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Organizational Savvy and Executive Presence (OSEP)

The Learning Objectives, company benefits, and content for this powerful two-day program include much of what is delivered in the two-day Organizational Savvy workshop. However, we replace some content with grounding in potent executive presentation skills for enhancing political impact, one’s power image, and credibility. This enrichment includes video tape feedback, work on the body language of presenting, organizational formats for efficiently preparing and logically delivering, handling resistance and hostility and reading signals from the group on how you are coming across.

“… thank you for such a majestic and educational training session last week Irrefutably, I feel awakened and will strive to become more aware, understanding, tolerant, flexible, and responsive toward the political environment… This course has had a profound impact on me and my future.” – Participant, Fortune 10 Bank

Day One: 8:30 – 5:00

Political Wake-up Call and Organizational Savvy Political Styles Model

Despite excellent intentions, executives can be too narrowly focused on their own facts, logic, values and analysis. While this works in lower positions, people rising in company ranks may not build enough support for their ideas if they aren’t fully aware of hidden agendas, power relationships and the politics of how decisions are made. You will review the “tip-offs” for when politics are operating, discuss the risks and rewards of entering the political arena and learn to detect behavioral clues for determining how politically-driven or power-motivated others might be. You don’t need to sacrifice your integrity in order to avoid political naiveté and develop organizational savvy.

Executive Self Talk (Presentation and Activities)

Executive sophistication demands self management and staying poised and professional in the midst of political maneuvering, organizational turmoil or business changes. Coming across as a seasoned, business-savvy executive involves mental self discipline, constructive attitudes about adversity and strategies for avoiding feeling like a victim of forces out of your control. This “Inner Game” of executive performance will impact your handling of power plays, sabotage, politics, conflict resolution and crisis management.

Overview to Organizational Savvy Skill Sets: Online Assessment Results and Case Study Application

Your online prework assignment involves a 65 item Organizational Savvy Self-Assessment or a more potent Multi-Rater Assessment that provides feedback on your effectiveness in 13 Savvy Skill Sets (view the Savvy Skills Pyramid). Whichever assessment your company chooses, you will discuss your personalized results. Next, you’ll analyze and discuss a Case Study from a real corporation, identifying the Political Styles at work and which Savvy Skill Sets could have led to a more positive outcome.

Mental Savvy Strategies (Presentation & Activities)

You will learn the importance of reading power relationships and trends, understanding business agenda of powerful players, flexing to the political style preferences of stakeholders and detecting certain hidden, unwritten rules for success in your organization. Also, you will learn how to discover and shape your “corporate buzz” – the way that you are perceived, especially any negative or inaccurate reputation that hinders your influence efforts and advancement.

Executive Body Language (Presentation & Video Feedback)

Executive maturity, power bases, impression management and credibility are part of your executive presentation skills. Research shows the importance of supporting one’s message content with visual and vocal behaviors that are congruent and potent. You will review proven information in this area, enhance your savvy with tips aimed at executives and see what is effective or ineffective in your own presentation style through videotaped feedback.


Day Two: 8:30 – 5:00

Street-Smart Savvy Strategies (Presentation & Activities)

You will learn practical, non-manipulative strategies for entering the political arena while maintaining your integrity and ethics (e.g., knowing the corporate buzz, managing perceptions, essential networking, building a power base, promoting yourself, dealing with hidden agendas, handling power plays, avoiding sabotage, etc). We will move from awareness to actions through dynamic interactions, skill practices, brainstorming tactics and humorous presentations.

Ethical Lobbying (Presentation & Activities)

Savvy leaders understand the need to identify stakeholders and develop a pre-planned, individualized strategy for selling ideas. Customizing a game plan for each decision-maker and seeking support and feedback on your ideas before a meeting is a hallmark of high-integrity politics. You will debrief a reading article about Ethical Lobbying and use consulting trios to map out an real-life influence strategy for an idea, initiative, or recommendation.

Executive Presentations (Videotaped Practice)

The purpose is to convey an executive presence and increase your power image while delivering executive presentations for a variety of objectives: persuading, informing or calling to action. You will practice presentations with videotaped feedback on previously learned principles of content organization, executive vocabulary and body language. As part of the Balanced Self-Promotion strategy, you will also work on writing and delivering a Elevator Speech that quickly conveys the strategic contribution you and your team make to your organization.

Savvy Influence Vocabulary (Presentation and Skill Practice)

Executive presence, building your power base, and political “impression management” all involve being aware of the impact of your behavior. This includes using language and tone that are respectful when disagreeing, non-absolutist when making a call to action and non-judgmental when proposing an idea or giving feedback. You will practice executive vocabulary to avoid unconsciously implying criticism, conveying rigidity, or triggering unnecessary resistance.

Facing Resistance And Sabotage (Presentation & Practice)

Politically astute executives handle resistance with grace. Often, exploring negative reactions instead of ignoring them earns credibility and respect. You will practice a process to stop your communicating or presenting if it’s clear there are issues “under the table”. You will practice controlling the situation by non-defensively listening to the issue and responding firmly and objectively.

Wrap-Up “Action Auction” to Aid in Planning (Large Group Work)

You will wind up your workshop experience and determine your most important takeaway through a high energy Learning Activity.