Value and Respect

Unlike the weather, we control the communication climate in which we work. It’s up to us to decide if it’s going to be positive and confirming or negative and pessimistic.

Client negotiations can sometimes leave us feeling frustrated when we feel the client is being unreasonable. Our responses in these situations will have an impact on the present negotiations, engagement with the file, future business, and so on. Dealing with difficult clients requires that we be at our best under pressure. To engage clients with tact, diplomacy, skill, and compassion are the hallmarks of learned communication competence. Our responses to these clients must be based on professional integrity and assertive communication while still maintaining a supportive communication climate. We need to explore the underpinnings of unreasonable requests and behaviours in order to understand them and move ahead with supportive professionalism.

Learn how to expand your listening capabilities and become a more effective communicator. Listening is a learned skill that typically has been ignored as such; consequently, it’s our worst communication skill. Learn to take in greater amount of information, hear what’s not being said, and build relationships in this powerful session.

mbg’s Programs can give you an enlightening look at the control we have over our workplace environment:

  • Delve into the psychology of our workplace behaviours and its influence on others.
  • Understand the importance of creating a supportive workplace climate.
  • Use language that fosters supportiveness rather than defensiveness.
  • Listen as a tool to build goodwill.
We can’t control the weather, but we can create a workplace climate which respects privacy, fosters cohesion, and enhances professionalism.

Professionalize Your Brand

In the Professionalizing Your Personal Brand program, we introduce the professional personal brand concept with the purpose of encouraging all workers (receptionists to CEOs) to take control of their own careers. Unlike a personal brand which focuses on self-interested aspects of one’s private life, a professional personal brand is service-minded and is uncompromisingly focused on one’s value to others. Conventional wisdom of impression management asserts the importance of acting and dressing for success, as all of our observed actions shape expectations of future behaviours.

Demonstrate your brand

As the lines between professional and personal reputations become blurred, it is important to know how to leverage social media to one’s professional advantage and to avoid the reputation-destroying outcomes of politically incorrect tweets, inapt Facebook postings, and errant instant messages. In this seminar, you will learn to reclaim, recast, or renew your personal brand with a focus on professionalism. A professional personal brand honors the greater good one has accomplished for others and conveys one’s capacity to contribute value to your network of colleagues, clients, and customers.

Professionalize Your Brand is also available as a Webinar.

Emotional Intelligence Webinars for the Council for Continuing Pharmaceutical Education

mbg is launching two Webinars for the Council for Continuing Pharmaceutical Education (CCPE). These webinars focuse on the three most important EQ skills required in business today:

Webinar One (Feb. 12th):  Interested versus Interesting

Webinar Two (Feb. 26th):  Gold Standard of Emotional Intelligence

The response has been overwhelming and if you’re taking part, I look forward to meeting all of you online today!

Lynne Mackay

Lights! Camera! Action! Red carpet tips for revving up your image

Canada’s top image consultant Lynne Mackay hosted an entertaining walk down the red carpet TLOMA-style at Blue Mountain Resort recently. In this fun, interactive, Oscar-style pre-dinner “show”, Lynne played reporter and interviewed 300 participants and business partners as they came down the red carpet. “Who are you wearing?” was the question of the evening as Lynne shared her proven strategies for enhancing personal and professional image. Wardrobe, colour  analysis, hair, jewelry, footwear, makeup and eyewear were just some of the areas Lynne covered.

After all, what we wear, how we look and how we carry ourselves makes a bigger difference than many of us realize and can help us feel more confident.

A.C.E. The Art of Client Engagement

Given our tech dominated professional world I’ve been heartened with the response to our delivery of an Emotional Intelligence based program called A.C.E. The Art of Client Engagement. Credit goes to the executive team who saw the value of rolling this program out across Canada. Credit also goes to the participants for their open appreciation of the value of this kind of professional development. It was good to hear the takeaways: enhanced empathy, rejuvenated curiosity, and increased patience as a few of the emotional elements they will be practicing with their private wealth clients.

 

With technology mediated communication growing, the greater the imperative to capitalize on our precious face-to-face interactions. It’s our ability to emotionally connect with clients that allows business and referrals to flourish.

 

We at Mackay Byrne Group hope to see a continued trend towards professional development that focuses on the human side of business. With programs like A.C.E. being promoted and delivered across multiple industries it’s certainly looking promising.

Parliament Hill Fashion

A what-to-wear tutorial for those looking to land on the Hill
Elizabeth Gray-Smith (ipolitics.ca)

MPs live and breathe in the public eye. Standing in the house, scrumming in the halls, posing at podiums, swooshing through galas, flipping pancakes and picking up babies – there is no hiding from the camera. So, given the many public adventures (and potential misadventures) facing MPs in a given day, how important is their fashion finess and mastery of style?

“Let’s get right to it… their image matters,” says Lynne Mackay, an image consultant with 30 years of experience coaching people – some senior politicians – on how to look, behave and communicate. Mackay advised Conservative candidates in the ’93 and ’97 federal elections.

“Persona and sincerity – all of it matters on camera – as does how you look,” says Mackay. “People are absorbed by that, especially in North America… we are a very visual society.”

With an election in sight, it begs the question: what should candidates think about as they prepare to dress the role of an MP at the top of their game on the Hill?

 

According to Mackay, becoming the savvy sartorialist is the first step. “Trends come and go but what really matters is how a garment fits – that is key at this level. If you are rushed on scrums, appearing up close on camera, and your clothing is ill-fitting it is a complete distraction to the viewer.”

Keeping a finger on the pulse of fashion while staying current with the headlines can’t hurt. “Don’t date yourself,” says Mackay. “If you are wearing suits that are five, six or seven years old, chancer are your outfit is dated.”

In an arena where the choice of hues can corner you in the ring – with four popular colours taken by party brands – what is left to pick from on the palettes?

Many MPs have made their party brand their own insignia. Olivia Chow was known for her orange gowns, Carolyn Bennett’s closet is filled with red accessories and Elizabeth May has more than a few green items.

Mackay identifies plum, wine, orchid, violet and eggplant as safe, non-partisan colour choices. No matter how clever the colour choice is, the outfit as a whole has to translate well on screen. “It all has to look good on camera,” says Mackay.

Under the rays of fluorescent lighting, she wars, black suits can often look green. Plus, solid black is linked to weddings and funerals and can look overwhelming on certain individuals. Mackay recommends taking a departure from the solid navy or charcoal grey norma and going the route of slate greys or ink blues and introducing a stripe or subtle check in bordeaux or oxblood.

“Blue-greens and teals are also interesting in ties and work well on camera,” says Mackay. In summer, she urges MPs to favour seasonal elements like taupe or beige in lght weight wools or cotton. She is also a fan of the seersucker sport jacked which can instantly add variety to conventional suit picks.

The big take-away from the experts: no matter what, be true to yourself. Be genuine. Know  your body. Know the day ahead of you. And be prepared for that camera in your face.