Category Archives: Good People Great

Understanding Emotional Intelligence At Work

As with any other relationship in your life, your work relationships can be pivotal to your feelings of contentment, adequacy and success.


However, just as with your personal relationships, your work relationships do not magically become strong and fulfilling overnight. Developing and maintaining them for optimal results can require a special set of skills and attention, skills that are more natural to some than others.

This set of skills tends to fall under the concept of emotional intelligence. This concept was introduced and popularised by psychologists in the 1990s, but business leaders quickly took to the concept and have now made it their own.

Essentially, emotional intelligence refers to the capacity of someone to identify, evaluate and manage their own emotional state, while also being able to correctly identify and manage the emotions of others.

This last point is particularly important when we consider how important being able to correctly ‘read’ others can be in a workplace environment. Depending on the nature of your work, you may interact with people a lot or only occasionally. Regardless of the volume of interaction, when those interactions do happen they can be extremely important to both your individual success and the success of those around you.

Those who do possess higher levels of emotional intelligence often possess a few key advantages over those who are yet to develop this increasingly important skillset. In high stress environments, those with high levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to be able to cooperate with others, manage stress, more consistently resolve conflicts and learn effectively from previous mistakes. Those who actively develop their emotional intelligence are better able to manage the daily stresses of work in a positive way and outperform their peers.

So, what key behaviours do those who possess high levels of emotional intelligence exhibit that separates them from those who do not? There are a few that can be easily identified from the many writings on emotional intelligence in the workplace:

  • They practice self-awareness. They are aware of their own shortcomings and are forthcoming about these with others. They are able to recognise strong emotions in others, and be able to clearly determine what has caused others to feel the way they do.
  • They self-regulate. Instead of allowing their emotions to control them, they are able to control their reactions to people and situations so they do not have a negative effect upon others.
  • They are self-motivated and internally driven. Those with high levels of emotional intelligence are not driven by external factors alone, such as deadlines or fear of failure. They are driven by an internal sense of accomplishment and self-determined standards that push them to achieve more.
  • They are highly empathic. They have the ability to recognise, comprehend and experience the emotions of those around them. By doing so, they are able to literally put themselves in someone else’s shoes, increasing the likelihood of positive resolutions to difficult and stressful situations.
  • They have great social skills. Those with high emotional intelligence are able to interact and negotiate with a wide range of people. They are able to effectively read people to understand their perspective and adapt their approach accordingly.

In particular, leaders who demonstrate these behaviours are more likely to be successful in their roles, have stronger relationships with their team members and are able to resolve conflict-related issues that arise in any leadership position. While some roles such as Software Developer or Accountant may not have a lot of face-to-face interaction time, the behaviours that come with having a high level of emotional intelligence are absolutely vital to the success of a leader in any field.

Leaders who are self-aware and self-regulate will be seen as reliable, resilient and trustworthy. Those who present themselves as such are more likely to gain the trust of those around them, encouraging a more open and honest working environment that benefits everyone.

Those leaders who are seen as self-motivated will inspire others to find their own internal motivators. By focusing on what makes them happy and content at work, leaders are opening up others to consider what individually inspires and motivates them in their own performance. Team members who are more self-motivated will be more likely to set goals, manage their own performance and direct their energy effectively into high pay-off activities (HPAs) that make them feel active and instrumental to the success of themselves and those around them.

Leaders who are empathic and have highly-developed social skills foster a rapport with their team members as individuals with unique backgrounds, personalities and strengths. Leaders who are able to meaningfully connect with team members as individuals are also able to work through problems with team members as they arise. Work related or personal issues are not simply sidelined or ignored, instead leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to pre-empt the best course of action for those around them.

Great leadership and high emotional intelligence are highly-related. Developing your emotional intelligence will greatly benefit your career prospects, your ability to lead and your work/life balance.

LMA’s associated company, Thrive More, currently offers three distinct Emotional Intelligence short courses that are specifically designed to improve your Emotional Intelligence quickly and effectively. Click one of the links below to find out more or call 1800 333 270.

Applied Emotional Intelligence For Leaders

This in-depth, two day course equips leaders with practical concepts, tools and techniques on how to apply emotional intelligence in the leadership of others.

Applying Emotional Intelligence

Our one day Applying Emotional Intelligence course provides leaders with practical tools and techniques for applying emotional intelligence in the leadership of others.

