How to be a leader

This past summer, I gave to students from around the world a small summer camp course on how to be a leader. Here are the few tips which I am happy to share with all and can applied by all. It may seem basic, but you will be surprised how new generations do not realise these simple points.

1/ How to say Hello, and greet a person. When you meet someone in a professional environment, it is important to present yourself correctly. Even in this international world that we live, one must understand the cultures and behaviours and so adapt our style. In Europe, we will shake a hand, do so with conviction. A feeble handshake may be interpreted as a weak person or a non-desire to meet the other person. In Asia, greetings are done by a simple bow of the head. Take your time to do so. In the Middle East, shaking the hand is not part of their culture, but the western culture has slowly been accepted. Do not force to shake hands, if the person does not hold out his hand. In some cultures, a male and female will not touch each other, again do not take this personally (especially as a woman), just accept and move on.

2/ Presenting your self. A Pitch ! yes, every day you will present yourself to new people. Learn how to say who you are in a short couple of phrases. This takes time and practice. What do you want the other person to understand about whom you are? Spend time in front of a mirror: repeating your key phrases. (I may write a whole article about this). You may have several pitches depending whom you are talking to. Personal, professional, projects you are working on…etc. Just remember who are you presenting yourself to, and what do you wish to convene. This is called emotional intelligence…a great book about EI by Daniel Goleman. 

3/ Personal care in your physical presence will also influence how you are considered. Everything you show: your attire, your hands, clean shoes, hair…etc. is noted in the first few seconds of meeting someone, and opinion is made. Take the time to dress as a leader, you will feel the leader in you, and stand tall, because you will be feeling good.

4/ Listen and show empathy while listening. Give the person time to speak and truly take interest in what they say. Give eye contact, careful with your body language, be open to them. Give them the time and even offer anything that may help them. Be active in your listening

5/ Give your card. If you wish to be contacted, give a card, or share your details on how to find you. Let them know how to remember you: friendly, funny, lively, all goes to creating the souvenir of who you are.

6/ Say thank you on the social networks and connect if you wish to take the relationship further. Do not hesitate to reach out afterwards and either offer useful tips or suggest a meeting.

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