Leveraging Self

A healthy Self is one which is presentable; spots and capitalizes on learning & persuading opportunities; correctly attributes failures and successes. A healthy self is the foundation on which great presenters and leaders are built. 

Understanding Self

How we evaluate ourselves is Self esteem. Our Self-esteem suffers when there is a large difference between one’s ideal self and self-image. Anxiety and defensiveness are common when the self-image does not match the true self.

Three entities of Self - 

1. The ideal self

'the person you would like to be'

2. Your self-image

'the person you think you are'

3. The true self

'the person you actually are'

_________ means how we evaluate ourselves when we look at our reflection in the mirror.

self esteem  

“Big Five” Personality Factors help us understand our Self better.

Openness to Experience (Imaginative) 

Conscientiousness (Well Organized) 

Extroversion (Talkative) 

Agreeableness (Good Natured) 

Neuroticism (Emotional Instability)

The Big Five. According to the five-factor model, basic differences in personality can be “boiled down” to the dimensions shown here. The five-factor model answers these essential questions about a person: Is she or he extroverted or introverted? Agreeable or difficult?  Conscientious or irresponsible?  Emotionally stable or unstable? Smart or unintelligent? These questions cover a large measure of what we might want to know about someone’s personality. (Trait descriptions adapted from McCrae & Costa, 1990.)

What do Big five factors help us understand?

  • Personality
  • Leadership

Attributions - are the reasons we we give for our own and others behaviors.

Fritz Heider argued that there are two general types of attributions that people make: 

 –Personal attributions (Internal)  –Situational attributions (External/ Environmental)

The Fundamental Attributon Error is that we overestimate the power of the person and underestimate the power of the situation.

Why do we make this Error?

The situation is not salient when people make attributions for the behavior of others, but the situation is salient when making attributions for one’s own behavior.  Thus, people are more inclined to take the situation into account when explaining their own behavior.

Norm - For my failure environment/ external factors are responsible however for Others fault they themselves are responsible. Similarly for my success I am responsible however your success was brought about by environmental/ external factors.   

The reasons we give ourselves for our behavior is referred to as?

  • Attribution
  • Motivation

LOCUS OF CONTROL (Rotter, 1966)

External Locus: describes people who believe that fate, luck, or outside forces are responsible for what happens to them.

Internal Locus: describes people who believe that ability, effort, or their own actions determine what happens to them.

Locus of control influences which forces we hold responsible for our successes and failures - great influence on our motivation, expectations, self-esteem, risk-taking behavior, and even on the actual outcome of our actions.

People who believe that ability, and effort determines success are said to have?

  • Internal locus of control
  • External locus of control

ATTRIBUTIONAL STYLES (Peterson & Seligman, 1984)

Optimistic: Failure is attributed to external, unstable, and specific causes and success to internal, stable, global causes.

Pessimistic: Failure is attributed to internal, stable, global causes and success to external, unstable, and specific causes.

Is Optimism always healthy?

Colvin & Block (1994): “need to differentiate between healthy optimism (viewing new, uncertain events in a positive light) from positive illusions (viewing events in a positive light even when facts don’t support that view)

Is Optimism different from positive illusion?

  • Yes
  • No

Behavior as a product of Self

Our behavior is a derivative of self concept 

Our Values and Beliefs direct our behavior 

Belief modification is more difficult than behavior modification 

It is the demanding nature of the beliefs that causes the problem. Less demanding and more flexible beliefs lead to healthy emotions and helpful behaviors (REBT).

Belief modification is easier than behavior modification.

  • False
  • True

REBT - 3 Irrational beliefs and their Outcomes

1. I must do well and win the approval of others for my performance or else I am no good


1.The first belief often leads to anxiety, depression, shame and guilt

2.Other people must treat me considerately, fairly and kindly, and in exact way I want them to treat me . If they don’t they are no good and they deserve to be condemned and punished.


2.The second belief often leads to rage, passive-aggression and acts of violence

3.I must get what I want, when I want and I must not get what I don’t want. Its terrible if I don’t get what I want. 


