Pitfalls of Leading With Who You Are

Discover the common pitfalls when leading with your voice and when asking for more on Lead With Who You Are with Dia Bondi. Explore the importance of focusing on your audience's needs, curating and elevating the voices of others, and delivering compelling messages that resonate. 

Tune in to learn how to lead with authenticity and make powerful asks that align with your goals.

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In this episode of Lead With Who You Are, Dia Bondi discusses common pitfalls when leading with your voice and when asking for more. She emphasizes the importance of focusing on your audience's needs, curating and elevating the voices of others, and delivering compelling messages that align with your goals. 

Summary of the Communications Pitfalls:

  • Pitfall #1: Assuming that how you feel about something matters so much that you're obligated to communicate that every time. Dia explains the significance of focusing on what your audience needs to hear rather than solely expressing your feelings. She shares practical tips to calibrate your emotions and lead with intention.
  • Pitfall #2: Believing that your voice is the only voice that matters. Dia encourages leaders to curate and elevate the voices of others, allowing for a more distributed impact. She highlights the importance of being a high-impact color commentator and recognizing and reinforcing the points made by others.
  • Pitfall #3: Thinking that what you say has to be catchy, funny, or entertaining. Dia emphasizes the need for clarity and confidence in your storytelling, vision, and strategies. She advises against prioritizing entertainment over providing answers, clarity, and reasons to believe, while still allowing for moments of fun and engagement.

Summary of Common Pitfalls When Asking for More:

  • Pitfall #1: Deciding in advance what others will say yes or no to: Avoid the trap of assuming you know the outcome of your ask. By embracing uncertainty and testing the boundaries, you open yourself up to the possibility of receiving more than you anticipated.
  • Pitfall #2: Waiting for ordained negotiation moments to ask for anything at all: Don't limit your asks to specific negotiation situations. Recognize that you can ask for what you need at any time, even outside formal negotiations. Utilize the Ask Plan framework to identify strategic asks that align with your goals.
  • Pitfall #3: Thinking that if you ask big and get a "no", the conversation is over: Instead of viewing a "no" as a definitive end, see it as an opportunity to start a new dialogue. A "no'' can lead to exploring alternative possibilities and deepening relationships. Embrace the power of persistence and adaptability in your ask.

Get lots of resources in the Library section of this site. There, you'll find the Ask Plan framework, a 6-step guide to crafting powerful asks, as well as additional insights and tools to support your journey of leading with who you are.

