Leadership Presence: Express Your Passionate Purpose

  • storytelling in the workplaceAverage reading time: Approximately 3 minutes

As a leader, you need to imbue your words, actions, and stories with passion and authenticity. Every time you want to communicate a message, incorporate specific, dynamic verbs that characterize your intentions.  Reference recent posts about emotional expressiveness beginning with Emotional Expressiveness for Leaders to review the effectiveness of expressing emotion in the workplace.

When I am coaching leaders of every generation, I find many who are passionate about their work, but they don’t express their passion sufficiently in everyday communication.  I am curious: What holds them back from expressing their passionate purpose?

Leaders generally try to explain or relay information. This very act lacks energy, passion and/or tension. Have you ever noticed the lack of energy in those who are receiving information?  Simply “receiving” - not “engaging”.  Explaining or relaying information is transactional, not relational.  Instead of using dry, colourless verbs to convey your point, substitute action words that carry emotional intensity.

When you “make an announcement to explain upcoming changes”, there’s no surprise that people tune out and/or don’t buy in.  Instead, “challenge people to make some adjustments” or “overcome obstacles to success.” Focus on what truly matters: your passionate purpose. Your passion will ignite their passion leading to engagement and buy-in.

Storytelling in the Workplace

Have you ever noticed what happens in a conference room full of people when a speaker starts telling stories? People sit up straight and lean toward the speaker. They put down their smartphones, stop texting, and begin to pay attention.

Effective storytelling goes beyond the conference room. The minute someone you admire tells you a personal story, you listen intently because you’re gaining a glimpse into his or her true passions.

Telling stories helps you express yourself naturally. You need not be an accomplished or trained speaker to come across as genuine and interesting. When you tell a personal story, your voice, body, and emotions work in concert to create authenticity.

I know that when I use personal stories in my workshops, both my audience and I feel more connected and comfortable in sharing our goals, challenges, and successes.  We laugh more as well, adding to the mood for learning.

You generate emotional responses from your audience, touching both head and heart — a far cry from relying on PowerPoint presentations and ordinary bullet points.

Your Inner Passions

To connect with your inner passions before communicating on any topic, ask yourself:

  • What am I fighting for?
  • What do others want?
  • What are the obstacles?

Use your answers to choose verbs that capture your passionate purpose.

Never forget that every human interaction — from meetings and presentations to memos and face-to-face conversations — involves needs and desires, real or potential conflicts. These pivotal moments are opportunities to change minds and influence behaviour.

Your goal is to identify the desired change or problem to be overcome and invest it with energy and passion.

What do you think about this?

  • What holds you back from expressing your passionate purpose?
  • What are your inner passions?
  • What action verbs and/or stories are in your toolbox for expressing passionate purpose?

I would love to hear from you. Tell me about your experiences in expressing your passionate purpose. I would love to hear a few riveting stories. Your comments are welcome. You can also contact me at patricia@maestroquality.com, at 905-858-7566, on LinkedIn, or on Maestro’s Facebook page.

You won’t want to miss the next blog post:

  • Enhance Your Leadership Presence. Do you think your Personal Presence matters? Learn more about the importance of the first impression and how aligning your personal and professional presence enhances your leadership presence.

Books and Audiobooks:

Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate and Inspire (Penguin Group, USA, 2004), Kathy Lubar and Belle Linda Halpern.  Available on iTunes

How the World Sees You, Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination, Sally Hogshead. Also available as an audiobook on ITunes

Additional References:

How to tell a Great Story

“Storytelling” entry on Wikipedia

Photo@ Tatiana12 via photopin cc

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