes. She is an experienced and dedicated learning professional, with expertise including management, leadership and talent, and training and facilitation developed within a variety of environments. Jennie has a proven track record of delivering blended, multi modal learning programmes using Learning Management System platforms and in a more traditional face to face setting, is at home with small and large audiences. She is a proven developer of people and is accredited in the use of a variety of tools including Strength Deployment Inventory®, Emergenetics®, Hogan®, Prism® and Worldsview™ as well as being an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner and Kirkpatrick Certified Professional (Bronze).
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