Library section: diabondi.com/library

Ask Plan framework: diabondi.com/library/the-powerful-ask-plan

Dia Bondi  00:19

Hi everyone, this has Lead With Who You Are. I'm Dia Bondi, and on this show, we explore and discover what it truly means to lead with who you are. And we're doing it with people who embody just that. And today, you're doing it with me. In this episode, it is just you and me. And here's the thing in my work, I sometimes see some patterns. And today, I want to talk about the pitfalls of leading with who you are in leadership, communication, and in strategic asking, and I call these pitfalls, because when folks try bringing themselves to the table and leadership communications, really shaping how they do that with both range and intention can take a minute to get organized. And folks want to do it in a way that expands their capacity and also trust that they are compelling when they lead with who they are, when they lead from who they are. And when we go to ask for more, and run up against the challenges of using our powerful voice, our powerful selves in the vulnerable act of asking others for help for resources for access to the resources that we need, we can suffer a few pitfalls as well, that I see often in my workshops around ask like an auctioneer, I'm going to share those today. So you can get a jumpstart and lead with who you are without suffering more than you need to. Let's go.  Hey, just a quick reminder, you can subscribe to this show on your podcast platform of choice. We're live nearly everywhere. And you can always listen to the show at diabondi.com. If there's a leader or innovator in your life, who is it their shiniest when they lead with who they truly are, Please share the show with them. And rate, subscribe, and leave us a review makes a huge difference in the reach that the show has, when you let everyone else know what you love about the show. Thanks so much.  So we're talking internal communications today. And this is especially for you founders and leaders who may have just really leveled up and out of a managing type role. Even as a founder early days, you might be managing small teams. Now you're actually in full on leadership mode, and you're noticing that shit, internal communications isn't just particularly all hands isn't just running a meeting with more people in it, you're realizing that every other week at your all hands or whatever, this is really your chance to use your voice to lead and you need to do it both authentically and intentionally. Because now your voice matters more. You're speaking to people in teams that you've never even met because your organization is just that big. Now, you've grown and your voice matters and matters more. So you have to use it in a little different way, not in directing people that you have relationship with directly. But instead, as a leadership tool, you're using it to align and activate people, teams and cultures so that they can direct themselves so that they can do the managing of resources themselves. Your voice now is a strike point for your leadership not just for talking and transacting information. So let's talk about the three most common pitfalls when you are leading with who you are in and with your leadership voice. Pitfall number one, assuming that how you feel about something matters so much that you're obligated to communicate it every time. You need to lead with your voice. Not so true. How you feel about something is not always the truth about something. So you need to focus on what your audience needs to hear not necessarily what you feel like you need to express because it's all clogged up in your body. I mean, it's a weird place to be to be more intentional and not feel like you're hiding something like you're keeping secrets. You don't have to think of it that way. You can think of it more like you're choosing what to say and leaving out what's not useful. What doesn't forward the business or realign us. An extreme example of this is that stereotypical or sort of iconic type leader who is explosive or when things aren't going well, their anxieties, their feelings show up in ways that are one not helpful. And to contagious. So don't assume that how you feel about something matters by default every time because how bad you feel about something may not be the truth of it. My old colleague used to say how you feel about it dia isn't actually the truth of how it's going. So instead, ask yourself, and for those of you listening right now, you may have heard me say this before, if you've been in my workshops, if you're in my talks, if you're in you may even be sick of hearing me say it, if you've been in my coaching circles, or had a private engagement with me, and it's this, what impact do I want to have? And what outcome do I need to create? And then let that be a guide to helping you calibrate yourself, and what emotions you share? How you share them, and the content of what you share as you lead with who you are. But what do you do with the rest? What do you do when you're still stuck with all these feelings? And they can I have seen firsthand be big feelings. Things aren't going well, you're in a constant state of frustration, things feel broken all the time. And sometimes you just hit your limit and not getting to express that in a way that feels satisfying to your talent base can be frustrating. All those thoughts that are not so helpful in these moments persist, but they're still true for you. They're just yours, not anyone else's. So my answer to this pitfall is get yourself a bench folks you can let loose with who don't have your C level role expectations attached to their relationship with you, not colleagues, you're looking for industry, peers, coaches, mentors, trusted advisors, that are the place where you can bring all of it when you need to. Pitfall number two, your voice is the only voice. When you're a leader in an organization in your function, and you accept or take on that your voice is a strike point and a tool for your leadership, it's easy to slide into thinking that I have to say all the things I have to be the one I am the voice. Nope. You can use your voice differently by being the best, most high impact color commentary to conversations and the voices and leaders of others, folks in your team. When you curate and elevate the voices of others, you let them talk, share strategy report on their domains share their own insights, and then he you as the moderator of that conversation can extract what matters to us as an audience. On the business of today, you are using your voice lightly with high impact at the very same time. And you're not the only one talking. When you curate these voices. Let's imagine you host a panel discussion or you invite a guest into your segment at your all hands and you invite them to speak, you're elevating and amplifying them. And their topic that you identify as important you invite them onto the stage with you or to speak on that stage at your invitation. Because you are in that moment, signaling to everyone. This is important just by the mere act of passing somebody specific the mic, you're leading, and lending your power and status to them, you're using your voice to lead through them. And that's leadership. And you are also sharing the stage in a way that makes your impact actually more distributed through others. Your