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An ongoing series of Executive Coaching Tips designed to help you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived.

An ongoing series of Executive Coaching Tips designed to help you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived.
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An ongoing series of Executive Coaching Tips designed to help you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived.





Who wouldn’t benefit from heftier influence? This month’s coaching conversation digs into two ways to build your influence bank account. During this month's episode, Tom talks about a behavioral self-assessment called DiSC. See a sample DiSC report here: If you're looking for more Executive Coaching Tips about influence, check the archive filter: "Perception -- How You're Perceived." There's a lot there about...


The Sound of Leadership and of Management

Some ways of speaking lend themselves to more effective management. And some ways of speaking lend themselves to more effective leadership. This episodes explores those differences.


Leadership versus Management

Are leadership and management really different? And does it matter? This month’s coaching conversation explores what separates leadership from management. And what connects them. And why it matters for you and the people you lead.Are leadership and management really different? And does it matter? This month’s coaching conversation explores what separates leadership from management. And what connects them. And why it matters for you and the people you lead. If you're interested in related...


The Conflict Conversation

What do you say when you’re in an argument? And how can you prepare to have an argument? This month’s coaching conversation dives deeper into the topic of “Conflict” that began last month. In this installment, scripts and concepts for mastering The Conflict Conversation. To sharpen your skills, read "Difficult Conversations" by Stone, Patton & Heen from the Harvard Negotiation Project. It's very friendly and very powerful. Every episode is available...



Conflict is inevitable. But most of us were never taught the skills that would help us find our way through the dark corridors of this house called ‘Conflict.’ This month’s coaching conversation illuminates predictable patterns and practical tools to navigate successfully through Conflict House. The book Tom references in this episode: "Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most" by Stone, Patton & Heen. Related episodes this month are: A Difficult Conversation Disagree...


Dynamic One-on-ones

There are a million ways to conduct one-on-one meetings with direct reports. How you run yours will reflect your personal style. This month’s coaching conversation focuses on specific best practices that will enhance your one-on-ones no matter what your style. In the commentary portion of this month's episode is a question for you. Share your thoughts in an email to: You can sharpen your management skills with the Executive Coaching Tips in the "Management Skills"...


Acting on the Corporate Stage

This month's episode introduces "Acting on the Corporate Stage." That phrase was Tom's original branding phrase, before "The Look & Sound of Leadership" became his branding phrase. "Acting on the Corporate Stage" aims at helping you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived, which, of course, is the reason d'etre of every episode. Also this month, Tom shares reflections on attending his first-ever podcaster's convention. And his reflections are all about YOU! He...


Performing Like a TED Talker

Delivering a top-notch presentation requires you to master your ideas. Of course! But even more, you need to master yourself. Your audience won’t be able to lock onto you unless you are “in focus.” This month’s coaching conversation shows you how to get “in focus.” Related episodes are: Prepping Like a TED Talker Talking Like a TED Talker All Presentation Skills Tips...


Prepping Like A TED Talker

Preparing a presentation raises many questions. How much are you going to rehearse? What will you actually do during your rehearsal? Are you going to memorize your talk? This month’s coaching conversation covers all that and more. Four core concepts this month: In the archive is a whole set of Tips about “self talk.” It’s at: There’s another set about “presentation skills.” That’s at: Many...


Short Sounds Confident

Holding each other’s attention is a constant challenge. But you can’t achieve The Look & Sound of Leadership if you can’t keep people listening to you. This month’s coaching conversation emphasizes three little slogans to make sure you aren’t driving your listeners away from you. All three slogans are just three words long: “Short sounds confident.” And “Communication takes effort.” And “Stop talking sooner.” There are so many reasons why embodying those slogans is hard. And, in truth,...


Readers’ Letters — Bonus Episode 2

Tom exchanges emails with two listeners. One exchange addresses issues of personal boundaries in the workplace; the other addresses scarcity and abundance. This Bonus Episode is only the second one in the 9-year history of "The Look & Sound of Leadership." If you like this and want more, tell us. Contact us through the homepage at: Or by email at: The prior bonus episode -- with two other email exchanges -- is titled "Readers' Letters." It was...


