The higher management can be quite intimidating; they are the know-it- all pillars of your organization after all! However, the level of comfort you are in around them is a testament to your core individual competencies. But don’t worry; you are not the only one who struggles with authority. However, the higher management will test your core individual competency and intentionally intimidate you from time to time to assess your competencies. The higher management travelled the same journey that you are now travelling, they made the same mistakes or most likely worse but they pushed through it all to get where they are. You can keep your fear of intimidation away by following a few remedies while you are facing the higher ups of your organization.
Your Core Individual Competency:
You know that your higher management is constantly evaluating your core individual competency, which might induce fear while you are around them. You must however, keep your cool and keep doing what you’re doing. Understand that fear is fairly normal and the feeling of ‘butterflies in the stomach’ is not exclusive to you. If you are in a situation where you have to face them and take a stage, you might sweat or stutter in speech but when you continue to do what you are doing, the fear will eventually go away. Take a minute and pull up your guts and do your best.
Prepare yourself for the worst
Preparing yourself for the worst possible scenario could make the actual scenario far less intimidating. Understand that you have all the core individual competencies required for the job. You have everything including this unnecessary but understandable fear. Picture yourself delivering your presentation and the worst possible things happening and come up with tactics to overcome them.
Practice until perfect
If you are afraid of a negative impact on your core individual competency assessment based on one presentation then do your best to avoid it. Practice until you are tired to your bones, so much so that it comes out almost naturally. Record yourself and analyze your presentation from A to Z. Make sure you know your facts related to the presentation, just in case of cross questions. However, don’t prepare yourself so much so that, a single forgotten word will jeopardize your whole train of thought.
Practice at the setting
If your presentation is staged to an audience of a number of people from the higher management, it is probably going to be at a venue in particular and not your usual conference room. Drop by at the venue well in advance and understand the setting. Rehearse your presentation and learn the characteristics of the room. The familiarity of the setting will help you be a little more confident during the final delivery of your presentation. Try to speak up, address the audience at large and use your wit to your advantage. Confidence is a key factor in your core individual competency. It is absolutely okay to not be the most confident person in the room, just fake it!
Prepare to be cross questioned
You may think you are prepared to the T to deliver your presentation. However, most people fail when they are questioned about things within their presentation. It is not enough to cross the t’s and dot the i’s in your presentation, you have to know your facts. You can fake confidence but faking answers to the questions from the higher management is a big no-no; they are the know-it-all pillars afterall! Don’t try to trick them, you can’t! Instead, tell them that you don’t have the answer to their question at the time and that you would get back to them on it. The higher management care about problem analysis and logic but people sometimes, try to go around the question by rephrasing things that were previously stated. This will irritate them. If you don’t know, own up to it; if you do, don’t try to be fancy with your statements, be to the point and quick.
Learn your audience
Since your higher management is your audience, it couldn’t hurt to do a little research. Your higher management in most probability has merging thought processes with leading business people in the world. Research what they think, feel and expect from people in your position. Try to inculcate those attributes into the list of your core individual competencies.
The higher management may seem intimidating to you only in an office space because of the formal settings. Getting to know them and forming a relationship outside the office may heed to your favor. Try to meet them and incept a dialogue with them at an office gathering or a team outing. This will not only help you put yourself in the good books with one of the higher ups but also, win you a familiar face in an intimidating crowd. If your relationship is good enough and they see your potential, they might even mentor and coach your core individual competency to help you climb your career ladder – BONUS!
Authorities or Authority?
Is your problem with authority specific to anybody in particular among the higher management? If so, try to separate the person from his role in your organization. Try to inculcate behavior patterns that work for you successfully with other people or groups of people into the way you behave with the person of authority who bothers you. Maybe it may work successfully with them too with a behavioral adjustment from your end. If nothing else works, list out the reasons why they bother you and analyze if it is personal or professional in nature. Talk to people who are close to them and get to know about their positive attributes. Perhaps you are the problem? Probably, you aren’t action oriented enough or there is a clash in work styles or ethics between the two of you? Analyze it to the bone and work it out for yourself because the last thing you want is an unfriendly face in an already intimidating crowd in the higher management.
The ability to not only manage your own behavior but also the behavior around you, will build your self-esteem up and also your career. Creating a comfort zone where you are able to regulate your relationship with the higher management in a way where they are able to witness your competencies, will take you a long way in your career. The above pointers could help you discover problem areas in yourself when it comes to your comfortability around your seniors. Self-improvement in those areas with an isolated motive to build positive relationships with your higher management could help you push yourself forward in your career ladder.