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

In this half day introductory course leaders learn about the science of emotions and emotional intelligence and explore practical tools and techniques for applying it in the leadership of others.

End of Financial Year: Review, Plan, GO!

The end of financial year signifies more than just an opportunity to close off another official tax year; it presents the perfect opportunity to review the year that has been.

Analysing the performances that got you there provides you with the opportunity to develop plans for further success in the next financial year.


In order to carry out an effective analysis of the previous year’s performance and results, you need to review your business performance against very clear measures; measures that give you an understanding of every relevant aspect of your business.


Different businesses spend the lead up to June 30 in a variety of ways. However, there are some close to universal actions which all businesses can apply to successfully review the undertakings of the year and apply these finding towards analysis and planning for the future:

  • Review your actual business performance against your budgeted performance, including all your known variables. There is no better place to start to improve than by knowing exactly how well you did, according to how well you thought you would perform.
  • Review the key drivers of the business and compare how these may have changed according to the previous five years. Have you been doing something differently that may have spiked or slumped your performance this year?
  • Prepare a forecasted budget for the coming financial year, including your known variables as far ahead as you can see them. It’s impossible to predict the future, but you can forecast into the year by looking back on what you know has happened in the past.
  • Consider the current state of your business plan and strategy. Has the core nature of your business shifted, either slightly or dramatically? Are there gaps in the market you can take advantage of with a clearer business vision for the New Year?
  • Review your key staff and their performance. Your staff members are one of your most important assets. Are their performances in the expected range, or is extra training and support necessary to achieve your individual and collective goals? Review if you have been checking in with them regularly about their role, or decide whether you may need to review how you are tracking performance for the best information. This essential staff member review stage can be actioned through the engagement with The Performance Edge course, which will enhance existing capabilities of your high-performance team members as it focuses on crucial interpersonal and professional skills such as productivity, performance and personal leadership.

No one is capable of growth or improvement without self-reflection. Businesses are no different; they require constant maintenance and reflection to be able to plan for a better and brighter future.



Once you have reviewed the technical and operational aspects of your business leading up to the end of June, you can proceed to the planning stage.


Set your priorities

No matter what type of business owner you are, narrowing down your ideas from among all the worthwhile possibilities (whether it’s an opportunity to expand to a new market or choosing a better time management strategy), it can be difficult to focus on one thing at a time.

At the same time you review and update your business plan for the coming year, focus on what are the most important things for you to achieve this coming year. With your new priorities in mind, break them down into written goals, and then break them down again into smaller milestone tasks. By following this priority setting pattern you will maximise productivity, and enjoy the little successes that lead to big changes.


Think outside the box

Your priorities in the coming year may be to hit an ambitious revenue target, tap into a new market or relaunch your brand with a fresh new face.

Whatever they may be, an important thing to keep in mind, as you make plans to move your business forward is how you’ll stay relevant and engaging in an increasingly competitive market.

As part of your planning process, spend some time on market reconnaissance and research. Look back into previous SWOT analyses and see how you can plan new business moves that swing success in your favour. Understand what your unique selling position is and include it in as many plans as you can for your future moves.



At this stage you’ll be excited to get your ideas out there and enact all of your carefully considered plans. While you can do much as a one man band, you can’t do it all alone. Before you can really hit the ground running you will need to rally your team, no matter how large or small, to drive the best performance you can into this coming year.

How are you managing motivation in your business?

Motivating staff at any time throughout the year is a bit of a management art. However, the EOFY time is a perfect one to check in with what is driving your staff members to perform in the roles, and see how your new plans for the year can fit into their own individual goals.

  • Have one-on-one meetings with all of your staff to communicate any new points of direction with them that may be happening in the business, as a result of your reviewing and planning stages
  • Provide an opportunity for staff members to express their concerns and ideas coming into the New Year
  • Determine what are the internal drivers of each of your staff members and allocate new or changed tasks from your review process, to better suit team members’ different strengths and interests

By properly reviewing the year that has been, planning ahead with priorities and focus, and engaging your team in your plans for the future, you will truly be ready to hit the ground sprinting towards your goals for your business.


Get the most out of your people

In a time where a business can thrive or falter depending on a few vital decisions, it is important to be aware of what proactive moves you can make to stay ahead of your competition.


To remain competitive, a business must continually search for ways to improve it’s overall bottom line. Most companies aim to improve their position through two simultaneous methods; growing revenues and increasing efficiencies.

What many people don’t see is that the people you have working with you are the common thread that links these two methods.

