There was another Corona press conference and another one tomorrow. A new cabinet, a new Health Minister; one who knows what he is talking about. That is very nice and helps. But, have Mark Rutte and Ernst Kuipers done so much better and differently in terms of communication than in the past press conferences?

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When you are 18 years old and you have become the hockey world champion, you are convinced that the world is yours. And in a way, it is. You are the centre of attention. And the media world makes you and your team world-famous.

You hear “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” at home and abroad.

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Just a few more minutes and she will be gone: Angela Merkel. Who would have thought that a smart girl from a simple family in the GDR would become Chancellor of Germany? That by staying very close to herself she would last so long? To put it in a nutshell: This is authentic leadership. Actually, I wanted to write something about female leadership. But what nonsense. It is not about whether she is a woman or a man. It is about whether she is doing the right things for the country, whether she is able to bind people to her and gather the right people around her. The latter makes or breaks you. And apparently she is doing that well. Because when it comes to exploiting the fact that she is a woman in this job (which is still special these days), Angela Merkel will undoubtedly have managed to convince the PR people, stylists and you name it, that her work suit is just black trousers with a colourful half-length jacket. And that her hair should be well-groomed, but not overly coiffed. That she is not going to spend too much time on this because there are more important things. The glamour that comes with this job is foreign to her and that is just as fine as female leaders exploiting their femininity. If something suits you and helps you achieve your goals: Go!

Without communication, everything stands still. Perhaps that is why we communicate all day long. Often it goes well, but very often it does not. How often do you experience miscommunication? I recently saw a short film that explained exactly the core of miscommunication. Words that pass from one to the other in the form of a piece of clay. At the end of the conversation, the clay is totally deformed. And this deformation of the piece of clay is something we do ourselves. We all have prejudices, opinions, you name it, with the result that the message is always interpreted or received differently. With all the consequences this entails: arguments, disappointments, wrong decisions, clients who walk away. How would it be if you had more insight in how to prevent this? That you know how to make the message land? You would be a lot more effective, you would score better with your team, your employees and your customers. And to be quite honest: it is not very complicated, but you do need to pay attention to it. Think of a media training course or executive coaching. If you want to know more about how to improve your communication, please contact me.

Do you do what you say? Words are important, look around you: it is the words that take you or leave you. In political campaigns they are crucial. Obama won the elections with ‘Yes, we can’. But then it starts: are we going to do it? Can you live up to your words? In politics, especially in our coalition landscape, that is sometimes quite difficult. However, in ordinary and certainly in working life, you must always strive to give meaning to your words. Otherwise, you will lose credibility as a leader of your organisation and people will become disappointed. Keeping to what you say or promise is the most difficult thing in organisations, not least because circumstances can change rapidly these days. Therefore, doing what you say is different from being stubborn. Therefore, after the ‘words’, it is good to share the plan of ‘doing’ and come up with examples that show that you do what you say. Take the simple things that are visible, such as handing in your input for the meeting in advance. So saying and doing. And that is often a problem.

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