Chloe Oestreich sat down with Jonathan Westover on the Human Capital Innovations Podcast to discuss her job and how she helps leading organizations to help CEOs with how to be heard, effectively communicate, and how to lead with an impact.
Chloe talked about how an important part of making “an impact and be[ing] heard every time you share a message” is to understand that "... executive presence is made up of physical, vocal, and mental presence." At the end of the day, “We want to accomplish our goals” and “the key is to increase your level of self awareness, to recognize your motivators, your drivers, your derailers, your belief system, your value system." Doing this allows you to see yourself in a more clear light. It is then your “responsibility to foster a level of emotional maturity” so you can understand where you are coming from. One you realize that, you can express that more clearly to others, thereby putting your point across more clearly and making it easier for people to hear and understand you. “It ultimately starts with having the courage to look inward and to start asking yourself some really insightful and thought provoking questions”.
Chloe also shared her perspectives on heping people to develop a project or a pitch: "If we can’t see [the people we’re talking to] for who they are and what they bring to the table and meet them where they’re at, much of our efforts are going to be lost on them.” You need to be able to understand yourself when it comes to getting your point across, but also understanding the people that you are communicating with. “Part of it is cross cultural competency and cultural awareness that we need to be able to navigate these different settings.”
Lasly, you need to understand that “... every good leader is one who’s able to influence those around them in meaningful, positive, and healthy ways.” When trying to get a message across to someone, whether that be for work or personal relationships, you need to ensure that it is coming from a positive place. “Ultimately, the goal of all this impact, influence”, is to share your ideas with others. Think about the kind of impact and influence you want to have on the people around you. If you come from a good place, they are far more likely to want you as a leader and to take your message to heart.
You can listen to the full episode at innovativehumancapital.com/podcast, or anywhere you listen to your podcasts, just search “HCI Podcast”.
Read the full transcript below:
Chloe allstrike welcome To The Hind Capital Innovations Podcast. Thank you so much for having me. It's an absolute pleasure to be here. It is a pleasure to be with you. You're joining us from Australia, so it's afternoon for me here, so south of Salt Lake City in Utah, and it's first thing in the morning for you out there down under. A pleasure to be with you. We are just chatting in the pre interview, and I've loved my time in Australia, and I hope to get back soon. You're out there kind of close ish to the Gold Coast and Brisbane area, which is so beautiful, and I'm a little bit jealous, especially this time of year. It's nice and snowy and cold. We got snow last night, and I imagine weather is a little bit nicer for you right now. It's super tropical. It's absolutely beautiful. We're all keeping our toes and fingers crossed because, of course, the wet season is starting, so we're hoping for less rain. We had terrible floods last year, but so far, blue sky and very sunny. The whales have departed, and we're all super excited about Christmas. Wonderful. Wonderful. All right, well, today we're going to be talking about how to make an impact and be heard every time you share a message. How do we, as leaders, foster that ability to influence others? So included in this is a little bit around the idea of executive presence. We're going to be talking about developmental executive coaching. Ultimately, how do we increase our influence? And every good leader is one who's able to influence those around them in meaningful, positive, and healthy ways. So that's what we're going to be exploring and unpacking together as we get started. I wanted to share Chloe's Bio with everybody. Chloe is an executive coach, consultant, and speaker. She works with leading organizations and coaches CEOs globally from Fortune 500 companies on how to be heard, lead with impact, and communicate effectively. As a consultant, she equips leaders with the tools and techniques to develop a more authentic executive presence and inner confidence. As an executive coach, she sees her role in empowering and stretching individuals to step into self leadership so they can create dynamic and healthy cultures, foster innovation, and gain greater self awareness to create meaningful action. I love all of that. Every single thing I just said, I'm like amen. That's what we need more of in this world. So I applaud you for the good work that you're doing, and I'm excited to learn from you and hear your insights as we have this conversation. Before we dive on into the topic, anything else you would like to share with the audience by way of your background, your personal context, and then we'll dive on in. Thanks for the kind words, John. You know, what might be worthwhile to share is especially as we're starting a new year, I'm so incredibly hopeful and so inspired and also really excited to see more and more individuals step into self leadership. And I feel like there is a collective awakening, really. People are waking up and they're really looking at what does it mean to embody leadership? We can't lead ourselves. It's such a privilege to be doing that, but we can't do that unless we know how to self lead. And so I feel incredibly privileged and honored at the moment to be working with so many key decision makers who are really walking the talk and who are really digging deep and uncovering what does it mean for me to show up at work and in life in my true as my true authentic self? So I'm feeling very hopeful about the