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DO you SQUANDER Your First HOUR?

 In Delivery, Feedback, Journalist, Media, Meetings, Message creation, Mindset, News, The Winning Voice, Voice

“(Bryant) What were some early moves you made, in terms of culture, in your current role?

(Kenny) From Day 1, I wanted to establish that it was a culture of respect and generosity and truthfulness, and that we were going to work together to solve problems.

On my first day, I met all the employees at a quarterly ad sales meeting The first presentation started – and this was January 2012 – and we had just come off a big quarter because of Hurricane Irene.

The numbers were ‘on track’ to keep growing.”

The above passage is from an interview that Adam Bryant conducted in 2014 – with David Kenny, then CEO of the Weather Company – for his then New York Times column ‘The Corner Office’.

Kenny’s answer continues . . .

“I said: “I just want to make sure we all communicate in the same language. So I’d like us to define what ‘on track’ means. To me, ‘on track’ means ‘We are highly likely to hit those goals,’ and I heard nothing in the presentation that led to than conclusion.

I didn’t mean to embarrass anybody personally,

I meant to change the tone.

Your first hour really matters. We took a break, and people started changing their presentations for the rest of the day. It was their chance to say what they really think about what’s working and what’s not.

I just wanted to be clear. Let’s always tell the truth. Let’s not shoot the messenger. This is all done with respect. And then let’s find a real answer. 

There had been a lot of spin and denial. Because this company had been so successful and profitable it could cover these sins.”

In a recent post I shared how important first impressions are, with particular reference to first impressions of facial expressions.

Kenny’s answer supports the importance of first impressions. The first impressions of, What you say or don’t say. How you show up. Your self-possession. How you carry and conduct yourself.

Own the Conversation

Here is suggested action for the next seven days:

#1 Consider what ‘firsts’ you’ll have over these days. A first meeting with a prospective client. The first interaction with a junior team member. The first meeting with a peer.

#2 Choose one of these meetings and on purpose, consider how you’re going to show up in the meeting. (You might ask what do you want the person to absolutely believe about your after the meeting/interaction?)

#3 Act in the meeting as you planned to show up

#4 Reflect on how implementing your plan affected the result of the meeting.

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p.s. Here is a post that might interest…

‘Why you’re still abusing audiences with PowerPoint and what to do about it’

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