When your people are performing at their highest level, they are working to achieve both the aims of increasing revenue and increasing efficiencies. Your people are your brand, your reputation, your networks and the future of your business. Luckily, if you invest in their skills and future you will also be investing in the continued success of your business.

LMA’s The Performance Edge (TPE) course is the ideal way to invest in the essential skills your people require to perform at their very best. The TPE course will enlarge the already existing capabilities of your high-performing team members, while opening them to new possibilities in their own performance, both in their professional and personal lives.

With a unique focus on The Total Person® Concept, the TPE course allows participants to achieve results in all areas of their lives. Previous participants of LMA’s TPE course have said they felt happier, less stressed and achieved a healthy work/life balance as a result of their engagement with the course. All have noted the considerable ROI that comes as a result of the TPE, with many gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in measurable productivity improvements per year.

The TPE successfully brings out the best in your people by focusing on essential interpersonal and professional skills such as:

  • Productivity and Performance
  • Organisational Skills
  • Communication
  • Team Development
  • Personal Leadership

By helping your people focus on these key areas, you can experience a Slight Edge – oftentimes that small difference in performance that makes all the difference in results.

A proactive business is a business that has that Slight Edge. A proactive business is one that knows that it’s employees are it’s greatest assets and that they can generate this Slight Edge.

The TPE course is one that works to improve the existing skills of your team members, while also ensuring they are prepared to take on any future challenges.

Knowing that you value the improvement of your bottom line and the continued security of your organisation’s future, you might consider the TPE course as an ideal investment for you and your team members.

Gain that Slight Edge – check out the TPE here.

Empowered people. Better results.

Today we are embracing a giant milestone event! We have refreshed the LMA brand and we are announcing the creation of Thrive Alliance, a brand joining together our group of companies.

A message from our Founder – Grant Sexton

On the 24th of May 2017 we celebrate LMA’s 45 years in business. What started in a small office in Wellington Street, St Kilda in Melbourne, has grown to become a recognised and respected provider of training and development services throughout Australia and New Zealand. From 3 people, with very little business experience, but an abundance of enthusiasm, passion and hope, we now have over 140 passionate and professional people involved in our business across both countries. We have evolved as an organisation that truly understands its destiny and its mission – “Creating exceptional results through people”.

It has been a very long journey, during which we have been privileged to partner with incredible people in our team to assist over 120,000 people in their personal and leadership development journeys. Obviously, there have been many changes in the training and development sector across Australia and New Zealand over those 45 years. We have adjusted to many changes, and often initiated positive changes within our sector.

Many of those positive changes and improvements that have shaped our progress were initiated by ideas and feedback from you, our clients. Our individual clients who, as participants, enrolled in LMA and Think Perform programs, and our corporate clients being the employers who understand the importance of creating great learning and development opportunities for their people. Amongst the thousands of small incremental innovations and improvements, we have also achieved many large quantum leaps and milestones.

Many people are aware that the reputation of the VET sector in Australia has been severely damaged in recent years with abuse of government funding by unscrupulous operators, especially the VET Fee Help Scheme in the Business to Consumer (B to C) market. Substandard training and unearned certificates and diplomas became the norm for a large number of the providers in our field. As a result of much closer scrutiny, many high profile providers, predominantly in the B to C market, have now closed their doors, had their RTO status revoked or gone into voluntary administration.

However, we believe that the major problems, dramas and difficulties that the VET sector has been experiencing over recent years are coming to an end.


We at LMA, see a very bright and exciting new future. Our high quality training and development solutions will be sought after by individuals and organisations who understand the real value of investing in people’s potential.

We are modernising our blended learning model to meet your requests. As of this week, LMA Participants will be able to access the new FBOL App via their Apple or Android device. These apps will be available in the Apple and Google Play stores, and download links will be available on the login page of the Feedback Online website.

In addition to audio streaming, participants will be able to view and update their win/win agreement goals and personal goals as well as communicate with their Facilitator and Manager/Mentor.

There are many more improvements and new innovative initiatives scheduled for release in 2017-2018. Over the next 5 years, we will build a true “RTO with a difference”. An RTO committed to developing individuals and organisations towards their full potential.

Today we are embracing another giant milestone event, as we prepare for the future. LMA is the RTO within the Thrive Alliance group of companies which provides much more than the delivery of high quality, life-changing leadership development and transformational change programs. For this reason, we are launching a new look and feel in our branding for this exciting journey into the future.

