Have you taken a personality assessment lately? Now that organizations are increasingly realizing the role of emotional intelligence in increasing engagement and productivity, personality assessments have become valuable tools in determining employee fit to specific positions and responsibilities in organizations. Dr. Diane Hamilton’s guest for this episode has multiple certifications on emotional intelligence, including the EQ-i 2.0, EQ 360, DISC, Platinum Rule and Predictive Index. Sarah Turner is a Principal Consultant at The Faurote Group. She is a professional trainer, consultant and executive coach. In this conversation, Sarah discusses the different benefits that each of the different personality tests can bring and how organizations can use this information to leverage people uniquely to produce complementary productive outcomes.
The need to find your voice as a speaker isn’t just metaphorical. In a very special way, it is also quite literal. If you’re a speaker, the weight of the message you’re spreading into the world is carried in large part by the power of your vocal cords. Speakers have a lot to learn from singers when it comes to this. Raised in a musical family, Angela Durrant makes good use of her heirloom gift to help people from another persuasion. As a vocal coach at Maverick Communication, she helps senior leaders, business professionals and public speakers unlock their unique voice and use it to whatever purpose they need it for. Angela spent years developing a system called VISIBLE – the seven areas that distinguish the magnetic speakers from the mundane ones. These are not written in stone. With proper training and the help of an expert, anyone can start improving their vocal performance and present more powerfully. Listen in for some tips on how you can start to improve your own voice!
We have Sarah Turner and Angela Durrant here. Sarah is Principal at The Faurote Group, and Angela is a Vocal Performance Coach at Maverick Communication. Sarah is certified in many different personality assessments. We’re going to learn all about emotional intelligence and so much more from her. We’re going to talk to Angela who’s going to tell us how to use our voice to be better at performance. This is going to be an interesting show.
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The Corporate Value Of Emotional Intelligence With Sarah Turner
I am here with Sarah Turner, who is a Principal Consultant at The Faurote Group. She serves as a professional trainer, consultant and executive coach. It’s nice to have you here, Sarah.
Thank you. It’s wonderful to be a part of the show. I’m looking forward to the conversation.
I have been looking forward to it as well. I love your background. It is all the stuff I like to talk about. This one is easy for me. I know that you have multiple certifications on Emotional Intelligence, the EQ-i 2.0, EQ 360, DISC and Platinum Rule. I’m looking at Predictive Index, which I had to take. I haven’t taken it in a long time. You’re a Corporate Athlete certified. I’m looking at this like, “I thought I had a lot of certifications,” but you beat me there. I want to get a little background on you because it’s interesting to find out what got you interested in some of these behavioral things that I find fascinating.
I am a seasoned person. Those did not happen in a year or two. It has taken quite a number of years to get those. My appetite for learning is something that has been a mainstay in my life. I’ve always appreciated that, which is why I adore the work you’ve done on curiosity. The intrigue of what’s not in my purview now but could be if I took the intentional effort to learn it. Over the years, I have been fascinated by learning how to break down the way that we respond to moments. There are many places that we can grow those skills. Emotional intelligence is at the pinnacle. It’s one of my favorite niches of my background, but also as you mentioned, anything in the behavioral realm as it relates to our personality. Whether it be DISC or PI or Myers-Briggs, the way we respond. The Corporate Athlete is a bit unique and that’s because it’s more around the way that we manage our energy, but it’s still a matter of our preferences and our choices. Every time I have a chance to learn another element of how we can get in front of the way we choose to respond, I want to dig in. All of those certifications have been helpful in expanding my reach in that realm.
I’m interested because I was looking at the Predictive Index. Is there a positive or negative thing to have on that or is this you’re red, green, blue thing where this is how we talk to you because we know this about you? I’m curious about that.
Much likely to your background and what you’ve seen, one of the things that’s interesting about the way our behavioral preferences show up is typically it’s an overlap of your pace and priority. That combination that makes the moments feel comfortable to you that you typically go back to as a mainstay. There’s a lot of research science that shows that our behavioral preferences, our personality is set at a relatively early age and it is one of those things that’s part of our DNA. When I look at the PI much like many of those tools, one of the things that we can say is there’s not a good or a bad profile, but it is wonderful to look at your ABCDE combination, compared to where you need to show up in your role in life, whether it be personally or professionally. What’s great about that tool is it does allow you to create a bit of that alignment that we often crave and a bit more deliberate alignment based on what you are doing. To say there’s a good or a bad, not per se, but when you look at the role you’re in, there are some advantageous options of looking at where you come in compared to what you need to.
I’m interested. Say you’re going for a leadership role and they want you to be dean in education or something and you’re a leader. Do I want the high collaborative? Do I want the high independent? I’m looking at this report and I find this interesting. What would you say would be the optimal personality for that?
