When people learn of my management trajectory during one of my speaking engagements, I will often get asked, “Well then, how did you become the person who could do public speaking?”
My answer: “It’s always been part of my management gig.”
All that really changed for me through the years, was the audience.
Speak to your Intent
Speaking ‘to’ people, usually amounts to speaking ‘up’ for people.
You think about what you want to say, then you think about how you can say it in the best possible way, then you say it— after you’ve asked permission of their attentions.
First, I’d speak to a handful of people on whatever team I was on.
Then, I’d speak to groups of up to a dozen or so in pre-shift meetings— early, daily practice for sure.
Then, I’d speak for my departmental meetings, and then, for my divisional meetings.
I would often speak at the weekly staff meetings held for all managers.
Then, I’d speak in our all-staff general meetings— in the hotel business, that usually meant for 500 people and more.
Training sessions kicked in all along the way. Not training I got on speaking; I’ve never had any of that. I mean training that I had to attend (where I could listen to how, and see how others did it) and training I had to give my employees on workplace skills, education and knowledge.
Sense of Place enlarges the conversation
Interspersed with my ‘management gig trajectory’ I’d speak to community groups, wherever our workplace ‘Ohana volunteered, and participated in civic engagement. I was called upon for those community leader presentations which often happen at local schools and rotary clubs.
When you’re a manager, learning to speak is about being willing to be the person who does it. Every ‘presentation’ starts simply, as a conversation which must happen.
Mālama your message.
Turning a must-have conversation into a presentation is the mālama of your intended message —it’s giving care to how you will say something, so your message is well received by those you wish to hear it, respond to it, and participate to it. You have to think beyond the conversation, to what you’re hoping will happen afterwards.
To grow as an Alaka‘i Manager, be the person who chooses to speak up. Speak to something, and speak for your peers and your people.
Intention is clarity, value alignment brings goodness
Speaking as I do now, for the presentations of Managing with Aloha, has been the easiest speaking I’ve ever done.
‘Tis true that I had years of workplace practice to prepare me —I made the choice to speak up, that I’m asking you to make— however that’s just part of it.
In all the speaking I did before my book was written, I flew another’s flag: I’d speak to the mission and vision of my employer at the time, and of their values; I spoke of their intention. Representing senior managers is what junior managers and supervisors must learn to do.
Now I speak to my own intention. It’s business, it’s professional, however it’s very personal, for Managing with Aloha is my all-in philosophy; Managing with Aloha is my heart and soul’s intention for morally good, Pono management practice, self first, others second.
You can get there too.
You need not write a book about it, then create a business built on it like I did. You simply need to have the clarity about what you wish to stand for.
- That clarity, comes from the good intention of your calling: A Manager’s Calling, the 10 Beliefs of Great Managers.
- Second, that clarity will come from your values: Ethos—Be True To Your Values.
The ‘IMI OLA value alignment we’ve been working on in November and December can prove to be extraordinarily useful in this regard, just choose it. Choose to participate in it, and then choose to speak to it as a means of sharing your values with those you work with.
When you’re a manager, learning to speak is about being willing to be the person who does it. A ‘presentation’ is simply a conversation which must happen.
Learning to speak, and speak up, is very much a part of sharing your Aloha. Start there.
Are you a new reader? Revisit our ‘IMI OLA value alignment and #AlohaIntentions here: ‘IMI OLA Freedom: A Self-Coaching Exercise. I would also suggest the reading pathways linked up in this article: Huddles, Values and the Work Ethic we Value.
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And if you’re wondering about this… What if I’m not a manager?