Talking Like a TED Talker

TED Talkers turn us into engrossed detectives, absorbed in solving the mysteries unfolding before us. But TED Talking doesn’t have to be saved for special events. This month’s coaching conversation explores ways to turn everyday presentations into compelling content that will hold people's interest ... like a TED Talk. If you're crafting an actual TED Talk, use Chris Anderson's terrific book: "TED Talks." I have a nifty 3-page reduction of Anderson's book. Reach out to me at...


The Voice of Authority

Authority. It’s a slip-sliding sort of thing, isn’t it? Do we get it automatically along with a title? Sometimes. But sometimes not. This month’s coaching conversation examines both the thoughts and the words that give us authority. The ideas in this month's episode echo motifs embedded in many other episodes. Just a few related Executive Coaching Tips are: Assertion vs AggressionChoosing PersistenceDon’t Take it PersonallyGetting UnstuckThe Look & Sound of Self-EsteemSpeaking For...


The Human Element

At work, we often diminish the importance of feelings – our own or those of others. We think, “I don’t have time for that” or “That’s silly.” But feelings don’t disappear just because they’re inconvenient. And, when unacknowledged, their impact can be severe. This month, two coaches discuss the difficulties of managing “the human element.” Related episodes: Building Empathy Building Emotional IntelligenceCoaching Your PeopleCompassion During Change Dealing with Emotional Responses


Self-Limiting Beliefs

Self-limiting beliefs hold us back. We limit who we are so we don't shatter those beliefs. This month's coaching conversation serves up several strategies to help you push back against those demons. Along the way, we mention "Leadership and Self-Deception," a great book to help you on your journey. We also touch on the topic of "Coaching versus Therapy," something I've been talking about for years. You can find an epsiode about it in the archive. I also mention an interview I did with...


Inhabiting Executive Presence

Getting to the next level of executive presence usually demands the adoption of new behaviors. This month's episode explores a three-step process that helps new behaviors become habits. Helping you change behavior so you can be perceived the way you want to be perceived is the raison d'être of this podcast. If it's time for you develop more effective behaviors, there is an entire category in “The Look & Sound of Leadership" archive that will accelerate your development. The archive is...


Combating Emotional Hijacks

When we feel threatened or in danger, an old part of our brains, the one that regulates emotions, hijacks our executive functioning. We say and do things we regret. In the workplace, this can have serious consequences. This month’s Executive Coaching Tip has seven strategies for stopping yourself from getting hijacked. The seven lessons in my conversation with my client, Kimberly, are: If you want to work on combatting your emotional hijacks. other episodes you can listen to...


Creating Safety for Hard Talks

You can’t be an effective leader if you are not able to have hard conversations that are successful. “Successful” means addressing tough topics in a way that will create change. One crucial skill to make hard conversations successful is attending to how things are being said. Without an awareness of the ‘how,’ things won’t be as safe as they could be. And if things aren’t safe, they won’t go deep. And if they don’t go deep, they probably won’t stick. Five other episodes that relate...


How Teams Fight

Conflict on teams is a good thing. Really! Well, it's good if it’s healthy. This month, two techniques to help team members engage in healthy conflict: arguing about what's best for the business and turning hostile non-verbals into dialogue. Related episodes to help with these skills are: Disagree Agreeably Facilitating Open Dialogue Getting Agreement Holding People Accountable Leadership and Listening Resolving Conflict


Taming Meetings

Meetings are often viewed as a necessary evil to be endured. But they can be engaging events that build people’s skills and accelerate the work. This month, a recipe for mixing up meeting magic. There is a four-meeting model discussed in this episode. If you want a graphic illustration of the model, just look at the online version in the archive: or email me at Two books are also discussed in this month's episode: Patrick...


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