I go back to the point of context. I love the idea of the university example because I’ve got lots of academia clients, but when you’re talking to someone who is in a distinct role, on the surface, you could say, “Look at this.” You’ve got someone who has to be at the helm in certain places. We need someone who has a bit more of a high A, where does their B need to be? Where does the collaboration need to be? When you start to look at that overlap, many of us could probably paint the picture of this ideal state, but then you start to peel back, what are the expectations though for this person at this university in this specific role?
What sometimes you find is that there’s not necessarily an exact match to that, which is why personally I love to also say, “If we take some of those natural generalities, but then how can I overlap things like your emotional intelligence, your strategic response, to help you moderate some of those natural things to potentially allow you to respond productively still to those roles and not count you out?” It’s a great tool for recruiting, but I also feel like there’s not necessarily a line that you draw that says, “This person is no longer relevant for that.” You have to look deeper at things like, what is their conceptual knowledge of their own EI? You can start to paint that picture for success. That’s the fun part of arranging for me. I love that part.There is no good or bad personality profile, but knowing yours helps you deliberately achieve alignment with what you’re doing. Click To Tweet
What I found interesting about that particular assessment was that they asked you how others see you and how you see you. Should they be the same or different?
Not necessarily, but it starts to allow you to see where you might be either excelling at managing your energy or where you might be drained. As an example, several years ago, I was working with a large organization and we were specifically working with the marketing department, many of which as you can imagine, had a unique PI profile. Their highest B was consistent, but when you looked at the next person they hired, their director decided to hire someone who was a bit more of a balanced style. Somebody who wasn’t necessarily a highest B who had a bit more methodic thinking. One of the things we noticed was that she wasn’t absorbed wholly and openly by the team. In fact, there was this line of dissonance that happened in conversations.
Many of them couldn’t understand why he hired her and the acceptance never occurred. What we realized was that one of the things that was important was how other people saw her compared to how she was showing up. Nobody allowed her the space to explain the logic behind why she responded, why that could be a compliment. Knowing that others see you differently isn’t bad if they do or right if they don’t. It’s more a matter of, can you leverage that to create transparent conversations around how we use each person uniquely to create that complimentary style of productive outcomes? That was a big moment for them. They had to switch to realize they could leverage each other as a point of balance, they just didn’t see it initially. It is important that you see those differences, but you don’t assume that it’s good or bad. You look into what we can do with it more often.
I came out as a promoter. I remember when I worked in a company where they made us take Management By Strengths, which was a color test that would tell you if you’re a blue, red, green, yellow and they had us put our personality types on our cubicles. We knew how to interact with other people. I found it interesting. A lot of people don’t want to be put into boxes and different things. It’s a combination of good and bad when you take some of these things if people take them too much and came in as results and not take into the whole picture of what people are. I imagine when you’re dealing with clients, you have to explain all of that. Tell me a bit about your relationship with clients and what you helped them do.
That is an important part of the partnership that we get to offer with our clients, where you’re trying to help them make sense of the information in front of them. You could box people in using the data, or you can flexibly apply it to grow in all aspects and the outcomes you produce. What we typically will say in terms of our niches is we like to work with people on maximizing the employee experience, one of those terms that has been talked about, but that helps create the mission of whatever the organization is trying to do for their service mentality of who they serve.
It’s helping maximize that experience as well. We often work in a training environment where we’re trying to unleash people’s skillsets but giving them more tangible tools and strategic ways to put them into practice in a layering perspective. We also have complimentary parallel coaching, which we find is part of where that comes to life for each person on their own. It is so much fun. I know that you probably enjoy what you do as well. It is intriguing for me to see how unique each situation is. Every client experience I have is different. That’s probably why I love it so much.
I found it fascinating to train different groups. I remember when I first started training people in Myers-Briggs years ago, a lot of them were engineers and they got them all in the same type, in the same group, and you wouldn’t have that much difference. It was fun too. You’d give them Legos and a group of people who were all alike and have them build a house, and they’d build something boring. You put them in a diverse group and give them Legos and they build huge castles, moats and cool stuff. We want to know a bit about people’s diversity. You don’t want everybody the same. On a team, you want to have a bit of differences. Isn’t that better?
Absolutely and I’m a huge fan of that concept of not just diversity but also the world of inclusion. Diversity can be broadened, or you get that umbrella factor to be able to say, “If you can create inclusivity, you are naturally being diverse. You are allowing any thought, any background, any point of view, to be part of what you can use and leverage.” That is where you can see that catalytic effect happen in the world, both in our personal lives but also in our professional lives. We get to work with both. Executive coaching is that line where you get to work with them in their professional status, but you can’t help but look at their personal inputs as well. That’s such a fun place to add support. I get interested in how to aim someone to reframe them to a point of reach they haven’t gotten to yet.
It’s a fun time to be looking at differences and challenges. When I was writing about perception, I found some interesting statistics because I looked at perception as a combination of IQ, EQ, CQ for curiosity and CQ for cultural quotient. A lot of that culture and diversity comes in. HBR had a great piece that said a team member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% likelier than another team to understand that client. We also found 70% of international ventures fail because of cultural differences. There’s the positive and the negative that goes along with it. IBM and Coca-Cola, they do these programs where they give you this perceptual training, this cultural training before you have to be in these other groups. That’s critical because now it’s such a challenge. I know you get people to neutral. I was looking at that and I’m like, “What is that?” What are your tips for getting to neutral? What does that entail?
