Tomorrow I’ll be working with a group of company presidents with the intention of helping them align and develop a more collaborative work process. This is basically the focus of all the work I do. Yet this trip feels quite different. For one, CrisMarie, my usual partner is staying home. She is opening in a show this week called, Looking, a topic for a later post. This trip, I am going solo. Actually that is not true. I will be working with another of Table Group Principal Consultant. I am not alone.
However, for me this is very different. For one reason, I often rely on CrisMarie to take the lead in speaking. She is dynamic, efficient and very good at both presenting and getting material up on flip charts. My job is usually to come in with some stories and examples that are relevant and helpful in making sure the concepts and model lands well on the audience. However, this trip I am the lead. I have to do what I think she is brilliant at doing.
So I have been prepping. However, it wasn’t until I dropped in at the last minute to an awesome program, Act Natural, that I really got what I need to be focusing on. I was prepping to ‘be like CrisMarie’ or like Pat (Lencioni) the author of the books we are working to help teams implement. Yes, I was trying to get up to speed on just how CrisMarie does the models. Of course I was failing! I am not CrisMarie.
So last week in a moment panic, I turned to The Haven Institute program list and saw that Act Natural was happening. I love Jane Geesman and Sara Lucht. They are two of the funniest, most dynamic and talented women I know and I figured why not have a few laughs and possibly get some help in how to act more like me, not CrisMarie.
Of course I wasn’t really confident or expecting that the weekend was going to make this trip or presentation all that much better. But I did think may be I could get some tips and if nothing else enjoy a weekend not focusing on succeeding or failing in the upcoming event.
Well, now sitting on my flight to the client site. I believe I do have some great techniques that will help me tomorrow. Even more important, I am clear about my objective. Before I did think it was about doing what CrisMarie usually does well. Seriously though, that would have never worked. No – it is about connecting to this group of leaders and sharing some material I believe can transform they way they do their business. I do honestly believe that. I do know my material and I believe in it. I also know that my style may not be quite like CrisMarie’s. That’s okay.
I did of course do I number of things I think CrisMare does that makes her more effective. I practiced. I asked some friends to listen to me and did the talk while writing on the flipcharts. (a few times!) I also made up some notes. I was going to listen to Pat’s version of presenting but neither the webinar or the DVD seems to be working on my computer. May be that is just perfect. I am not Pat either!
So Act Natural, was fun and on a deeper level I really got in touch with how important it is to be clear about my objective, to connect to the emotional need I am trying to meet or communicate. If I have that down and I am willing to stay present, relax, be self-aware, trust my knowing of the material and remember the others in the room – I will be okay.
This isn’t about me having an awesome performance. No this is about me connecting and communicating a message to a room of folks who want to work well together. That is what I need to remember. They know their business and I do know a lot about how to help people work through their differences and messiness. That combination is quite powerful and as long as I keep that as my focus I think I will be fine.
Plus, if I falter. Well I am going to remember what Jane Geesman shared about Jack Lemon. Apparently the only parts he ever took were the one’s he was most afraid of doing. The scripts and the roles that seemed far from his comfort zone. He would take them and do what it took to be fully prepared and then show up! So tomorrow I will be like Jack. I took the part I am most afraid of and I prepared. Tomorrow I will fully commit to the show and my part. That is all I can do!!