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Here Are Five Ways to Develop Your Strategic Executive Voice

By Harvard Business Review
November 17, 2017

To establish credibility and influence people, you must be able to connect with others. Here’s how. 

executive voice.jpg

What you say, how you say it, when you say it, to whom you say it and whether you say it in the proper context are critical components for tapping into your  leadership potential. | 123RF Stock Image

Your executive voice is less about your performance; it relates more to your strategic instincts, understanding of context and awareness of the signals you send in your daily interactions and communications. These strategies can help you develop your strategic executive voice.

Understand the context. How often do you find yourself saying something that doesn’t quite fit the agenda? It's a tactical error that comes down to failing to understand the context you are in. Finding out in advance what your expected role is can guide you in determining the kind of voice you need.

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Be a visionary. Strategic leaders take an enterprise view that focuses less on themselves and more on the wider organization. You should work toward connecting the dots with your recommendations to show how your decisions affect the organization as a whole.

Cultivate strategic relationships. Part of being able to access a strong executive voice is expanding your knowledge beyond your specific position, department or area of expertise. Take time to reach out to at least one person each week outside of your immediate team.

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Bring solutions, not just problems. Leading strategically involves problem-solving, not just finger-pointing at difficult issues. You can show up more strategically by doing your homework and taking the lead in analyzing situations.

Stay calm in the pressure cooker. People with an effective executive voice aren’t easily rattled. When you can stick with facts instead of getting swept into an emotional tailspin, you’ll be able to lead with a more powerful executive voice.

RELATED: The Science of Pep Talks and Understanding the Three-Part Formula

Copyright 2017 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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