I am excited to look further at your perception research. I’m already adoring your curiosity research and I’ve read it for myself. When you think about the idea of emotional intelligence, that realm of awareness is a powerhouse. What we often do is help people realize how you build that scale of awareness. One of the subsets that I often guide people to is a challenge to hone your skills of getting to neutral in a moment. You’ve probably experienced this too, Diane, often when I bring up the concept of emotional intelligence, I feel like there’s a polarization of responses I get. Some people are like, “I love that.” Other people are like, “That’s so.”
When I had a client who didn’t think that emotional intelligence was for their team, she specifically said, “Nobody is going to go to that. If we do a workshop on EI, I don’t think anyone would show up.” I told her, “I’d like to share with you a slightly different perspective. What I’ve always believed is that when we are in a moment to use our emotional intelligence, starting with our awareness, what we’re doing is being on the receiving end of stimuli, something happened and you saw it. Maybe it’s about yourself or about someone else. You had a stimuli come your way. When your brain starts to process using your EI, you have a chance to strategically respond. If you grow these skills, you can choose what your response will be and more often, get a field moment of value and eliminate some of the impairments we create.”
Instantly their response was like, “I like that. Let’s do that session.” I didn’t even change the content. I just changed the way that she saw it. One of the big pillars inside of that program was teaching them how to be on the receiving end of a moment of stimuli that is causing you to be uncomfortable, frustrated, confused, even overly excited, but then to allow yourself to say, “Will my response, if I stay in that state, be productive? Can I intentionally get myself to neutral and once I’m there, then I can respond and will that make a difference?” It always does. It’s fascinating for me to see that anecdotally from where I saw it applied by those who work with it. It’s such a cool factor.
What we’re talking about when we’re looking at perception is recognizing yourself and others. You’re using a lot of that emotional intelligence to get you out of thinking you know what you maybe don’t know. I don’t know if you saw it. Daniel Goleman had an HBR article. It’s what people still get wrong about emotional intelligence. When I wrote my doctoral dissertation on it, I remember stumbling into it by accident. I had this weirdo professor that I didn’t even like and I dropped him the next day. When I was telling him I was thinking of writing about sales performance and what impacted it. He somehow heard me say, “You’re going to do emotional intelligence impact on sales performance.” I’m like, “That’s what I said.” I looked it up. I’m like, “That’s what I’m doing.” I was thinking at the time, “This is a cool little topic.” Amazingly, many years later, people still haven’t even been trained on a lot of this.
It’s important. He was talking about, there are three types of empathy. You’ve got cognitive, I know what you think. Emotional, I know what you feel. Empathetic concern, I care about you. He said, “There’s overachieving bosses in there pushing people to meet short goals, but they’re lacking the part about they don’t care about people. There’s that risk of emotional exhaustion and it burns people out.” It’s interesting that he talks about how you can be strong in one area and not in others. When Daniel Goleman was on my show, we talked about that. He was talking about how Clinton or Steve Jobs were good in one area and not another. Do you find that a lot of people do struggle in one area and not another?
Yes. As you know with your experience with specifically the EQ-i 2.0, what I found latched me onto that tool after having taken many EI assessments, the first one that felt like it uncovered the most worth of the learning was where you realized balance is the pinnacle. When you can realize one particular set of skills that will help you be a responder by themselves without complementary skills that help them appear to the people around you as productive, it doesn’t get you far.
You can have great levels of assertiveness and moderate to low levels of empathy and people are like, “You’re not helpful. I don’t want to spend more time with you.” What we try to focus on with those that we work with is that concept with balance itself ends up being one of the most important parts of the process and journey of growth. They don’t realize that the impact they’re having when they’re imbalanced is far worse than being moderate in everything. Being high in a few and low in a few others ends up creating even more drastic level of depletion of value.
It’s helpful to explore, but you have to get people to neutral. As you likely know now, one of the things that we’re seeing, the mental resilience factor of the world, has become prominent. It’s most by far topic we are requested to speak about. I was talking with a segment of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As we were talking to some of their leaders, we were talking about the impact of our world now and how it is depleting us mentally. One of the concepts that I brought up was this set of studies on ambiguous loss.
It’s fascinating to me that the impact work scene because of our environment is causing us to have a harder time creating mental energy and being able to focus in managing our anxieties and fears. One of the things we were talking about was how to use emotional intelligence like stress management, our flexible optimism, the idea of adapting to help you realize, what can I do about it? Doing nothing is an option but doing something is also an option. It is about finding those other skills that will help you in a depleted area that makes a lot of sense, especially in the time in your life.If you can create inclusivity, you are naturally being diverse. Click To Tweet
When I studied emotional intelligence for my dissertation, I chose the EQ-i because it had stress tolerance at the time. I know he’s changed it on and off, Reuven Bar-On is the creator of that. Because I was looking at salespeople, I wanted to see that particular element and it was more highlighted in the way he had broken it up at that time. Now, anything that’s measuring stress is going to help us to determine where we need to work in different areas. I’m curious what made you pick the EQ-i? I know that you do several, but that’s one that not everybody does.
