I Need A Discussion Done For Week 9 For My Strategic Partnering W C-Suite And Response To 2 Other Classmates Communicating with Tact and ConvictionHaving a

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I Need A Discussion Done For Week 9 For My Strategic Partnering W C-Suite And Response To 2 Other Classmates Communicating with Tact and ConvictionHaving a seat at the table requires that HR leaders demonstrate the ability to communicate with candor without alienating those with opposing positions. As discussed in the readings and videos this week, HR leaders will sometimes find themselves in situations where they have to deliver bad news or stand up to strong-willed individuals in the C-Suite. This could even include the CEO, who may advocate actions that the HR leader does not believe are in the best interest of the company and its employees.

What steps can HR leaders take to ensure their voice is heard, but not put their careers in jeopardy?
What should be done to prepare for a difficult conversation to smooth the way in delivering bad news?
When you reflect on your Executive Presence:

What areas do you feel are your biggest strengths?
What areas would you most like to improve on and why?
What concrete actions can you take to make these improvements?
If you have a real-life experience you can share to illustrate, please include this in your response.

Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.​ 
1st person to respond to
Syndee Watson
 RE: Week 9 Discussion COLLAPSE
What steps can HR leaders take to ensure their voices are heard, but not put their careers in jeopardy?
According to Jack and Bill, HR leaders should take the following steps to ensure their voices is being heard:

Energy – great leaders are dynamic and engaged with what they do and the people around them
Energize – they get others excited and build enthusiasm
Edge – they have the confidence to make tough decisions
Execute – they get it done, delivering above and beyond what is expected of them
Passion – they care about what they do and come to work every day eager to do more.

While I agree with these steps, I also think HR leaders should prepare to execute their thoughts in a manner that will keep the C-Suite leaders engaged. They should have exceptional communication skills as well as listening skills. Being knowledgeable about the issues and having a definitive resolution to problems/issues will give HR professionals a cutting-edge advantage in their leaders’ eyes. HR is not going to be viewed as someone who always brings problems to the table but rather someone who has ideas on how to resolve issues.
What should be done to prepare for a difficult conversation to smooth the way in delivering bad news?
When I deliver bad news, I try to prepare my state of mind from the receiver’s perspective. If I was the one getting the news, I would want someone to be compassionate and empathetic in the delivery. I prepare for the conversation by gathering the facts, getting my emotions together, then role-play the scenario so that my delivery will come across more confident and smoother.
When you reflect on your own Executive Presence: What areas do you feel are your biggest strengths?
I would say my biggest strength is always educating myself on the newest trends and technology so that I can better advocate for employees. I communicate with C-Suite leaders on what there are looking for in prospective employees and then utilize those criteria to find, train, and retain those employees.
What areas would you most like to improve on and why?
I guess I would have to say the area I would need to improve on is getting a better understanding of the external aspects of HR. For years, I have focused my perspective on employees and leaders and never on the customers. “HR sometimes comes across as being very internally focused, rather than extrapolating their responsibilities out to the core offering of the business. But to be a great HR Leader this must be part of the equation.”
What concrete actions can you take to make these improvements? If you have a real-life experience you can share to illustrate, please include this in your response.
            The actions I would take to make these improvements are first to recognize the weakness. Then commit to working on them each week. For example, when I was younger, I was very shy so I decided that I would introduce myself to someone each day until I got comfortable. And before long, I had a Rolodex of friends. I have gotten so used to doing this that in every country I have visited, I have made at least one friend. By doing this simple exercise I have developed an appreciation for different cultures, open my communication and listening skills that I can use in my career.
Microsoft Word – JWI 522_W9 Lecture Notes_1192_Final.doc (strayer.edu)
Strengths & Weaknesses of HR Managers Unveiled (clearcompany.com)
2nd person to respond to
Po
Dear Professor and Classmates,
As discussed in the readings and videos this week, HR leaders will sometimes find themselves in situations where they have to deliver bad news or stand up to strong-willed individuals in the C-Suite. This could even include the CEO, who may advocate actions that the HR leader does not believe are in the best interest of the company and its employees.
What steps can HR leaders take to ensure their voice is heard, but not put their own careers in jeopardy?
For the CHRO to be heard and respected by a CEO, it takes more than immediate steps before the conversation on a specific issue.  CHROs must gain the CEO’s trust and have a seat at the table.  Ishrak and Surface identify the following 4 requirements that CHROs should expect from the CEO to strengthen the relationship between the two executives (Ishrak and Surface,1).

Don’t underestimate the impact of your role
Ensure HR priorities are aligned with business priorities.
Build and maintain a strong bench.
Know where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

These are excellent guidelines for a CHRO to build rapport with the CEO.  So when an issue arises, and the CHRO needs to ensure their voice is heard, the CEO will respect and value the CHRO’s opinion and advice.
What should be done to prepare for a difficult conversation to smooth the way in delivering bad news?
To prepare for a difficult conversation, one must understand the issue in detail and from all angles.  Once you fully understand, you can follow Amy Gallo’s 5 steps to deliver the bad news (Gallo, 2).

