Why being a Visible Leader is still essential.

Are you struggling to make an impact at virtual meetings?

As a leader, being visible in your workplace is a vital characteristic to show engagement, build relationships and demonstrate your value in the organization.

In the predominantly virtual workplaces we now find ourselves in, many of my clients are expressing the reality of being booked out with back-to-back meetings but also struggling with how to bring visibility to their work and achievements. Some are asking, how do I get the chance to make a point or provide an opinion, when the meetings already feel crowded with voices and people speaking over each other?

As the usual tools of walking to another department, bumping into someone in the corridor, or swinging by a colleagues office are no longer an option, it’s time to improve your visibility when virtual. This post will show you the way that you can do that, since those daily meetings are the main venue where you can demonstrate your leadership right now.

Does visible leadership still matter when we’re all working from home?

Being visible as a leader is still important today, for the following reasons:
– To show that you are ready to take on the next strategic initiative
– To demonstrate that you are driving forward on the organizational priorities
– To build your personal leadership brand, which includes a reputation for delivery
– To build relationships that support in building consensus around important decisions
– To support the growth of team members, and celebrate your team’s achievements

Simply switching your camera on and trying to get a word in here or there will not deliver the impact you are aiming for. This is the time to visibly show your executive presence by being bold, clear and concise in presenting your points of view and contributing effectively.

What do I need to do to make an impact at virtual meetings?

From my observations and through working with my current clients in my Rising Up Coaching Package, I am seeing that the critical action you can take right now is to consistently show up to a meeting with a strong leadership presence by providing one high-value, impactful contribution each time.

This is how you do it:

Connect by being Constructive

Look at your upcoming meetings and get a sense of which ones directly link to the organizational priorities. Where have you or your team made some great progress towards these goals?

Tailor your point to the Topic

Now that you’ve chosen the meetings, ask yourself:
What is the most important information I can share with this group?
What do they need to know right now?
What team member can I celebrate?

Don’t overdo it

It’s OK to not make a point at every meeting. Instead, think of this as an approach to ensure you are demonstrating the value of the work you and your team are doing when appropriate.

Pitch to Yourself

Give yourself a 50 word limit and write down what you want to say, and then shorten it to make a crisp statement. Your aim is to provide critical, concise and useful information to the audience. (This paragraph is around the length to aim for!).

Recite It

You now need to practice what you want to say. Think about the volume of your
voice and the way in which you will frame yourself on camera. Practicing in advance will mean you’re ready with your perfect pitch when the opportunity arises.

Get Ahead of the Meeting

But how are you going to make sure you get the opportunity to talk at the meeting?

Here are some ideas:
– Contact the meeting organizer in advance and ask for a 5 minute slot.
– Practice interjecting at an appropriate time. If you’re not sure how to do this, a starting point may be “I would like to build on this conversation by….” or, “From my observations…”, or “In my opinion….”. Find your inroad.
– Join the call early and mention to the meeting organizer that you have an update.
– Jump in when the facilitator says “does anyone have anything else to add?”.

Deliver with Authority

Speak slowly, clearly, and with the full strength of your voice, bringing an air of excitement or seriousness depending on the topic. Claim your leadership presence, fully.

Delivering critical value at group meetings is the prime way to establish yourself as a visible leader right now.

You will be front and center on the screen, and not getting lost in the mire of meetings.

Be recognized as someone who is incisive, clear-thinking and sharply focussed on the topic at hand by following these steps, and you will always deliver on being a visible leader whether virtual or venturing back into the office.

Sarah Hosein is a Leadership Coach, who specializes in working with high-achieving professionals and entrepreneurs to find their distinctive leadership style.

Short conversational videos released weekly discussing how to build your leadership presence. Submit questions to me by clicking the Dear Sarah button below or emailing me.

Website: Sarah Hosein Coaching 

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