One of the things that is a bit unique about me is I started my career in public accounting. A lot of people will say, “Wait, what?” I did. I’m a CPA. One of the things that was a trailing thought is that similar to your engineer conversation, I worked with a lot of analytical people. When we started looking at helping our leaders when I worked at Deloitte UNLEASH, one of the things we needed to do was help those people who are highly logical and scientific believe the data that they were being presented. That was at the time, I believe it may still be true, was one of the only tools that was scientifically valid and reliable, and it had so much scientific support that I had that credentials to be able to say that we know this is a valid look at you.
That was a tremendous differential that started it. Once I took it, it was quick. When I noticed that you could look at fifteen skills for growth. The kicker for me too was there’s this metric on engagement that the specific element in the algorithms of the science that that tool collects on the side for wellbeing is fascinating. To have a conversation with someone about, “How are your experiences now? What is your current level of contentment?” To unleash why that is a valid conversation helps move the needle a lot faster. Those are some of my prominent preferences for the tool itself.
When I studied the Myers-Briggs’ MSCEIT, I looked at that one and it was pictures and different things. It was different. Have you ever taken that one?
I have. One of the things that was interesting for me was that it took a completely different approach to assessing. To my knowledge, I feel like the MSCEIT is more prominently around that initial concept of awareness. I feel like it does a lot on the self-awareness side where I had a bit of a line blocking me, was that my clients and their appetites, how to take the questions itself to show a rock per se and say, “How does this rock feel?” A lot of our clients struggled with how that leverages who they are. We ended up leaning into the EQ-i, but I also see lots of relevance. If you frame it the right way, the MSCEIT could be a great tool.
They’re all good, they’re just different. I enjoyed researching it because I had no idea when I got into it what it was all about. As I started, I’m like, “This is cool.” It was sometimes confusing because they each had their different definition of emotional intelligence and then they had their different factors that they found. All of that was helpful to me though when I wrote my Curiosity Code Index and Perception Power Index assessments because I saw that how they did factor analysis to determine how these things all have these impacts. You sent me some information on your bio and I was looking at, you do something that bounce back factors. I’m trying to understand what it is when you talk about growing your bounce back factors. What is that?
It’s one of my favorite points of reference to share with clients. Somewhere in the last several years, our organization started to create an appetite for what it means to be able to show up in your life in the most powerful way. It ended up evolving into leveraging your five bounce back factors. What we knew was that there are many different places where you can focus to be ready for a moment of challenge and adversity. We did not imagine several years later, as we were creating and developing the concepts that we would be in a year like 2020 when it probably was never more likely to be relevant to those that we work with.
What the five factors include are, first, what is your ability to physically bounce back? Do you even have any energy in your tank to show up to a moment of challenge? The second factor is the mental factor, which we see prominently discussed, but how do you get your mind available for being attentive and being in the moment and not being depleted due to your environment? The third, which I have so much affinity for, the emotional bounce back factor. How do you take whatever is going on around you get to neutral and then strategically respond? That’s such a great point of growth.
The fourth is social. We found that there was this great body of knowledge around how do you leverage those around you to help you bounce back? That’s a great resource. Finally, and maybe by far the most powerful is what we call the spiritual bounce back factor, which for many, they hear that term and they instantly think, “That must be your religion,” but that’s not the intention. It’s more around, “Do I know what I value? Am I choosing to put that into what I spend my energy on?” If I do, we know that you get bounced back more quickly. That’s another realm. We have these five areas and it’s been such a wonderful journey to help put that into the hands of our clients and see it make value occur both personally and professionally.
That’s a cool thing. I’m curious if they wanted to get started on doing something like that. Is there something you would suggest for them to get some insight into the bounce back factors?
We would love to explore it together. One of the things that I always encourage people to do is go to our website, go to FauroteGroup.com and reach out to us. We’d love to start a conversation where we can share this tool. The other thing that we have that, on our website, you can sign up for this. We created something called the 6-Minute Stretch Series. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, but I read a statistic that said if you were to read something for six minutes, you could reduce stress by up to 52%. I was floored. I thought, “Just six minutes?” I thought, “I agree with it.”
If you can almost take your brain offline to one factor, one thought of growth for six minutes, what you get on the other side is a little closer to neutral and a bit of a different response. We said, “What if we created a micro series leveraging the bounce back factors?” Every two weeks, we release a six-minute video for those subscribed. It gives you these micro learning moments where for six minutes we might reduce stress, but also teach you how small margins of bouncing back can grow to a wonderful set of resilience factors. We would love for people to explore it and reach out and look into it for sure.
