The Modern Executive: It’s Not What You Say

Earlier this summer, I had the honor of being asked to train a group of women looking to GET BACK TO WORK. Building their confidence in the process and introducing contemporary methods of securing employment are the key goals of The Moving Ahead Program of Bergen County. Impressed by the credentials and determination of the women in our group, I began learning more about them.

One after another gifted and talented professionals began asking me – BUT WHAT DO I SAY Ms. Joyce . . . In an effort to empower them, we began exploring the components of AUTHORITY, CONFIDENCE and APPROACHABILITY. The presence of personal power speaks much louder than . . . what you say.

Today’s twenty-first century workplace values require leadership characteristics that grab the attention of decision-makers. Charisma, decisiveness, optimism, resourcefulness, risk-taking and team effort are social/business personalities that influence employers to take hiring actions.

Influencing others begins with getting noticed for the RIGHT things:

  • Stand for All Introductions and Departures
  • Confident, Open Posture
  • Attentive Eye Contact and Facial Expressions
  • Lead with a Smile
  • “Hello, My Name is ________________ (First and Last Always)
  • Initiate a Friendly Handshake


Being well-informed on current trends in the workplace, world place and people place.

Focus on others and less on yourself.

Listen with your eyes and your ears.

Give well-placed compliments.

Ask thoughtful questions.

The power of positive communication requires us to: know our audience, rehearse our script, answer in complete and formal sentences, actively participate, use “I” statements and ONLY speak in the positive.

Learning to ask open-ended questions and dissect what is really being said enables females to keep our image focused, effective and strong especially when interviewing with the male gender. Social scientists tell us that we females speak three times more words than males do, thus creating a disconnect in communication and credibility at times.

The ability to speak the “language” of others is truly our key to success. The Interview is about THEM not US. By learning to get our message delivered to them upon first and last glance, we present our best selves.

During initial communication and interviews, there is much to learn about ourselves and about potential employers and the companies they represent. Not all matches are made in heaven. The right fit is more important that simply getting hired. As the evolution of a 21st century employee changes from the past to the future, we are learning to adapt to these new ways of thinking and behaving.

  •  Focus is on output
  • Create your own ladder
  • Customized responsibilities
  • Leadership has a voice
  • Collaborative workplace
  • Adaptive learning environment

DON’T BE IN A TIME WARP! Be ready for all opportunities. Make a memorable impression. Develop your own modern style. Self-confidence is your best outfit. Improve your knowledge, skills and attitudes. Look Up not Down. Look Forward not Back. Look Out not In.

Make your MARK on the world. You have wisdom, experience and intuition that is invaluable in today’s job market.


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