We are proud to introduce to you…

Thrive Alliance
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Brand refresh and Thrive Alliance information:

Thrive Alliance is the umbrella brand that joins together our group of complimentary and specialised brands, all with the same purpose – creating exceptional results through people.

In itself, the name Thrive Alliance speaks to the vision for our group of companies and brands; an alliance of people, brands, products and services which empower our Participants and Client Organisations to thrive.

The launch of Thrive Alliance and the development and additions to the products and services offered, is a result of ongoing feedback from our Clients and Participants. We believe it is our responsibility as your trusted training and development partner to provide tried and tested development programs which deliver measurable results and R.O.I whilst innovating and releasing new tools and courses which satisfy a broader range of your needs and requirements. The Thrive Alliance Framework allows us to do just that.

So how does it all fit together?

LMA – Leadership and Performance Development.
Empowered People. Better Results.
Leadership Management Australasia is the proven best choice for unlocking the potential in people to positively impact results and the bottom line.


THINK PERFORM – Empowering Continuous Improvement.
Sustainable Change. Better Results.
The proven best choice for empowering people to drive continuous improvement and to positively impact culture, results and the bottom line.


THRIVE MORE – A range of best-in-class courses, tools and solutions to positively impact your people’s performance.
As opposed to the Premium Programs offered by LMA and Think Perform, Thrive More will offer short courses and workshops predominantly delivered over half, one or two days. At this stage, our Thrive More products include:

· Emotional Intelligence
· Productivity and Performance Improvement
· Lean Foundation Workshops
· Sales Foundation
· ….and many more to come


THRIVE PARTNERS – A network of complimentary trusted partners adding value to your business.


Our success over the years is because we have not tried to be all things to all people. However, we have many clients that ask us for recommendations to providers of products and services which are outside our offering. Over time, we will be growing a network of trusted Partners which can provide quality products and services to our clients when the need arises.

To find out more, call 1800 333 270 or click here to visit the Thrive Alliance Website.

There are many more improvements and new innovative initiatives scheduled for release in 2017-2018.

Stay tuned for more exciting news from LMA and Thrive Alliance!

Build a Strong Foundation for Success

When you participate in leadership development training, you’re building on your previous experience and success. Your improved skills will enable you to get more done in less time and with less wasted effort, and as a result, you will become increasingly valuable to your chosen organisation.  Improved skills means less stress related to your responsibilities, so you will find yourself enjoying your job even more.

As you grow as a Leader, you will have a positive influence in three areas:

  1. In the organisation overall,
  2. With your own team members, and
  3. The work climate as a whole.


  • Your influence in the organisation: Organisations are much like human beings. Each copes with challenges in its own characteristic way and, operates in a manner designed to preserve its existence and succeed. An organisation is simply two or more people working toward a common goal. Regardless of the size of your organisation, being a leader calls for willingness to identify with your organisation’s purpose, to support it with your attitudes and your actions, and to facilitate the changes needed for the organisation’s ongoing success. Regardless of the type of your organisation – whether it’s a provider of services, a distributor of goods, or a manufacturer – you’re expected first of all to get results through your people in order to operate at a profit. Given defined human and financial resources, you must reach certain productivity goals. The nature of “profit” takes different forms according to the nature of the organisation, but the principle is the same.  “You are effective as a leader only when you manage the available resources to make the product or service worth more to the organisation than the cost of producing it.”  Although your personality characteristics and skills are important, your value to the organisation is generally measured by how effectively you’re fulfilling its mission and achieving cost-effective results.
  • Your influence on team members: In addition to understanding your responsibility to the organisation, you must also understand the needs and wants of the members of your work group. If you concentrate exclusively on your own needs and goals and neglect those of your team members, a deep rift in team relationships could develop. If you’re achievement oriented, you may be tempted to boost your own self-esteem by downplaying the contributions made by other team members. But when other team members feel that their efforts have been ignored or that their value has gone unrecognised, they view themselves as relatively unimportant to the organisation. Consequently, they feel less responsibility for being personally productive. Avoid this destructive pattern at all costs! Both you and your team members will enjoy the positive results of shared responsibility, achievement and recognition.
  • Your influence on the work climate: When you adopt a no-limitations belief in the potential and worth of every individual, you begin coaching each team member with an enthusiasm that says, “You can do it!” Your confidence in them gives them maximum opportunity to grow, to meet their own needs, and to contribute to the success of your department or work group. When you believe in the ability of people to perform productively, your expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People tend to live up to what’s expected of them by others, especially by those they consider authority figures. When you demonstrate that you believe your team members can succeed, they’re willing to take more growth risks. A no-limitations belief in people also makes it easier for you to delegate various responsibilities and to trust your team members to get the help, resources and training they may need to successfully complete the tasks you assign. When you demonstrate your confidence in their ability to perform successfully, they will accept the challenge and work harder to meet your expectations.