How much percentage did you say it reduces stress? Did you say 50%?
Yes. It was in the low 50s. I remember as I was reading that statistic, I thought, “That’s such a big number. That’s not 5% or 10%.” I immediately thought you can do something with that. We can do something with that. We were having a lot of fun with our 6-minute Stretch Series.
I imagine that’s good information. I love that for curiosity. Thanks for sharing that, Sarah. This was so much fun. I was glad that you were able to join me and I hope everybody takes time to check out your site. Thank you for being on the show.
Thank you. What a pleasure.
Making Your Voice VISIBLE With Angela Durrant
I am here with Angela Durrant, who is a Vocal Performance Coach at Maverick Communication. It’s nice to have you here, Angela.
Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here.
I was looking forward to this because our good friend Camilita Nuttall introduced us. Camilita is so much fun and such a great person that I’ve known for years. I want to get a little background on you, of what you’ve done with your career to get to this point and what made you interested in being a vocal performance coach.
It was a part of a foregone conclusion that I would go into some level of performance coaching. Teaching was a different element to that, but I grew up in what is in the UK, a famous, entertaining family. Back in the ‘40s, a gentleman called George Formby, he was one of the top UK entertainers, films, TV, etc. He was a ukulele player and well-known in the UK for films in the 1940s. Right the way up to the ‘60s and ‘70s, he was quite famous, even though he died in the early ‘60s. I grew up amidst the tail end of that. There is still a George Formby Society in the UK that meets in Blackpool every single year to play ukulele. It seems to go on strong. I grew up surrounded by UK, a bit of Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent, all the variety acts.
I grew up watching amazing comedians and performers from the sides of stages as a young child. It was obvious that I would find some level of stage career at the end of it. I went to music college and studied there. The interesting thing is sometimes even though you are surrounded by successful people in your family, what I found was that it took me a while to find my own lane in my own self. I found my own lane in teaching when I started a vocal coaching studio several years ago at the tail end of doing performing. I knew I wanted a family. I knew that I wasn’t going to be one of those top star performers that gave up the idea of having a family.
It was that crossroads. Either go for it or do something else. My heart wasn’t in fame and fortune in that respect. You get those interesting life decisions that you have to make. I knew I wanted a family, but what amazed me was sometimes you think you are stepping away from a dream that you’re finding more your destiny or your legacy. I’ve taught over 1,000 people. I worked in different capacities. Everything, starting off from hobby singers all the way through to, in 2017, I started to transition to work with senior leaders, business professionals, and public speaking because people were coming to me and asking for help. I finally found myself in front of 27 senior leaders in the Ministry of Defense with people flying over from NATO to do an advanced presentation skills training.
There are quite a few ways that we can all use our skills. I marvel that sometimes we think that we’ve got our life planned out in the way that we would love it to go or that somebody else designs our dreams for us. Part of the work that I find that I’m doing with people is much around discovering their voice. What is their lane? What is their real voice? What is their aspiration? That can be both physically and metaphorically. From that, you often find that their true artistic nature or their message comes out with far more passion and far more impact. Therefore, they’re able to go out and have a unique expression, whether that’s in music or in speaking and business that they seem to find themselves. If I nutshell it, when I look at my journey from my family background to where I am now, it’s less about that forceful push to get to the top. It’s more about a discovery or an uncovering of my own gifts and talents outside of the environment that I grew up in, which many people can relate to, regardless of whether they’ve had a famous background or not.
That’s such an interesting family to come from. Can you play the ukulele?
I can’t. I did try a bit of tap dancing once.
I got to wings and some of the tapper moves when I was a kid. I would love to go back and take tap again. That’s one of my favorites. I’ve dealt with some of the things that you’re dealing with. I have a company, Your Media Docs that I run with Dr. Gilda Carle. We help people become better in the media, speaking in different things. Both of us, we make jokes about neither one of us can sing at all. We have zero talent in that area. Some of the vocal coaches I’ve seen, they have brought singing into their presentations for fun. It is fun because it gets you up on your feet and it is a good way to teach people. Do you have any of that involved when you’re helping people find their voice, not the metaphorical voice, but the real voice?Speak your truth. Click To Tweet
Rarely, because a lot of people feel far more self-conscious about that. It’s more about helping people use the voice that they have got in context of how they’re doing it. Sometimes people find that if you take them far out of their realm of comfort zone, particularly with singing, people have such a thing about singing, “I can’t sing. I can’t do this.” Yet as children, we don’t have any fear of these kinds of things. I find that a lot of my work is more around helping them to use their body awareness and their voice in a much more semantic way. I use a lot of helping people to find the bodily and vocal self-awareness.
The reason that I decided to go on a more somatic or psychological way with voice rather than technical exercises was because I realized that if I decided to change direction, hang up my singing socks as it were, or something took me away from this work, I didn’t have a legacy. People were reliant on me and I wanted people to understand how to access and use their own voice and to understand what they had at their fingertips. If they needed me 24/7 or if they were always coming to me as the guru, then I felt that if I wasn’t doing it anymore, I hadn’t created any form of legacy. Nothing changed for people.