3.The third belief leads to self-pity and procrastination

As per REBT, we hold 3 irrational beliefs.

  • True
  • False

Interpersonal Behavior

We all have interpersonal needs of Inclusion, Control and Affection.  

We must know what drives us Acceptance; Respect or Love.  

We must be aware of the six elements (Feelings ; Self concept ; Work relations ; Close relations ; Parental relations ; Organizational climate)

We must observe for clues of interpersonal needs of significant Others.  

We must work towards win-win outcomes. 

Is Inclusion same as Acceptance?

  • Yes
  • No

Transactional Analysis (Eric Berne) - Lets talk Intrapersonal

The Parent Adult Child represent skeletal-muscular and verbal patterns of behaviour and feelings based on emotions and experiences perceived by people in their early years. 

Structural Analysis - The identification of what element (PAC) of the personality is responding to the situation and how appropriate that is.

1. Parent

Nurturing role

Helping and supportive behaviour

Critical role

Criticism, control and punishment

Contains instructions, attitudes and behaviours handed down by parents and significant authority figures

2. Adult

Operates logically and non emotionally, problems solving, using information to make decisions without emotion.

3. Child

Adaptive child

Emerges as the result of demands of authority and is marked by passivity

Natural or Free Child

Impulsive, untrained, self loving, and pleasure seeking

 The Child contributes joy, creativity, intuition, pleasure and enjoyment.          

In PAC model, Adult is rational and logical whereas Child represents joy and creativity .

  • True
  • False

Transaction and a Well adjusted person (healthy Self )


A unit of human communication or a stimulus response connection between two people’s ego states (PAC).

Personality Operation

Berne believed that people have the rationality and freedom to make decisions and solve their own problems

The well adjusted person allows the situation to determine which ego state (PAC) is in control attempting to strike a balance between all three.

In TA, Transaction is the basic unit of human communication.

  • True
  • False

Life Script Analysis

A life script is that life plan the individual’s “child” selected early in their developmental years based mostly on the overt or covert messages or injunctions received from the “child” in your parents.

Five component parts of Script

1. Directions from parents 

2. Patterned personality development

3.  A confirming childhood decision about identity

4. A penchant or inclination for either success or failure

 5. A pattern of behaviour

A life script is that life plan the individual’s “Adult” selected early in their developmental years.

  • False
  • True

Life Positions - we all strive to achieve I'm OK and You're OK position

I’m OK and you’re OK               

I’m not OK and you’re OK         

I’m not OK and you’re not OK

I’m OK and you’re not OK           

- Healthy position 

- Poor me, victim

- Pessimist 

- its everyone's fault but me or antisocial      personality

Life Positions - we all strive to achieve I'm OK and You're OK position.

  • True
  • False

Presentation Skills

Importance of speaking or presenting in professional world

It is estimated that over 75 percent of the time of an executive goes into spoken communication. 

Meetings, Presentations, Advising, Discussing, Counseling, Phone calls, Training, and more. 

Our professional lives revolve around speaking and presenting opportunities.

So what holds us back from becoming the best speaker/ presenter in our personal and professional lives?

May be Anxiety, 80% admit this to be the root cause. Is there a way out: Experts say YES and by the way it is not hyper-intention, the way is saying yes to yourself, saying YES I am anxious so what?    

What percentage of activity time of an executive goes in presenting/ speaking?

  • 75
  • 50

Power of speaking/ presenting

Speaking is a powerful way to impress others with our ideas and personality. Our relationships with others pave the path of our success; these relationships are largely based on the way we speak with others in our everyday interactions with them.

People are constantly forming ideas about our intelligence, levels of awareness, depth of knowledge, originality of ideas, integrity, levels of involvement, and much else from what we speak and how we speak.  

Executive Presence : Style and Substance

Standing upright to indicate energy and confidence, or sitting in a manner indicating enthusiasm and interest in reaching out to our listeners, leaning forward, reducing the distance between listeners and ourselves, standing still when coming to a crucial point, are all ways in which we may use our posture and movement to add to our effectiveness. 