Learning to Work with the Digital Age

Many industries have already started to ask key questions:  What will the workplace look like in an age of disruption from the status quo? What will employees be doing and how will managers be able to best guide those around them through a digital transformation? How many of the roles around us will be automated, or obsolete? What will ‘work’ look like in the next 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years?

Although these may seem like abstract questions to be asking, they are in fact pivotal questions for any forward thinking organisation and industry to be asking now. While a complete digital transformation may yet be decades away, those who start putting into place policies and practices now are more likely to be ahead of the pack when the disruption does come.

According to many experts in this area, there are a few fundamental forces that are driving change in the workplace:

  • There has been a notable shift from traditional hierarchies and social contracts to more flexible working arrangements. Also, work is becoming more project based and collaborative across various teams and networks.
  • With the rise of diversity in our professional vocabulary, we are experiencing an increasingly inclusive workforce with individualised work policies to support the diversity around us.
  • Increasingly more work is done virtually or remotely.
  • Instead of changes taking years to enact, industry has become used to adapting on a continual basis, rapidly reinventing itself as necessary.
  • We have accepted that automation is now a part of our lives, and we have developed work around the presence of the automated processes around us.

For many who study the field of digitisation in work, the last point seems to be the catalyst for the previous four. As automation takes over more jobs and more industries, we can tend to think negatively about how many people this will put out of work.

We recommend approaching it from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the loss that comes from automation, we can start to think about the space that is opened up to personal and professional development, ongoing rigour in our pursuit of meaningful, even joyful work, and the possibilities that can come from a digitally agile business.

While this all sounds extraordinary in principle, the real challenge is putting this attitude and the policies that come with it into practice. In an age when technology reigns supreme, people will still remain a company’s greatest asset. After all, collective knowledge, collaboration and innovation are fuelled by people, not algorithms or disruptive technologies.

So, how do you embrace the technological onslaught while still maintaining the strong position of your people? In short, not without a lot of planning and with digitally agile people at the helm. Research suggests that it will take a few key underlying capabilities to succeed in this task:

  • Hyper-awareness – the ability to gather and analyse data from employees, contractors, customers, competitors and the changing marketplace. For us in the field of developing people, this means gathering as much information as we can through in-depth surveys such as the annual L.E.A.D. Survey to inform future decisions according to the changing market. How are you staying in touch with your industry and the changes that are happening within it?
  • Informed decision making – namely, the ability to use the collective intelligence, talent and creativity of the workforce to make good strategic and operational decisions. How are you using the talent around you to hone decision making for the future?
  • Execution with agility – the ability to act quickly to find the talent needed to elevate the organisation to the next level and ensure that those loyal to the company are given the tools and training to continue to work to achieve the strategic goals of the company.

While it sounds like a lot to be aware of, there is one underlying factor that can assist in facilitating any amount of change or disruption: that is the willingness to change. New capabilities call for a fundamental desire to listen to those around you and accept the need for change. Digital changes emphatically insist on a willingness to accept them. To be able to face the coming changes, the way we work on a daily basis needs to be examined and adapted, and new ways of thinking need to have the space to come into our workplaces for the better of everyone involved.  LMA offers a wide range of courses related to this field, click here to check them out!

Cultivating Collaboration in the Workplace

The notion of collaboration is nothing new to any progressive workplace. Collaboration is the stuff that binds a team together and allows new skills and opportunities to present themselves. As the workplace becomes ever more flexible, more connected and more digital, it is important to keep in mind what forms the basis of effective collaboration, and how to harness its potential in an increasingly fast-paced environment.

Thanks to technology and the ubiquity of digital communication tools, connecting with one another in a work environment has seemingly never been simpler. However, regardless of technology advances, good collaboration between team members, departments and managers will always still rely on organisation and openness between people.

To best cultivate a culture of collaboration in your workplace, you need to first encourage the creation of a platform for open and driven communication.  Make your good people great!

