Part 2: Command Your Voice of Authority – Up Your ACT™
True greatness is unique for each person. It is a special combination: an integration of what you believe about yourself, how you hold yourself to high standards of accountability, and who you are as you grow through experience. These are qualities that come from the inside out. Your unique greatness starts with you.
Why is it that some people feel more compelling than others? What is that special quality that makes people turn towards someone when they speak? We know that the leader, team member, or speaker doesn’t have to be loud or flashy. In fact, sometimes the quiet leader speaks the loudest.
You work hard and always deliver but talent alone may not get you to the level you envision for yourself. When you Up Your Act™, you can command your presence and make your voice heard. Building authenticity, credibility, and trust can help you become an influencer and driver of innovation.
“Stick to your true north – build greatness for the long term” – Ruth Porat, CFO, Alphabet. True north is the north star within us. It is our internal compass that keeps us authentic to ourselves and has other people experience us as authentic. Within us, we have a “nonsense” alarm. This alarm goes off when we’re told something that doesn’t ring true; like when someone says how happy they are that you did well, but you know that they don’t mean it.
I was with a woman who was getting excellent verbal feedback from her boss, but somehow, it didn’t feel right. We had talked about the importance of integrating your words with your body language, one of the components of non-verbal communication. The next time she was with her boss, she tuned out the words and just paid attention to the boss’ body language. All of a sudden, it became crystal clear. There was a breach of authenticity. The words were there but the rest of the communication did not match up. That was similar to the disconnect between the praise she heard from her boss and her level of growth in the company. That provided the clarity to take the step to find a new position and set herself up for success.
Use these three steps to build your authenticity:
1. Begin to understand what situations throw you off of your self. Is it when you feel challenged, unprepared, or in doubt? These are common ways to feel. The power comes from identifying your feelings, naming them, and acknowledging that feeling. You don’t need to be afraid of feeling uncomfortable.
2. Don’t discount yourself just because you feel uncomfortable, just let yourself recognize it, and empower yourself to take control of it. Now that you can identify it, you can reconnect to yourself so that you don’t lose your voice.
3. Bring more awareness to what you feel when you’re in your space of authenticity or when you feel out of it. Keep practicing identifying feeling in or out so that you can assess faster, realign yourself if needed, or own and occupy your space of authenticity.
Being credible doesn’t mean that you have to follow the same “script” as others do. As Jess Lee, Partner at Sequoia Capital, Co-Founder & CEO, Polyvore, said “…just because you don’t fit the classic mold doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader. You just need to find your own style…”
Recently, I had dinner with a senior woman in finance. She told me a story about a conference call with her associates, a client, and herself. The call lasted far longer than it should have with everyone talking in circles and burning through valuable time to be redundant. This woman had read my article about self-editing in a meeting and held back while others spun out. She then communicated her view and advice in under 2 minutes. It became the pivotal point of the whole belabored call. Her credibility soared not only with the client but with her associates. It was an opportunity for growth for everyone. Afterward, many of the associates on the call sent her emails to acknowledge the importance of her contribution. The client now, without fail, asks to know the thoughts of this woman.
Here are three steps to becoming your most credible self:
1. Ask yourself, “Is this really something I know about?” It’s important to know where your credibility is and isn’t. You don’t have to “know everything” in order to be credible.
2. Get used to saying things like, “Let me find out more and get back to you.”
3. Ask yourself if you’re harsh, perfectionistic, or tend to shut yourself down. If you know it, say it. Let your voice be heard because we gain credibility by BEING credible.
Trust is the ultimate vetting. Trust is not just about finding another person reliable, it’s also about knowing if someone is going to behave in a trustworthy fashion or not. Trust is powerful. Stephen M.R. Covey writes, “Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust.” When there is trust, you can cut through layers of tedium, save valuable time, and get to the better result without having to maneuver like a contortionist.
Practice these three steps to build trust:
1. Trust begins with trusting yourself. Know that you’re going to follow through, model high integrity and ethics, and count on yourself to deliver.
2. As a leader, it won’t mean that you succeed every time but the people around know you gave it your all. Sometimes things aren’t possible. When you’ve built trust, people know the value of what you’ve given and your “all” means something.
3. Practice informed trust. Start by giving small amounts of trust to others with the intention that they will succeed. Be the person who starts a relationship by communicating in action, “I believe in you” instead of, “Prove it.”
Up Your ACT™ to build deep connections and relationships which helps you become the go-to team member and sought-after talent with clients. Build your confidence when you Up Your Act™; you’ll know the difference and so will the people around you.
Dr. Risa Ryger Is the Founder of 93% Consulting, International Speaker, Clinical Psychologist (Columbia University), and Expert in Change. Dr. Ryger helps people stop feeling invisible and undervalued by harnessing their potential, power, and presence to “Be Heard. Be Seen. Be ValuedTM.”
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series! For more expert advice, check out:
Part 1: Claim Your Voice of Authority
Why Art Has No Gender
Why We’re Over the Word “Balance”