When we speak to people in a comfortable and easy manner there are many positive messages about ourselves that we give out. We show that we are willing to step out of our concerns and extend ourselves. We show friendliness and an easy, relaxed attitude, and that we don't feel threatened or vulnerable so as to retreat in defense.

Finally, As Shakespeare wrote, ‘the apparel oft proclaims the man’

Executive presence includes style and ______ .

  • substance
  • money

An essential requirement for leadership

No professional can ignore the value of speaking effectively in order to work well with people and to play ones role in meeting organizational goals. At the same time , our personal growth objectives are also tied up with our effective communication, in addition to our abilities, knowledge and skills.   

If we gauge by our own responses, we would agree that an aggressive, blunt, and rough style is a big turn-off and is interpreted as showing little respect for the listener. Similarly a conversation loaded with technical jargons and delivered with haste is also not appreciated. 

Effective communication helps achieve professional goals but not personal objectives.

  • False
  • True

Now Introspect

Are we prepared to critically analyze our effectiveness in speaking situations? 

Not easy but something we need to do objectively to understand where we are and where we could be.

For effecting Introspection first benchmark - Identify someone in your circle you think stands out in this respect i.e. Is a wonderful speaker/ presenter. Ask yourself the following;

1.Are there certain things that they are doing that make us feel that our objective in listening to them was well served?

2.What is it that makes us feel that listening to them is less tedious than to many others? 

3.What makes us better comprehend and retain what they said?

4.Despite personal variations, are there any common features of such speakers that are different from those who leave us cold?

Who, in your circle, is your speaking/ presenting Idol?

Attributes of effective speaking

•Attuned to the listener

•Clear and concrete

•Structured presentation of ideas 

•Engaging delivery, involving the listeners

•Increased effectiveness of message through multiple sensory cues.

To master these, we need to be aware of the importance of each one of these and, knowing that it is not possible to achieve these by mere good luck or chance, we need to have a structured approach to our speaking/ presenting opportunities. 

Use of multiple sensory cues is recommended while presenting.

  • True
  • False

Listeners, first is the mantra

Listener will listen attentively only when; 

1.The speaker has something to say that is interesting and useful to him in some way

 2.The speaker has a style that makes one feel involved in what they are saying 

3.The mannerisms and body language of the speaker are not jarring, but actually seem to complement what they are saying 

4.The speaker seems to possess authority on the material they are talking about 

5.The speaker seems to care about getting their ideas through to you 

6.The speaker presents ideas in a structured manner that makes it easy to follow 

Listeners will pay attention when the speaker is a authority figure.

  • True
  • False

Prepare well and in advance

• Presenter must have thorough knowledge of the material 

• Presenter must have complete ownership of the material 

• Presenter must establish connect with the listeners 

Preparation ensures that possible responses and questions in the minds of the listeners are anticipated. By having ideas, structure and other details in place, it allows us to focus on delivery during actual presentation.

The clearer we are about the objective, the better we can make choices about content and style.

The clearer we are about the objective, the better we can make choices about content and style.

  • True
  • False

Reminder - Listener, first

It would do well to keep in mind that the listener may be obliged, in a number of formal situations, to hear us, but no listener is ever obliged to actually listen. They will only do so if they find the talk engaging and valuable. After all the listener also spends much in terms of time and effort for decoding and if they see no value in it for them, they do not see the worth of this expense and tune out.  

If listeners do not see any worth in the presentation, they simply tune out.

  • True
  • False

Presenting with the spoken word

Energy and Sincerity

The potential to connect with the audience is one of the biggest strengths of spoken communication. Make them part of the dialogue, let them feel your eagerness to speak to them, to connect with them, and to share your ideas with them. 

Presenting with the spoken word


Building up a rich and deep reservoir of vocabulary through listening and reading and making it ours by absorbing it into our own communications is the most basic preparation for translating our ideas and thoughts into messages to be conveyed to others.

Presenting with the spoken word

Effective body language

The receiver is more likely to continue to trust the speaker- including their intentions and their material- if they see a connection between the words and the unconscious cues that accord higher credibility to these. 