Clearly communicate open communication expectations

To cultivate a strong and ongoing culture of collaboration, the first step needs to be setting this as the base level of expectation among all team members and leaders. Every team member needs to not only understand their own position, but also the position and responsibilities of those around them. In a collaborative environment, each team member will be aware of what their responsibilities are and how these form part of the greater whole around them.

By clearly communicating to both new and existing team members the wider company expectations that go along with being a part of the team, each person will be on the same page moving forward with any changes, developments or projects.

Set team goals

We are huge advocates for personal and professional goal setting for individuals. Additionally, we are also big advocates for setting regular S.M.A.R.T. team goals.

Ensure these goals are concise, measurable and set at least on a quarterly basis. By having each team focus on goals, individual efforts will stay on track while also aligning group efforts with desired larger outcomes. Team members that feel they are working collectively towards some larger goal will feel more connected to each step towards these larger goals and will also be more invested in the final outcome of their individual efforts.

Encourage a creative atmosphere

Some of the most successful companies in the world are renowned for their creative structures and processes (think of Google and Apple). By allowing team members the opportunity to regularly brainstorm and question in an open and non-judgemental framework, you are encouraging new strategies and solutions to appear, as opposed to focusing on the current roadblocks of a problem.

By nurturing a ‘can do’ attitude and encouraging resourcefulness in your environment you are sending a message to each team member that clearly indicates how important their input and opinion is to the future of the organisation.

Provide social opportunities

Although people are expected to be working when they are at work, human beings are social and curious creatures. We need to feel that we are accepted and acknowledged by those around us to feel comfortable and safe. Along with this feeling of safety comes an accompanying space to think creatively, be ourselves and perform at our peak.

By providing a space for regular social activities, you are allowing team members to get to know one another better so they feel more comfortable and more capable of working together. Different personality dynamics, skill sets and experiences will be present in each team. By getting to know one another better, team members will be able to draw on one another’s skill sets to complete projects more effectively and more efficiently.

Leverage the strengths in your team

Position each team member to achieve the most they can by assigning them to tasks that will allow them to succeed. Reward both individual and team accomplishments with acknowledgement, both public and private if the team member is comfortable with this attention.

Establishing a collaboration culture is only the beginning. Collaboration has to be at the forefront of leaders’ minds – it has to be a consistent policy based on openness, mutual respect and a willingness to listen to others. Instead of focusing on just your team members who are excelling, a culture of collaboration calls for the focus to be shifted onto the performance and development of all those who are in your organisation. After all, if everyone who has a voice and a new idea in your team is able to speak and act, imagine the possibilities for performance and productivity that can bring.

Tuning Your Delivery – Keys to Better Public Speaking

When you have an important message, you must be able to deliver it confidently and powerfully. You need to be able to read the room, hone your body language, vocal approach, movement and audience interaction to suit your message and your end goal.

For many, public speaking is a terrifying and utterly paralysing experience. The mere mention of the words ‘public speaking’ can send some into a cold sweat. For others, it can seem as natural as breathing. They are able to control the room with ease and deliver their message without so much as breaking a sweat. How do they do it? For a select few, it does come naturally. For the majority of great public speakers though, it is a skill they have honed over time with a lot of feedback, fine-tuning and of course, practice.

No matter your role or your industry, there will no doubt be a time when you have to present to a group of people. This may be for an inter-office presentation for a new project, to a large conference or seminar piece, anywhere through to a meeting for a promotion. Regardless of the occasion, or the size of the audience, the skills of public speaking are transferable and necessary for success in these and a variety of other occasions.

If you are a rookie to public speaking, don’t sweat it. There are some tried and tested methods that you can employ to improve your chances for success. Similarly, even if you consider yourself to be an old hat at public speaking, it doesn’t hurt to check back in with this checklist and ensure you are giving yourself the best chance for success at your next speaking engagement.

Allow yourself to move

Many of those new to public speaking forget how important movement is to maintaining the attention of their audience. Conversely, some mistake this to mean that they need to be constantly moving to hold their audience captive. It is a fine balance, but one you can definitely tune over time. Think of how you move and place various parts of your body when you are talking one-on-one to people. That stance and those movements are your natural ones you use to engage those around you. Return to these gestures and level of movement whenever you get stressed in the moment.

Crank up the energy

Your audience is looking to you for how to react – you are the catalyst for the reactions that will follow. Knowing this, it is clear that if you want to have an audience that is engaged and active, you yourself have to be engaging and active. Be sure to crank up the energy levels when you are speaking. You will command more attention and will project more of your natural confidence and charisma.

