Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ready for your close-up? Tips to succeed at your next media interview

As the leader of your organization and expert in your field, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with the general public via the media. It is normal to feel nervous; however, think of a media interview as an opportunity to strut your stuff and better position your organization.

Whether it’s for a newspaper article or television segment, these tips will help you succeed in any media interview.

Prepare your talking points.
Know the topics you want to cover beforehand. Work with the reporter to see if you can get the questions before the interview. This will help you strategize the best way to incorporate key sound bites. Also, bring a factsheet with you to help you remember important information and specific details such as how many employees work in your organization or last year’s sales numbers. 

Be charismatic. As a leader, you’re probably already a natural at public speaking, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Media interviews should be treated like a relaxed and friendly conversation. The best way to respond to interview questions is to avoid jargon, be succinct and brief, and of course, smile.

Practice makes perfect. Just because you know what you want to say doesn’t mean it’s going to come out as intended. One of the biggest fears of media interviews is being misquoted; therefore, it is important to practice, practice, practice. Rehearse your talking points with your team to hear how they sound out loud because, while they make sense to you, it might not to the audience. You should also videotape the rehearsal so you can hear yourself and watch your body language.

What’s the most stressful element of giving media interviews?  Which tip above has helped you the most in the past? Or what would you add?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ole Carlson to present at TEC Senior Managers' Program

TEC is excited to announce that award-winning career coach and business expert Ole Carlson will speak at the upcoming TEC Senior Managers’ Program (SMP) sessions in Wisconsin and Michigan. SMP is a management development program that provides high-level educational workshops, led by nationally recognized business experts, for corporate officers, managers, staff specialists and managers-in-training. 

Carlson will present ASPIRE:3 Powerful Strategies for Creating More of What You Want, Now. After this presentation, you will come away with a clear understanding of how to create what you want in your life instead of settling with what you have. You will learn how to utilize and put to work the natural powers and abilities of human beings seeking to reach their full potential.
Carlson will speak at the following SMP sessions:

May 24th – Milwaukee, WI
May 25th – Appleton, WI
June 15th – Grand Rapids, MI

You do not need to be a TEC member to attend. For registration information, contact Rita Rehlinger at or 262-821-3340.

Visit to learn more about Carlson and his accomplishments.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Be a conflict coach, not a referee

When conflict arises between two co-workers, or even a manager and someone below them, oftentimes the gut reaction is to get involved. As leaders, we sometimes run the risk of inserting ourselves into situations that would be better resolved if we didn’t play the leader card. It’s true that sometimes the situation does require a manager or leader to step in, especially when HR also needs to be called. However, providing your staff with the tools and encouragement they need to work everyday conflicts out on their own can better serve your company in the long run. The real challenge becomes knowing the difference between each type of conflict.
When it becomes apparent that there is a conflict between team members, as leaders we have a choice. Will we be coaches or referees?
A coach will work with their team before a conflict even begins to help them develop conflict resolution skills. A coach will look at the conflict and see a teaching opportunity. It is important to strive not to solve your employees’ conflict, but to provide each team member with an appropriate amount of knowledge (how did you deal with a similar situation successfully?) and compassion (empathy goes a long way!). By encouraging your employees to overcome obstacles on their own, they will be more efficient in solving problems in the future, the relationships between employees will strengthen, and overall your team will be more successful.
A referee, on the other hand, jumps in at the first sign of trouble for fear of the outcome if not in their control. This style of conflict management shortchanges your employees because they aren’t given an opportunity to grow and learn from the situation. Keep in mind, conflicts that necessitate a referee style of conflict management should be acted upon thoughtfully in accordance with your HR policies.
How do you currently handle conflict management? Are you a referee? A coach? Somewhere in the middle? How do you decide when to jump into a conflict? What specific situations have you encountered where it was best that you remain out of the picture? 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Leadership lessons from world events

Osama bin Laden’s death prompted reactions from political leaders around the world. In times of crisis, shock or celebration, people turn to leaders for emotional support. Therefore, it is important for leaders to understand what is expected of them from their followers and organization in order to appropriately respond.
Share the facts. After hearing any news, people begin researching and reading to learn the latest details. However, researching online can lead to unreliable sources and misunderstood information. It is the job of a leader to inform the audience of the true details. 
Express your emotion. People look to leaders to assess the gravity of the situation and provide emotional support. This doesn’t mean that you have to be emotionless for fear people will interpret you incorrectly. If it is a sad issue, show grief. If it is a celebration, show happiness. Share with your audience how you feel and they will appreciate your openness. 

Encourage community discussion. Schedule a discussion that allows people to share their reactions and thoughts on the situation in a pre-determined amount of time. In this brief session, answer questions, offer advice and guidance, and provide insight on how it will affect each individual’s role in the organization. 

Deliver next steps. Finally, it is important to share how you are handling the situation moving forward so your followers feel comfortable. If there are no next steps at the time, offer answers to any questions and hold yourself to a date when you will announce an update. 

How do you provide support to your followers during world events? How does your approach differ from announcing news regarding your organization? 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Banking: The Ten Commandments of working with your banker

By Harry Dennis for BizTimes Milwaukee

Sometimes an idea for a monthly column is like accidentally finding a gold nugget under your pillow.

That’s how I feel this month. First, I want to thank Atlanta Vistage member Lee Katz, CEO of The Turnaround Authority, for his insight on what he terms the “CEO’s 10 Cs of Corporate Borrowing.”

To present his 10 Cs, I called five Wisconsin bank CEOs, all TEC members, for their input on this subject. I’m indebted to Bob Atwell of Nicolet National Bank in Green Bay, Greg Dombrowski of Johnson Bank in Madison, Mark Furlong of M&I Bank in Milwaukee, Peter Prickett of First National Bank of Fox Valley in Neenah and Dave Werner of Park Bank in Milwaukee.

View the full article to read the Ten Commandments.