color commentary, the points they make, that you choose to recognize and reward and reinforce, is using your leadership voice. In those moments, you're telling us as your audience showing us what matters about the expert team lead case study, or whatever voice you've invited on to the stage with you. Or instead of you. You're signaling to us that that voice and what they're saying or there's something particular about what they're saying is important to us as an organization. If you get good at this skill of curating, moderating and threading a conversation. You won't have to work so hard, but you can still have so much impact without being the only voice in the room. Pitfall number three, what you say has to be catchy, funny, sticky, Brandy marketing, and it has to be entertaining. Sorry, but it doesn't. People are looking to you for clarity and confidence in the stories that you tell the commentary that you give in the vision and strategy Do you share? When you think of public speaking as a domain in general, there's a lot of content out there pointing to being entertaining, that may be really tempting for you to think that you need to do as a senior leader in your organization when it comes to your turn to talk in front of an audience. But that might only really apply when you're doing things like giving a TED talk or hired to deliver a motivational speech, whatever the heck that is, or you're developing career, you're developing a career as a public speaker, but you, you're not doing that you're leading your organization and people are not looking to be entertained by you. They're looking for clarity, Reasons to Believe and answers to their questions. That doesn't require being funny, sticky, or writing the perfect turn of phrases is not conversion copy on a website. It's not an opener to a variety show. Entertainment sure can be a bonus. But if you're not careful, it can undermine your authority, the authority in your voice, we need to trust to build confidence and to act on the strategies you lay forward for us. I don't mean don't have fun, because here's the thing. Sometimes the funnest thing in the world is something that is serious business, but so compelling, it feels fun. If you're letting go of the idea that okay, maybe I don't need to tell a joke to get us going. Or maybe I don't really need to sort of drum up some funny story here to illustrate a point. The thing to chase now is language. And let's talk about the thing I know so much you want, which is sticky language, strong bottom lines, turns of phrases that feel like they hit you in the gut. I know. And I see you in all my coaching sessions, in our intensive group cohort programs, and all of my event prep, coaching I do I see you wanting so bad to write the thing that sounds good, meaning you want them to be differentiated, cute, memorable, or in some way written such that they really stand out. And yes, I want that for you too. But in your role, you want to be compelling. And very often, the answer to what is compelling, is language that is just simple, direct and true. If you're writing that bottom line that wraps up the last five minutes you've had onstage or in on the mic or in front of a camera, and you look at it and say But that's so boring, I want it to sound more catchy stop. And instead, ask yourself if it is simple, direct and true. And if it is, chances are that is compelling enough to align and activate people, teams and cultures toward shared goals. You are not selling soap for goodness sake, you're leading with who you are. Oh, hey, everybody. So, Ask Like An Auctioneer, my forthcoming book designed to help you ask for more and get it is available for pre order now. And when you order the book, you get some pretty sweet little bonuses, you get a little video series with me sharing my favorite three of the nine ideas I learned from the world of auctioneering. To help you ask for more and get it, you get a nice little downloadable set of quote cards pulled from the manuscript. And all of these are ones our pre readers loved the most. And you'll be auto enrolled in the Zoho challenge, a one week challenge to design and make a powerful ask, go to asklikeanauctioneer.com and order your copy now.  Okay, so we covered the three, three pitfalls that I often see from leaders who are starting to really recognize moments when they can use their voice as a strategic tool in their leadership, and really want to level up and level out their impact. Now, let's switch gears and talk about three common pitfalls when you're asking for more and trying to get it. Why does this fall into leading with who you are? Because asking and asking for more takes courage, self alignment, it forces us to get really clear about what we want and why that ask matters. We have to find the story within ourselves that makes the Ask important to our listeners. We have to find the answers about how to source that courage we'll need to make the ask articulate that alignment and craft the stories for the asks that will make from ourselves. We are the source of how we're going to set that up and make the asks that can change everything. Designing a powerful ask and making it takes getting clear about who we are and what matters to us. It forces us to lead with who we are I can't tell you how many times in my workshops when we move to design a powerful ask how much when challenged to get clear about what we want, we realize that we don't want the thing we thought we wanted, we see what doesn't matter to us. And we must, in so many cases dig deep, and stand up for what we actually do want. Because when we ask for things that matter to us, we're forced to stand up for who we are forced, again, to lead with who we are.  So let's talk about pitfalls. When we go to make the asks that matter what kind from fundraising, to mentorship asking to getting on stages that elevate your profile and influence making asks that may be course correct your path toward a more balanced life, maybe we're designing any kind of asks that gets you closer to your goal. So think wide open space. But think the kinds of asks that are aimed at getting you what you really need to reach your goal, whatever that might be.  Alright, let's go pitfall number one, deciding now what others are going to say yes or no to people. This is chopping out of your own wallet. You have no idea what they'll say yes or no to or at least you should tell yourself you don't. Because if you decide now, what they're going to say yes or no to, you're going to aim exactly for what you've decided they're going to say yes or no to. And chances are, it's less than you could get. I once sold a one night glamping trip at auction for $55,000. Twice, way more than we thought it was going to go for. And if we just put a price tag on it, we thought other people would say yes to we would have sold it for way less than probably half of what we got. We asked until we got to know and got $55,000 We had and have no idea what folks are going to say yes or no to. So we just have to ask aim high and find out use a lot more about that in my book, Ask Like An Auctioneer, pitfall number two, waiting for ordained negotiation moments to ask for anything at all. You can ask for things you need at any time. And for any thing. People in my workshops are like, Oh, I don't really have a negotiation coming up. So I'm not really sure if this workshop is for me, or if I really have anything I can add to the conversation. Like it's some sort of vacation you booked or a birthday event that only comes around once a year, these negotiation moments. Now, when we dig into it, and I asked, okay, can we see if we can figure out something you could ask for that will help you reach your goals, we always can design a powerful strategic ask. And if you want to know how you can get my six step framework@deobandi.com. In the library section, there's a six step framework in there called the ASK plan. You can download it and it'll walk you all the way through how to build a strategic and powerful ask that will help you get to your goals. But for now, we'll just start with the first three to give you something to think about.  