Be Prepared

It will take a particularly gifted person to be able to consistently stand in front of others and speak confidently with no preparation. For the rest of us, preparation is a must. Experienced speakers do plenty of research so that they feel confident in their material and their ability to deliver it. Also, preparation is essential to be on your toes to answer any questions that may come your way after the presentation. It’s important to go through multiple iterations of your material, revising and editing it to achieve the most polished and finished delivery you can muster.  Click Here for some extra preparation tips for you to use.


Every experienced speaker will tell you this one important truism: great speeches take practice. Experienced speakers will often do many dry runs of their material in front of a trusted audience, namely their family, friends or colleagues. They will replicate the environment the real event will take place in as close as possible. They’ll choreograph their movements and gestures to punctuate important points throughout the speech. They will recognise their weak points and will put more effort into turning these weaknesses into strengths. Great speeches rarely, if ever, just happen.

Present a digestible amount of information

Although you need to be prepared for your speech with the most amount of information you can gather, you also need to be an adept editor of your own speech. Many speakers feel compelled to get through as much material as possible to get their point across. This can lead to rushing, poor explanation of your points and in general, an unintelligible presentation. Being prepared also includes understanding what you need to present to your audience to demonstrate your point, while still maintaining their attention. Always have a little more information up your sleeve than you present in your initial speech. This is useful for Q & A sessions and any follow up questions you may receive. Remember, if your getting asked questions it usually means you stimulated someone’s mind or provoked a further thought. It’s better to do this than lull your audience to sleep with an extended presentation devoid of space for free thinking.

Want to know if you are an effective communicator? Check out the LMA Effective Communication Checklist and give yourself a communication audit to improve your skills.

Leaders versus Managers: Spot the Difference

As those in the business of developing managers and leaders, we talk to a lot of people who are in the throes of mastering many of the skills associated with being a manager and a leader. While many of the skills required cross over between the two, it is also imperative to take a step back and think on this important question: What makes a manager, a manager, and what makes a leader a leader?

While some people will definitely be both, there are some telling differences between managers and leaders that can set them apart in the eyes of those they report to and in the eyes of their teams.


By definition, managers have subordinates who report directly to them. Most managers will have a title that denotes a sense of automatic authority, normally of a more formal variety. In response to this formal arrangement of management, most managers will have people who work for them in response to a direct chain of command set by their workplace.

Normally, this type of management style results in working relationships that are largely transactional, in that the manager tells the subordinate what to do and the subordinate does the task, namely for an incentive (most likely a salary, as in common with most transactional forms of management).

Although normally based on this transactional style, good managers need to have a particular set of skills to be successful in their role.

  • They need to have strong organisational skills to balance their own workload alongside the tasks that can be best delegated to their team to improve operation efficiency.
  • They need to possess excellent communication skills to be able to successfully manage different personality types within their team and be able to combat issues as they arise.
  • They need to be process focused to ensure the time management for themselves and those around them is at optimum requirements to ensure peak productivity from everyone under their management.

Mastering these skills is imperative to the success of any manager.   However, the skills that make a manager a good manager do not necessarily all fit under the same skills that make a good leader.


Leaders do not have subordinates, they have followers. And while many leaders will still have a ‘management’ title, the sense of authoritarian control is replaced by a different form management style that encourages results and performance at a whole different level.

When leaders want to lead they employ a different set of skills to accomplish their goals. They give up their authoritarian style of management and instead turn to a more transformational style of management based on relationships and connections.

They will appeal to those around them based on personal integrity and determination, not authority or power. Leaders will be able to rally those around them to a cause based on their own personal appeal and demonstration of honesty. Leaders with a lot of charisma find it easier to attract people to their cause. As part of their persuasion they offer more transformational incentives rather than transactional such as personal development.

They will be people focused and able to relate to those around them on a variety of levels. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be loud and gregarious to be everyone’s friend, rather they are able to employ skills such as asking questions and listening to make those around them feel heard.

They want to try new things and aim to get others involved in these developments. Leaders do not silo themselves away and work alone. Nor do they always play it safe to avoid confrontation or potential failure. Instead, they include others in their brainstorming and search for new approaches. They are problem solvers who appreciate the perspectives their team members can offer to assist with informed risk taking.

Can you spot the difference?