future. Well, very good. And I'm wondering if we could start in your bio part of it. I mentioned authentic executive presence and inner confidence. I really want to unpack that a little bit because I think sometimes when we talk about influence, that can be conflated with this idea of emotional manipulation, or you're like the hard sales person trying to manipulate people towards and push them towards your way of thinking. But I don't think that's really what it's about at all. And a lot of times when I hear people talk about executive presence, I think similarly, sometimes that gets a little bit perverted and we have these kind of stereotypes of what we think executive presence is. But ultimately, we need to have inner confidence. We need to be authentic to ourselves, which means everyone's a bit different, right? So why don't you describe for us a little bit of what you mean by executive presence in fostering that inner confidence and how that translates over into healthy influence? And it's a big question to unpack. So there's a wonderful quote by Quentin Crisp which goes along the lines of, charisma is the ability to influence without logic. And I think that couldn't be more fitting for executive presence. So what is it? Well, there are two parts to this, and I think you're right, John. There is the pace around how do we actually authentically and meaningfully connect with another human being. And that requires us to be fully present in the moment, to read the audience, to read the person that we're speaking to. So there's that part, and a lot of that has to do with mindset and how present you are and where your focus is. Is it on yourself or is it on the other person? But then there's also this other piece which is around what is it that you might be doing in which you might be subconsciously undermining yourself. Right. And I don't know whether you remember this, John, but in the early 2000s, there was a study that came out that talked about how we make up our mind within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone. And that's based on the way someone looks, dresses, shakes your hand, and carries themselves. When I came across that, I was flabbergasted, and I thought, that is so unfair. Right. So you've got a whole bunch of individuals who might be academically, really skilled, who are incredibly knowledgeable, intelligent, left brained. However, they might want to have the necessary skills to be able to meaningfully connect and to communicate with effectiveness and with confidence. So I drilled into this a little bit further, and I really wanted to uncover what sits behind this besides this whole piece around how you look, what you wear, and how you shake someone's hand. And I put together a framework which is influenced by Patsy Rodenberg's work, and I've divided executive presence into three key pieces, and they are physical, vocal, and mental presence. Now, underneath those sit a number of subcategories. And so if you look at all of these bits, these three puzzle parts, they really make up the bigger picture of what executive presence is. Now, I want to be really clear. This is besides experience and expertise, okay? That's a given. If we don't have that, you'll get caught out very quickly. So let's assume for a moment that that is what you bring to the table. However, in the way that you present yourself or in the way that you communicate, you might still be doing things that takes away from your executive presence. And it might be due to your body language, the way you gesture, your lack of eye contact, whether you use filler words, whether you have tonality. Right. The list goes on. So there are so many key elements that sit underneath those three categories, and that's what executive presence is made up of. Yeah. And the tricky thing there, again, is if you're wanting everyone to be authentic true to themselves and recognizing that people come from vastly different backgrounds and cultural backgrounds and values. I was thinking, for example, as you were talking about eye contact in a Western culture, there's kind of one set of expectations around eye contact. In the Far East cultures and many Southeast Asian and Asian countries, there's a very different idea around appropriateness of physical proximity, eye contact, things like that. So part of it is cross cultural competency and cultural awareness that we need to be able to navigate these different settings. And also, I think we need to be accommodating to the extent possible, recognizing we all have our own layers of bias, but we need to try to be as accommodating as possible to people who might come from vastly different cultural backgrounds. You are absolutely right. Yes. And that in itself requires a huge level of self awareness and emotional intelligence. Right? So how do I come across? How do others perceive me? But also, who's my audience? Who am I speaking to? Right. It's fair to say that if you look at people who are from Asian or Scandinavian countries, I myself am German. We're very composed in the way that we express ourselves. I'm quite clearly not a traditional German German, far from composed. But then you move towards Italians and South Americans, and they're extremely expressive in the way that they communicate, and that's what makes the world so beautiful and colorful. But it's a really important piece that one must take into account. And I'm glad that you've added to that. Yeah. Excellent. All right. So as we talk about ultimately, the goal of all of this right, is impact, influence. We want to accomplish our goals. We want to help strive for individual, team, and organizational success so that we can continue to add value to the market. And in a hyper competitive, interconnected, global, complex world, we have to be able to adjust rapidly. So we need to be very agile. We need to iterate, and we have to be able to make impact amidst the shifting landscape, which is really hard. I mean, it's hard enough to be influential and have