The biggest shifts that I saw with any of my clients, whether that be speaker clients for business, or whether that be musical clients or artistic singer-songwriters, it was because I helped them to listen inside themselves. To access and understand the mechanism, the voice, and the function and to almost empower themselves to take that role on and take that journey rather than always looking to an outside source.
It’s something that I deal with a lot of my students. You try to teach them to fish instead of giving them the fish. I remember talking to Camilita about what you do. She told me you spent years developing a system called VISIBLE. What is that?
Back in 2014, I sat down and I thought, in the business world, if I had two speakers in front of me or two people that were giving a presentation or talking, we would be much more drawn to one person over another. I got fascinated as to the X factor, why was it that we would be drawn by one person than another? I worked it backwards after all of my training and everybody that I had seen at the top of their game. I created it into seven areas and those seven areas, you put a bit of good hooky titling around it, but they cover these seven areas.
Number one is Vocal confidence. That ability to have and use your voice to speak up and speak out. There’s no way as we’ve all gone online now if you’re not prepared to be vocally visible, you’re going to struggle. Irresistible presence, that bit that draws us into a human. That sense of not just body language movements, but that sense of being in somebody’s presence. Somebody can stand there and we’re drawn to one person more than another. I teach what that is, how to access it in yourself. There’s the ability to Speak your truth. Speaking your truth is this part of the message that our own authentic messaging and sound and truth that you want to bring out in your work and into the world.
We get to Include a system. That’s what I teach around creating a signature series of take anywhere talks so that you don’t have to keep going out reinventing the wheel. You know what your message is. You know that you can almost rack up with five minutes as it were, as I am now instead of talking through the work that you do that is uniquely yours and you create that into a system. We’re talking Being stage savvy. In the past if we had Dale Carnegie back, he would probably be stood in front of us now with an iPhone and on a Facebook Live. He would certainly not be on a physical platform because being stage savvy these days means that you can do podcasts in this manner. You can do video, live when you get that live. In other words, you can take your message around all sorts of media and adapt to it marvelously.
We look at Letting the audience lead. Letting the audience lead is that bit that I uniquely saw when I stood at the sides of stages at the age of seven years old. The ability to come out in front of your audience, whether that be on video or in live context, but you are able to read your audience and your audience were able to enter into that dance with you, that audience engagement as it were. That can be done from a one-to-one to a one-to-many, right the way through to conference speaking and being able to handle the audience in front of you. Finally, I added in the E for VISIBLE, which is Earn as you learn. Many people are waiting until they’ve got perfection, or until they feel ready enough to do these things, or get out there or make more of themselves.
You’re always in a process of learning, in a state of transfer, transition as it were, and probably transformation. There are people that I know that can be helped by everybody’s message at every single stage of their journey. There’s no reason not to be earning as you are learning through this process. That became the VISIBLE method. I was able to start a membership during the middle of lockdown called The Visible Club. We go through that with people and helping self-employed people to sell more of their stuff to raise their profile and to scale their business through that and through guest experts as well. It’s been an amazing journey. I haven’t spoken on any other topics since 2014, because it makes it much easier when you know what your lane is and you can uniquely walk in it then.
I remember when I first started speaking about my book on curiosity, you start to get your topic and start adjusting and eventually, you get to this thing where you feel like you know this. Inside and out, it’s great to know your lane of what your focus is. A lot of people are afraid to speak and reluctant. I’ve had many Hall of Fame speakers on. I’ve talked to them after the show to ask them the things that I wouldn’t put them on the spot on the show, men versus women and different things of their insights.
In general, a lot of the men when I ask them do they think that women and men can get away with the same things, most of the men will say they don’t think so. Women sometimes want to give a lot of content and teach and the men are more relaxed and can entertain. These are generalizations. They also have said that they thought that women are criticized more because everybody looks at how they look where no one cares what a man is wearing or that type of thing. Do you deal with any of that with the men versus women and how to help women?
It’s an undercurrent, isn’t it? It’s one of those unwritten things that grow under the surface. I’ve done several BBC interviews over the years. In the BBC in the UK, around accents, around all of these topics and almost everything from the class divide right the way through to the male to female divide. I hate to generalize, but you can sometimes generalize. I find that majority of men that are more of an extrovert in nature, the ones that will start businesses and that have successful businesses, they tend to find their smarts on the way. They are much more comfortable with being gregarious or winging it a bit. I call them confident wingers. They’re much more prepared to do all of that on their way and hide the anxiety or the undercurrent and they’re quite savvy and smart.
The people that I tended to work a lot with, lots of men come to me for one-to-one help and they tend to want the one-to-one work rather than the community. Women tend to like being in community and having a group discussion rather than some of my male clients. The men clients tended to be more of the introvert engineers, solicitors, accountants. Introverted experts, the ones that have been technical in their journey up to now. They find a route to power that doesn’t require them to present. One of the problems with that is by the time that they’ve moved through the ranks of their corporate career, and they get to that manager to director role, or they get that C-Suite opportunity, those C-Suite opportunities are much more of a figurehead and presenting role.