Step number one, you've got to identify what goal do you have right now on deck for yourself. And it can't be a be hag kind of high and far horizon goal. What you're looking for here is one midterm concrete goal that when you attain it, you'll know you have so write that down. What's the one concrete goal midterm that you have right now? Step two, in my six step framework for developing an Ask plan is not to now ask what can I ask for? It's instead to stop and go, alright, what big move do I need to make? That gets me closer to my goal? Maybe you're looking for a promotion at work. And one of the big moves you need to make is to secure a high profile project that you can then use as a platform for asking for that raise later, you might have an ask in the interim. And it's not to ask for the promotion. It's to ask for the thing you need that actions the move. So that brings us to our third step to ask yourself, what might I ask for that action is the move that gets me closer to my goal. So if your goal is to, for example, go for a promotion, or to secure a promotion. And one of the big moves you know you need to make is to secure a high profile project as part of your portfolio of work as a platform for that for proving and moving toward that goal of promotion. You're going to ask for what you might ask for that helps you secure that big move that moves you towards your goal. Maybe you've already identified a project that you're looking for and the ask is for that individual project that is big and beefy and high budget and big visibility and high stakes and will be just thing to help you level up next year. Maybe your Not sure what that is. So you need to find a mentor or champion inside the organization and sit down and talk with them about and the ask is something like helping helping you source a project that fits a particular profile so that you can make that move that that gets you closer to your goal. So step one is to recognize and write down what your midterm concrete goal is. Step two is to ask yourself what big moves might I need to make that gets me closer to that goal? And step three is to make yourself a nice robust list of what might I ask for that helps me action that move to gets me closer to that goal. Start there, and you're gonna give yourself some hints on asks you could make right now that help you a lot. And of course, there's a lot more about that in my book, Ask Like An Auctioneer  Okay, Pitfall number three, when it comes to leading with who we are, and making the kinds of assets that can change everything. It's thinking that if you ask big and get a no, your conversation is over. Nope. I mean, yes, sometimes it is. But a lot of the time, it's not. If you have a relationship, or even a little rapport is the beginnings of a relationship. The know you get can quickly turn into a no, not that. But how about this. So stop letting your asks be held hostage by the word no, and assume that the know if you get it is something that is going to kill everything. Instead assume that the know is something that can start a new conversation. And truly, if you get a hard No, and the folks you're talking to are not interested in continuing the conversation, to saying no, and they're probably not really ready and right for you. They're not the right partner, not the right client, and you're not gonna get any blood from that turnip now or next time, you need to have a conversation about resourcing what you need to be successful ever. So go for that. No, because when you get it, and then you have a conversation about what is possible, that no you got will do a couple of magic things. It will tell you, you've actually maximize the potential of that ask and that is a great thing. No is good news. And to when you have that opportunity to continue to talk and negotiate through an agreement. It's a chance to actually deepen the relationship that you're starting with the person that you're having your conversation with. There's a lot more about that in my book, Ask Like An Auctioneer. Okay, so let's wrap this up. So everyone today was a three pitfall day for communications, and for asking for more. So let's do a quick recap. For communications. One pitfall is assuming that how you feel about something matters so much that you're obligated to communicate that every time and the answer to this pitfall, the way we address it, is to get yourself a bench folks you can let loose with who don't have your sea level role expectations attached to their relationship with you. And instead, ask yourself in that moment, no matter how you might feel about something, what impact Am I trying to have? What outcome Am I trying to create? And let the level of sharing and the content you put together be dictated by how you answer those two questions to your voice is the only voice not true, invite and elevate other voices and lead with your color commentary. And three, what you say has to be catchy, funny, sticky brandy marketing, and it has to be entertaining. It does not stick to simple, direct and true for your source of being compelling. Now for the three pitfalls, for asking for more. Number one. One pitfall is you're deciding now what others are going to say yes or no to Stop deciding for them and just ask and find out pitfall number two waiting for ordained negotiation moments to ask for anything at all. You can use asking a success strategy and build an Ask plan any time of this year of that year of every year following this very moment. And three, that third pitfall is that thinking that if you ask big and get to know the conversation is over, it's okay to go for that no and trust that that no will let you know that you've maximized the potential of your ask. And you can feel proud about that. And that continuing to talk paths that no you get in the relationships that you're engaging in is an opportunity to deepen that relationship and find a solution together which in and of itself is a beautiful accomplishment. Thank you so much for listening today. And I'm going to see you on the flip side.  Lead With Who You Are is a production of Dia Bondi Communications and is scored, mixed and produced by Arthur Leon Adams the third. Have a question or an inquiry? Reach out to us at hello@diabondi.com. You can like share, rate and subscribe at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favorite shows. Go to diabondi.com for the show notes to find our tools, frameworks, content and programs to help you and your team speak powerfully and lead with who you are.

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