Describe the problem
Identify your solution or approach
Explain the implications
Discuss the benefits
Accept responsibility for the outcome

This is a step-by-step process that builds confidence with a superior that you understand the problem, have a solution, know what the impacts are, and are willing to own addressing the issue.
When you reflect on your own Executive Presence:
What areas do you feel are your biggest strengths?
What areas would you most like to improve on and why?
If you have a real-life experience you can share to illustrate, please include this in your response.
I believe my biggest strengths when it comes to executive presence are that I am Authentic, I bring a good amount of energy, I have the confidence in making tough decisions, I can execute, and I have passion for what I do.
I think I need to improve in energizing others and being more influential.  I don’t think I am totally hopeless in these categories, but there is room for improvement.  I know this because I compare myself to others I admire and see how they excel in these categories.  Specifically, my boss and I recently met with all business units to get buy-in for a significant project.  I saw how he communicated and sold the importance of the project.  Then the project was handed off to me, and we executed the project successfully.
What concrete actions can you take to make these improvements?
I think the concrete action that I can take is strengthening my communication skills.  “Leaders with strong executive Presence are also sensitive to how others react to what they are saying” (Lecture Notes, 3). I can take classes, practice in front of my spouse and rehearse what I say while paying attention to my body language.  If I do this, I will have better communication skills. 
Kind Regards,
Po
References:

Omar Ishrak and Carol Surface. (November 2019).  Secrets of the strategic CHRO: A Model for Success. Secrets Of The Strategic CHRO: A Model For Success (chiefexecutive.net)
Amy Gallo (December 2014).  Harvard Business Review.  The right way to bring a problem to your boss. The Right Way to Bring a Problem to Your Boss (strayer.edu)
JWI Week 9 Lecture Notes. © Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not
be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 522 (1188) Page 1 of 6

JWI 522
Strategic Partnering with the C-Suite

Week Nine Lecture Notes

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not
be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 522 (1188) Page 2 of 6

DEVELOPING YOUR EXECUTIVE PRESENCE

What It Means

Executive Presence is often hard to define, but you know it when you see it. It is a combination of
confidence, control and communication. And it is an essential trait if you expect to earn a seat at the table.
To elevate the HR function to the senior-most levels of the organization, you need to develop your skills and
your reputation for your message to be heard.

Why It Matters

• If you can’t communicate well, your great ideas won’t get the attention they deserve.

• Through leading by example, you can help others improve how they communicate.

• You will not be able to achieve – or hold – a seat at the table if you are not able to inspire
confidence in others that you have what it takes to get the job done.

“Practice is crucial for honing your
delivery style.”

Patty McCord

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not
be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 522 (1188) Page 3 of 6

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXECUTIVE PRESENCE

“Executive Presence” is a topic that has been addressed more than once in JWMI courses. In fact, it is
one of the main themes of the entire program. This week we will explore the elements of Executive
Presence that are particularly relevant to HR, especially those leaders who aspire to a seat at the table as
the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

You are strongly encouraged to review the readings, lecture notes, and videos that were featured in your
Business Communications course as you work through the materials for this week in our course. They
will provide a good refresher on the foundations of the topics we explore here.

A lot of people misunderstand what Executive Presence is all about. They reduce it to confidence or
public speaking skills. Unquestionably, these things are important, but the real foundation of Executive
Presence starts with knowing what you’re talking about. Yes, you can adopt a little “fake it till you make
it” attitude … for a while. We’ve all had to do that from time to time, but leaders with strong Executive
Presence know their stuff. They have deep, well-grounded knowledge that is built from practical
experiences. If you’re going to make it to the top, there simply is no substitute for this.

Leaders with strong Executive Presence are also sensitive to how others react to what they are saying.
They focus on brevity and they present their position with confidence – not arrogance.

Patty McCord stresses the importance of building strong communication skills.

“Practice is crucial for honing your delivery style. You can do it in front of a mirror or with a
spouse or friend. Actually rehearsing what you’ll say, our loud, allows you to hear the tone of
your voice. You might even want to record yourself. It’s also important to think about your body
language, which can speak louder than words. We’re often totally unaware of how emphatically
it’s sending a negative message.”

Powerful, P. 37

As Jack and Bill built their own knowledge base of the characteristics of the best leaders, they were able
to distill this down to five traits that came to be known as the “4 E’s + P”.

• Energy – great leaders are dynamic and engaged with what they do and the people around them
• Energize – they get others excited and build enthusiasm
• Edge – they have the confidence to make tough decisions
• Execute – they get it done, delivering above and beyond what is expected of them
• Passion – they care about what they do and come to work every day eager to do more

IMPROVING COMMUNICATION AMONG THE C-SUITE

Enlightened HR leaders understand that it’s not just about improving their own skills. They recognize that
the whole team has to communicate well. One of the opportunities you get in earning a seat at the table
is helping others improve their communication and break down barriers that often divide departments.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not
be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 522 (1188) Page 4 of 6

While this is one of those situations where you have to lead by example, you can’t expect others just to
get it. Helping executives and senior leaders communicate more effectively about real problems facing
the business is not an easy task. In many organizations, admitting your team is facing a problem that you
can’t see a clear solution for will be seen as a sign of weakness.