impact when you can kind of predict what's happening and what's going to happen in the future, at least somewhat. But given the world we're in today with the complexities, the messiness, and the nuance, I think that's probably as hard as it's ever been. So as you work with executives, what do you do as you're starting these conversations and helping them to develop their own capabilities around influence and impact in a super messy world? I believe it all comes down to self awareness. The key is to increase your level of self awareness, to recognize your motivators, your drivers, your derailers, your belief system, your value system. Right. Unlike and there are many types of coaching that I specialize in, which ranges from results oriented coaching to performance coaching to goals oriented coaching, which is very similar to results oriented coaching. But the type of coaching where I see the greatest impact is developmental executive coaching. And so what is that? Let's unpack that. It's about the development of the individual leader. It's about how the individual leads themselves. So the greatest benefit that I see in this type of work is that we really uncover and really peel back the layers around what is the individual's meaning making structures, right? How do they create their own reality? What are their biases? What's their belief system? And how do they respond when they lead a team of people who have different opinions? In many ways, what we do is we go through the four different stages, which is based on Can Wilder's integral theory waking up, growing up, cleaning up, showing up. And what we do in the first three is we uncover the meaning making structures. We uncover what people are driven or motivated by. We're really uncovering their condition self. Most of us would be showing up as our condition self. And it's not about necessarily getting rid of the construct, but it's recognizing when is it useful and when is it not useful and how can we step away and gain greater objectivity from that in order to be able to have freedom and choice, to make choice of that feel authentic and not conditioned? I think this is a lifelong work, but it ultimately starts with having the courage to look inward and to start asking yourself some really insightful and thought provoking questions around how am I showing up at work and in life? And how does that impact the people around me? And what's useful about my ways of thinking and habituated ways of communicating or going about things? And what's not so useful about that? So that's where I see the greatest impact. Why? Because that allows people to slowly disidentify with their conditioning and that gives them the freedom and the space to step into their full potential ultimately. And ultimately comes back to our willingness, our ability to hold that mirror up in front of us, to engage in self reflection on a regular basis so that we can better understand, we can unpack and recognize the baggage that's informing our response and behavior to certain stimuli. And we all have it. So I like how you're referring to recognizing where we're at in our connection with an approximation to other people and how that relates to our own past trauma, our own past challenges that we may have faced. If we can't recognize that first, we just end up projecting all of our stuff onto other people all the time. And if you want to be able to influence and impact others, then you have to meet them where they're at. If I'm projecting, which we all do, we all tend to do that. That's a natural human kind of way of dealing with our own stuff and we kind of assume everyone's like we are and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But if we're doing that, guess what? We're not actually communicating in a way that's going to be salient or relevant for the person sitting across from us. If we can't see them for who they are and what they bring to the table and meet them where they're at, much of our efforts are going to be lost on them. Despite whatever our best of intentions might be. And in some cases, not only will we not have the positive impacts that we are striving to have, but we might inadvertently actually harm or hurt in some way those very people that we're trying to help. So if I'm a leader on a team, if I'm an executive in an organization and I'm trying to create a really healthy organizational environment, an inclusive environment and culture where people can thrive, where they can grow and develop themselves and develop their potential, as you said, if that's my goal, I have to start with authenticity. I have to start with seeing them, really seeing them, everyone on my team for who they are and where they're at in their own personal and professional process and development, if I have any hope of actually being successful in accomplishing things with them in a sustainable, ongoing way. I mean, anyone, not anyone, but almost anyone can get short term results. You use carrots and sticks, you can get people to comply with you out of fear. But if you want longterm commitment, longterm loyalty and longterm sustainable results, that can only happen as you truly understand your people and you support them in achieving their own successes, you're absolutely right. And that comes back to emotional maturity, right? I mean, as a leader it's your responsibility to foster a level of emotional maturity. And what's the hallmark of that is to be able to view multiple perspectives, right? So we are or I am currently viewing reality through my own lens of experiences and background and you're currently viewing reality through your own lens. Right? And that means that we might clash when it comes to certain values and beliefs. But to have the ability to hold your values and your beliefs loosely and not identify with those and not see them as an extension of our personality, right, that will allow us the flexibility and the freedom to approach conflict or challenges with a great level of compassion