That’s when they tend to find that they look for the additional support and the skills and the help, because up to that point, they haven’t had to present. Women on the other hand, the statistics are still in there sadly that 90% of women will not ask for funding in the way that men will. Fifty-six percent of them are still underconfident about going in and asking for a raise or to go and promote themselves within the workplace even. More women are starting businesses outside of corporate, but I see on social media, many more women are worried about the visibility, about what people think of them, standing out and speaking out and about getting criticized. There’s a lot of work for us all to do still.
It is an interesting look at that. I looked at women and men in the curiosity realm. There’s an Oxford study that I thought was interesting about how men and women are different in how they will ask questions or be curious after watching a live presentation. Men are much more likely to ask questions. They’ll ask them right away without a lot of other people asking questions ahead of time. They’ll point out stuff that people had said incorrectly in their speech or if there’s a problem where women are more likely to think it’s them, that they saw something wrong and it was something that they were mistaken. It’s interesting to look at the differences of how we communicate and the challenges we have. What do you think is the biggest thing that people come to you to fix? Is it confidence? What is it?
Two types of people will come to me. The first type of people come to me because they are more aspirational. These are typically the successful male type of clients that have done well in their business, or they’ve done successfully in one business and now they want to become more motivational speakers and they feel as if something’s holding them back. They come to me for almost that polishing off and to create a new message for a new season as it were. There’s the aspirational side of the work that I do. The other side of the work that people come is that understanding what they’re trying to say out in the world and the confidence to say it and they tend to be the women.
It tends to be around imagining that they are the problem rather than that it was missaid. A lot of things around women and confidence and influencing skills. How to be taken more seriously in what they’re doing. In order to do that, they have to almost often take that time to convince themselves that they have the skills, the talent, the ability and sometimes the responsibility to stand up and be counted. They want to but they’re putting barriers and blocks in the way. Once they can see that you can make quite significant changes quickly, it’s not a long process, then suddenly it’s almost as if that mental shift happens quite quickly and they start to get that message more sorted. Whereas what I’ve found with my male clients is they would go out and working out along the way, and women would tend to hold back until they felt they had something important to say.
You hear that a lot in how men will say, “I’ll take that job.” They don’t have to have to feel like they have 100% of the qualifications where women wait until they’ve got 100%. That’s the same kind of thing. You mentioned some changes that they make. What kind of changes are you offering to help them to improve? What kind of changes do they need to make?
First of all, sometimes I’ll do a bit of work with people. What is the theme of their life message? People tend to chop and change. Women particularly tend to want to chop and change. When you sit them down and go, “This is part of what you’ve always been in your lane to say and do.” As soon as we get a little bit of that core confidence, they’ve always had it on the inside of them. Some of the things that we’ll do is exercise together. I will often create exercises for them. A lot of things on video, where they get to watch themselves back, but in a safe environment. When they get to watch themselves back and they feel as if you’ve got somebody in front of them, it’s not just saying, “That’s lovely,” because it’s your friend or somebody on Facebook. It’s clear feedback of how they can move forward.
I do a lot of talk structuring for people, helping them to create the talks and to make simple planning and framework things that they can go out and do that time and time again. I’m amazed at how much planning I do with people helping them to fill in the detail and the gaps because they often feel as if they haven’t got time to work out what they want to say. When somebody comes in and drags it out to them a bit, they see it’s been there all along. It’s like looking at somebody else and going, “How come I haven’t got those?”Don’t just be yourself. Be your best self. Click To Tweet
Straight away shine a mirror up to them with various exercises, one-to-ones and vocal work. Some of that vocal work is simple in terms of how to use their intonation better, how to speak through their sentences with smoothness, how to read ahead and many things not being taught to people in school. They worry that they haven’t got the professional nature or to show up to that next level. You show them a few ways of making some changes and that fear that they’ve got to longer journey goes away.
You bring up some stuff that reminds me of my childhood. We were taught the monotone thing and it was not something we would have ever had in our family because everything was enthusiasm. A lot of people don’t pay attention to that when they speak. They’ll stay in the same monotone, or they’re afraid to add comedic undertones to what they say because sometimes comedy is tough. Self-deprecation is fun, you have a bit here and there, but you do too much. How do you get that balance of what you put in what you say?
First of all, in terms of vocal tone, many people worry that they are putting on an act and they’re not authentic. There’s a lot of talk about authenticity. People misunderstand authenticity. They think authenticity is showing up without any polish. I’m like, “You wouldn’t pay $50, $60 to see somebody on the stage for them to show up in their pajamas in the side, you wouldn’t.” Once they realize that anything that you’re doing with your communicating is a bit off-putting on the show and they’re still authentically then in the meantime in doing that, that fear of not being authentic or putting on an act goes away.