Some businesses have built a culture that is so toxic that winning at all costs can even work its way into
debates and problem-solving activities that should be focused on finding the best solution and facing
problems honestly. McCord warns that some executives can be so convincing that their skills can
actually impede getting at the truth.

“One of the great dangers in business is people who are great at winning an argument due to
their powers of persuasion rather than the merits of their case.”

Powerful, P. 54

Is a Work-Out or Kaizen session right for your team to help improve communications? These will be
covered in greater detail in your upcoming JWI 556: Leading Change by Putting People First course, but
you can start to research these tools now. Go back to Winning and re-read what Jack has to say about
getting every brain in the game. HR can be the perfect group to lead such initiatives. We have said this
before, but one of the greatest strengths HR has is in its role as a non-biased advocate. HR truly can be
on everyone’s side if the focus remains on doing what is best for the business and for the people, and if it
leans on the Mission and Values to guide the way.

If you can get your leaders and their teams talking more openly and effectively, you’ll make big strides in
earning and maintaining a seat at the table. The path forward on this need not be complex. Talk to your
business leaders. Ask them what matters and where they feel they need more support. Ask them what
frustrates them and what could be done to make things better. Take the initiative. Don’t wait to be asked.

ELEVATING THE WHOLE HR TEAM

One last point before we close … you’re not in this alone.

If you are a senior-level HR leader, perhaps even the CHRO, you are not the sole voice for your team.
Every time one of your staff interacts with others outside your department, there is a message being sent.
It’s critical that this message is clear and consistent, and that everyone on the team from entry-level
employees up to your senior directors and VPs understands they are ambassadors for HR.

So what can you do to help your team?

• First, and foremost, the vision for the role of HR in the organization must be clear. Does your
team have its own Mission Statement and have you worked with them to develop the Behaviors
(remember why Jack prefers this to Values) that support the Mission? If you are messaging one
thing to your fellow executives and your team is messaging something different, you’ve got a
problem. Or in a best-case scenario, you’re missing an opportunity.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not
be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 522 (1188) Page 5 of 6

• What are you doing to develop your team’s communication skills and Executive Presence? Do
your people speak clearly and with confidence? What can you do to help those who may be
struggling or who are a little on the timid side?

• When your team members interact with business leaders, do they use language that
demonstrates knowledge of the business? Do they ask good questions about what’s going on,
what wins the team has had and what challenges it faces? Do they demonstrate enthusiasm for
the business and for how great talent management practices can improve performance?

Jack has said that when you are starting out as an individual contributor, it’s all about growing yourself.
When you become a leader, it’s all about growing others. The leader’s success is demonstrated in the
reflected glory of the team. Is your team seen as the place to be? Is HR a cool place to work? When
others see your team excited about what they do, telling others how great it is to work for you as a boss,
this will go a long way in demonstrating your readiness to have a seat at the table.

Remember, there is no substitute for leading by example. All the great things that you want to help other
business leaders build with their teams will come across as hollow and meaningless if you can’t make
great things happen in your own team.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not
be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 522 (1188) Page 6 of 6

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THIS WEEK’S CLASS

As you read the materials and participate in class activities, stay focused on the key learning outcomes
for the week:

• Understand the importance of good communication and a strong Executive Presence

Remember, how and when the message is delivered can often have more impact on how it
is received than the actual content. If you have great ideas but present them in a
confrontational way or are too long-winded when brevity is needed, you won’t be heard.

Executive Presence doesn’t mean that you have to be a Type-A personality or that you
have to be the most engaging person in the room. You may have a quiet calm demeanor,
but when you speak you do so with confidence. People are looking for leaders who can
lead. Sounds a bit obvious, of course, but leading demands the ability to present a clear
vision of what should be done and why. It requires speaking in ways that inspire others to
not only want to do something, but to believe they actually can do it.

• Develop practices to improve communication within the C-Suite

How can you get other senior leaders talking? How can you help them manage their
communications so that the truth gets presented and debated fairly and effectively? Silos
are great for storing grain on a farm, but can undermine the smooth functioning of a
business. While it is ultimately the responsibility of the CEO to make sure the Executive
team is performing well, the senior HR leader who has a seat at the table plays a critical in
helping to improve processes that support better communication.

• Explore ways to help your team promote the image of HR throughout the organization

Every one of your team members is an ambassador for HR. The entire team needs to be
proactive in getting the message out about the great things that HR is already doing, and
you need to get others excited about new ways that HR can help business leaders make
their teams even stronger. Messaging about HR that is focused on HR is missing the point.
You have to focus on the benefits to the business. Interview managers about what would
help them most. Be proactive. Make a noise. Share success stories. If there is resistance
or apathy, start with a manager who is more open-minded. When business leaders see the
impact you have had on another team, they will be clamoring to develop that same strength
in their group.

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