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Establishing Leadership Presence

An internal UX team at a major tech company had a deep bench of talented mid-career designers. But the Director had received feedback from other managers that their design leadership was not translating well across disciplines within the product teams. More clarity and finesse was in order.

We were brought in to coach the designers on how to take charge of the room, using subtle yet effective presencing and persuasive techniques. We explored the physical and verbal aspects of communication that transmit confidence and authority, as well as how to draw people into the conversation, inspiring them to get engaged and involved. For example, we explored body language, verbal cues, facial and auditory expressions, posture and use of space, voice, tone and framing language.

We discussed ways that leadership is communicated in small or large real-time meetings, as well as how it’s telegraphed in conference calls, devoid of spatial and visual cues.

At the end, participants had a better sense of the ways that they each communicate leadership, how to command attention or invite participation, and how to add more weight to their viewpoints and recommendations. They learned group exercises to practice their communication skills, and they took away specific methods and mannerisms to try out at their next team meeting or design presentation.

“Just thought I’d say again I thought today’s leadership training was great — really valuable and useful information. Thank you, Patricia!” – UX Team Lead