and understanding and curiosity, right? I mean, how often do we show up in a conversation and we're just presuming? And I can't blame us for that. 95% of how we show up is pre programmed. So how do we make the subconscious conscious? Well, it requires conscious effort, it requires practice, it requires training the muscle to practice. Coming back to the present moment, I came across this piece of data which I don't know whether you've come across this, John, but it blew my mind and it talked about how the average western person is able to hold their attention for no longer than 2 seconds. I mean, we're dead. We don't practice or we don't make meditation a daily habit. Well, guess what? We're living in the present and we're living in the past or we're living in the future. Which means we're actually missing what's right in front of us. And I get really passionate about this because we spend so much time and money going to the hairdresser. You might be saving that money for yourself, John. It's for my beard, right? That's right. There you go. So we do that, right? But then we also have multiple gym memberships and we spend so much money on our bodies, yet most people aren't prepared to spend precious time on their most valuable asset, their brain, their mind, right? Our minds can be incredibly toxic. It can work with us, it can work against us. What are we doing to support this? What are we doing to raise awareness around the conditioning and how that might not be productive or useful? So if there's one thing that I want your listeners to take away from today is to start to really think about where are you investing your time and your energy. Because ultimately, if you don't have the necessary awareness and awakeness during the day to recognize that you're being governed by your conditioning, it's going to be really hard governed by our conditioning. That's a really key, important point. And again, so I'm not like judging other people for making different choices than me. It's me acknowledging and recognizing everyone has their own stuff, everyone brings their own conditioning to the table. If I can recognize that and acknowledge that both in myself and in others around me, in fact, that's the opposite of being judgmental now. It allows me to be accommodating, to give people space to learn and grow and to lean into their own future potential. And that is the mark of any good leader to help people achieve their greatest levels of potential. And if I'm thinking about how I'm going to impact in positive ways how I'm going to influence in positive ways the people around me so that we can achieve really outrageous, tremendous results for the organization and the team simultaneously while helping them individually to achieve great results and prepare themselves for the next step in their life and their career. If that's my goal, there's a lot more of the kind of the meaty why behind that that people can see? They can see that authenticity, they can see that desire to build and to help versus kind of the flip side of the coin. If my pure motive is extrinsic motivators where I'm willing to exploit those around me to get ahead so I can get that next bonus, that nice car, whatever. There's nothing wrong with money. But if that's my primary focus, I'm not holistically taking care of myself or the people around me. And we're just not going to be as fulfilled, we're not going to be as happy, we're not going to achieve as much either. And that's going to be to everyone's. Detriment. Well, Chloe, it has really been a pleasure. I know at the time I'm going to have to let you go here in just a few minutes. But before we wrap things up for today, I just wanted to give you a chance to share with the audience how they can connect with you, find out more about your work, your team, and then give us a final word on the topic for today. Yes, so people can find me on LinkedIn. You simply type in my first name, Chloe, and my very tricky last name, which is spelled O-E-S-T-R-E-I-C-H-I forgot to mention this at the start of the podcast. I was so engrossed in this wonderful conversation I actually put together because I'm so conscious that most of your listeners would be listening to this podcast while they're dropping their kids off at school or while they're cooking dinner, or while they're on the run. And so they might not have a notebook or pen at hand. So I've actually put together a free video training, which talks a lot about some of the themes that we discuss. So people are more than welcome to jump on this and get free access, and they can find that on www dot coconsultancy. That's all one word au. And then it's HCI, which, of course, stands for human capital Innovations. Otherwise, you can find me through my website, which is www.ceoconsultancy.com. Au. I am very active on LinkedIn. If you sign up to my newsletter, I publish a weekly or fortnightly three to five minute video, which people find really insightful. And it always revolves around the topics around executive presence. What does it look like for me to step into my true, authentic self? How can I learn more about my conditioning? What does it mean to have the ability to really influence and inspire and meaningfully connect with the people that I'm working with? And also, how do I empower others to step into their full potential? So topics very much revolve around self leadership, which is you're listening to this and you are in a leadership position. I hate to be upfront, but it is your responsibility. If you have the privilege to lead a team of people, you must take responsibility to first lead yourself. Otherwise this is going to fall down like a house of cards. Well said, Chloe. This has just been a fantastic conversation. I encourage my audience to reach out, to get connected, find out more about what Chloe can do for you. And as always, I hope everyone can be healthy and safe, that you can find meaning and purpose at work each and every day. And I hope you all have a great week.