They’re worried. People can say, “Be yourself.” I’m going, “Be your best self.” In terms of other things that you say to people is in terms of intonation and in terms of phrasing, it’s being prepared. If I handed you a piece of music, you and I would both go, “I’m not prepared. I don’t want to sing.” We’ve been talking forever. We often don’t think of the preparation needed to go out there and do a good interview, a good video. Why I spend a lot of time helping people to create simple frameworks is because they overcomplicate it many times. They spend hours putting PowerPoints together they don’t need. They avoid it because they don’t like the tone of their voice. As soon as I give people some simple speech exercises to do, they realize that practice is not difficult. Practice is preparation, a bit of thought and deciding what you want to say rather than waffling with something.
Even when we’re talking now in this conversation, I’m listening into the core elements. Listening is a big part of the work that I do. Teaching people how to listen for what it is that they need to be saying. To say it as succinctly as they possibly can, whether I’m doing that now. People do worry that they’re either not saying too much or they think they waffle. They’re worried that they won’t be remembered. There are many kinds of fears that they’ve got because we’ve got so much more ability to watch everybody else online now. There’s too much comparison going on.
I was raised in a competitive environment. You do that, you tend to say, “Zig Ziglar went on stage and did this.” You go, “I’m not Zig Ziglar and I don’t have that kind of personality.” You have to work within who you are. It’s like showing up without makeup and your hairbrush. You have to do a bit to figure out how to become better. It’s something that I learned a lot from being in sales. I found sales helpful. You’re talking about seeing yourself on video. As a pharmaceutical representative, they used to videotape us doing these fake presentations to doctors.
It was mortifying when you’re 22 or 23, whatever I was, watching myself do this, but I’m glad I did it now because it forced me to see something you don’t recognize because you’re not looking at it from that 3D angle of somebody from the outside perspective. I liked the idea of doing that. Now everything is visual with YouTube and everybody putting videos everywhere. It’s helpful for many people. A lot of people are reading this and thinking, “I could use this help.” You’re in the UK, but you work with people all over the world.
I started to transition everything online several years ago. I had resistance at the time. Certainly in the UK, we’re at least twenty years behind everybody in the US for all these kinds of things. I started to transition. I tell you what people loved about it once they did is the fact that you can record these things, the people, they’ve got a success library video and audio that they can listen back to that’s personal to them that they can go back, rewatch and revisit. It’s sometimes even more effective than being in person where they can’t remember what they’re doing when they leave the session.
Many people could use that. For our readers, if they want to find out more about your VISIBLE program and everything else that you’re doing, is there some website or something you’d like to share to help them?
If you’re self-employed and you want to help yourself with the sales, my experience too, they can find more information on The Visible Club at www.TheVisibleClub.com. You download an eBook at TheVisibleClub.com/ebook which gives you the whole of The VISIBLE method right there and a nice guide for you as a real starter freebie for people to have a look. It also goes through some vocal exercises in there and some ways that you can create your own signature system. From there, you can reach out to me and people can reach out to me also at Angela@AngelaDurrant.com. I’m more than happy. I answer all my own emails and I love to have conversations with people around what they wanted to achieve with their voice and with their visibility.
I love how well you enunciate. My father taught us that was important. If we can learn to improve how we speak and the things that we do in our presence, it’s critical. This was so much fun, Angela. Thank you for being on the show.
Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
It’s been fun.
I’d like to thank Sarah and Angela for being my guests. We get many great guests on this show. If you haven’t had a chance to check out some of the shows you might’ve missed, you can go to DrDianeHamilton.com. There’s a lot of tweetable moments. I would love to hear what you think is great from the show. Feel free to tweet some of those moments. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- The Faurote Group
- Maverick Communication
- Daniel Goleman – previous episode
- Camilita Nuttall – previous episode
- Your Media Docs
- The Visible Club
About Sarah Turner
As a Principal at The Faurote Group, Sarah Turner serves as a professional trainer, consultant, and executive coach. Her specialties include customized training programs for developing strong leaders, personalized coaching plans to assist in determining and achieving goals, as well as customized support for corporate initiatives for maximizing success.
She has multiple certifications including the Emotional Intelligence instruments EQi- 2.0® and EQ360® as well as DISC, Platinum Rule™, Predicative Index™, and being a certified Corporate Athlete®.
About Angela Durrant
Angela Durrant is a Vocal Performance Coach at Maverick Communication. She was born in Birmingham and moved to Wales in the 90’s to attend the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her uncle was the famous film entertainer and ukulele player George Formby, and as all her family were professional stage entertainers Angela followed in their footsteps studying singing before embarking on a professional career. She took a change of direction in 2009 opening a voice studio and has been a voice coach of over 8 years.
In that time she has worked with over 700 people on their voices and communication skills both in music and business. Angela has branched out to create Maverick Communication and now works with leaders, senior executives and organizations on delivering authentic presentations and training on speaking with impact and the art of influence. Maverick Communication works with people to become better communicators.
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