While this is in no way an exhaustive list of manager or leader attributes, it should give a clearer idea of what separates a manager from a leader with excellent managerial skills.

Instead of counting value according to a transactional style of management, leaders focus on what value they can assist to add to their team by setting good examples and acknowledging independent thought and good work ethic.

Instead of focusing on controlling the day-to-day actions of their teams, leaders focus on developing circles of influence based on their natural leadership qualities. If people outside your direct line of reporting are coming to you for advice or direction, you are demonstrating that you are a leader, not only a manager.

Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control. Like most things worth working for, becoming a leader can be a longer and more complicated road than clocking in and completing a set managerial task. However, the rewards of a more responsive and self-driven team, stronger internal relationships and a less authoritarian driven work environment is definitely worth the extra effort and skill honing.

Are you both a manager and a leader? What would your team say about you if you asked them to rate your leadership style? You can find out how you rate as a leader with Leadership Management Australia’s DIY Leadership Analysis. Take the analysis and learn more how you can improve your leadership style for the benefit of yourself and your team.

Top Tips to Becoming an Influencer

No matter your field, everyone wants to be heard and respected in their role. While many of us may aspire to be influential in our roles, most of us probably aren’t aware of what it takes to build the relationships that will enable us to reach that influential position in our organisation and industry.

As an influencer, those around you will look up to you for support, advice and direction. You will become a role model for younger members of your team who may be just starting out. You will be known as someone who can get the job done, while also putting their own spin on the work. To achieve this position in your industry, you need to be prepared to put in the hard work so you can respond to the pressures of being an influencer with clarity, honesty and flair.

What steps do you need to take to become a true influencer in your industry? The following are a few key steps to consider when you are ready to work towards this larger goal:

  • Make your presence known everywhere

First things first: try to be everywhere. This extends from being in the right place in the workplace at events and functions, right through to your presence online. Attend events where speakers and current influencers in your industry will be present. Write blogs on topics that are pertinent to your industry. Get into podcasts, interviews and prospective meetings with important clients.

By employing a hustling mindset to your approach, you will be well on your way to taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

  • Think of your brand

Regardless of whether you are a sole trader or you are a larger organisation, it is becoming more pivotal to be able to stand out from the crowd. More often, highly positioned industry leaders are obtaining the status of influencer because they are thinking of themselves as more than the sum of their current or future positions. Instead, they are thinking of themselves as a brand.

This doesn’t necessarily mean having your own logo or vision statement that you broadcast upon meeting people. It means knowing what your values are as a professional and demonstrating these in everything you produce and engage with. It means having a sense of clarity and consistency in what you produce and how you go about doing it. Being your own brand is about embodying all the best parts of what you do and letting others know exactly what you value in your work and in your role.

  • Maintain your social presence

Whether you are social media savvy or completely lost in a sea of technological chatter, the power of social media looks like it is here to stay. Although it can seem like a time waster for many, social media is a platform that can add untold value to yourself as an industry leader.

If you use social media regularly and in the right way, you can tap into a network of people who share the same values as you and can bolster your own position with advice, support and even mentoring opportunities.

If you are on Facebook, join some authoritative groups that are popular in your industry. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure it is updated regularly and you are contributing to conversations being initiated by those in your industry. To read more on the value of social media, read our previous post here.

  • Keep abreast of developments in your industry

No matter what stage of your career you are at, there is always something new and exciting to learn.

Self-education can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a motivated industry leader. Make it a personal goal to remain at the forefront of new thinking in your industry. One way to do this is to make sure you are reading a lot of books related to the industry, along with some high quality motivational books to keep you on track.

Ask for recommendations from your colleagues, mentors and current industry leaders to point you in the right direction. They will be able to direct you towards pivotal material that changed their thinking or solidified important parts of their working habits that you can integrate into your own mindset and output.

  • Build on the relationships you have

Becoming an influencer often goes hand in hand with being an industry leader. It can take a lot of time, effort and self-motivation on your part to build on the relationships you already have to reach a point where you can call yourself an ‘industry leader’.

One of the key things to remember is that every industry is made up of one key defining element: people. If you wish to become an influencer in your industry, you need to remember that people are and most likely always will be the core of your business model.

Nurture the relationships you have with those around you. Seek out new ones with those of all levels of experience and expertise. Be open to new experiences and divergent opinions. By doing so, you are always growing as a person and as a professional. This trait of openness will ensure you are on the right path to becoming an influential force within your industry.