Facial expressions, Eye contact, Voice, Tone, Pace, Pauses, Gestures and Appearance are all as important, if not more important, as the spoken word. 

Energy, Vocabulary and Body language are essentials for successful presentation.

  • True
  • False

Practice with Small talk / conversations

Being able to have general conversations or small talk is essential to bond with colleagues and team members, and to build a sense of camaraderie. And these are essential building blocks for productive and happy workplace.  

Ideas that emerge, are tested and refined during these informal interactions serve as raw material for those crucial formal speaking opportunities. 

Beware while speaking over the phone

Structure your call (GILD ACT)

•Greet appropriately 

•Introduce self 

•Listen to the caller

•Delegate to other (if req.)

•Answer appropriately 

•Confirm understanding 

•Thank the caller


Studies have shown that audio only conversations were more depersonalized, argumentative, and narrow in focus compared to face to face conversations

Conversations over phone are more depersonalized and result in more arguments compared to in person conversations.

  • True
  • False

Active listening is more important than anything

Willingness to listen to others which is an important component of all conversations and dialogue, is a quality that we need to develop in ourselves as much as possible by taking genuine interest in others views and feelings, in respecting others as individuals, and in controlling our self-focus and impatience that prevent us from listening to others. 

Formula for successful Presentations

A useful formula for structuring a presentation in a way that we take our audience along is:

 1.Tell them what you are going to tell them (Intro) 

2.Tell them (Body) 

3.Tell them again what you told them (Conclusion) 

A mistake commonly made by many speakers is to pull out the same set of material regardless of the audience, if the topic remains the same. 

Effective Introduction

This is the stage where we grab the audience’s attention to:

 •Strike a rapport 

•Relate to them by bringing in awareness of their needs 

•Establish our own credentials and of our material 

•Provide a sense of direction for the presentation through sharing our structure, agenda or plan 

To achieve this, we may start with a startling fact, a brief and relevant anecdote, or a humorous icebreaker.

Effective Body

This is the stage where we deliver on our promise made during introduction:

 •Provide focused data and facts and logically supported assertions. 

•Examples should be from the experience base of the particular audience so that they serve to exemplify the point rather than further confuse. 

•Avoid disjointed ideas that do not get built upon. 

•Attempt should be to provide a smooth flow so that the ideas build on each other and serve to take the audience along to the conclusion we have in mind. 

In long presentations, it is advisable to recap crucial points at the end of each section.

Effective Conclusion

This is the stage where we recap and seek confirmation of understanding and may be commitment from audience:

 •Conclusion is where the promise of the introduction in sharing useful information, or making useful recommendation, or arguing in favor of a position gets crystallized. 

• A strong opening and equally strong conclusion provide a satisfying sense of promise delivered. 

•Remember to end with strong, memorable closing statement. 

We may use slides to help keep the audience on track with where we have been, where we are, and where we are headed.

Formula for structuring effective presentations has three steps.

  • True
  • False

Visual Aid - PPT

•To maximize the positive effect, Slides should not be cluttered or too detailed. 

•Test for Audio Video and support systems in advance 

•Must provide good color contrast to aid in legibility and clarity. 

•It is important not to show  complete dependence on the written material (read Slides) and thus a lack of ownership of material. 

•This independence leaves us free to freely use our body language to augment our verbal content. 


•Listeners need to relate the sounds received by their ears to the literal and contextual meaning. 

•If we keep hurrying from point to point, or from assertion to assertion, or keep heaping fact upon fact without pause, we may build a processing backlog that may become so big that the listener may give up trying to deal with it. 

•Providing a little break in the pace of speaking serves the purpose of an underlined or bold text in writing.  

•Preference rule 'Peak End with Negative bias'. 


Remember, the value of your information is not absolute; it should relate to the audience and their ‘ What is in it for me?’ outlook.

How we elaborate our topic, what examples or references we make, how technical we make our terminology, everything should be shaped by the audience’s level, needs and expectations. 

A presentation is successful only if it fulfills the needs/ wants/ expectations of audience.

  • True
  • False

Concluding remarks

Be patient with yourself

Self growth is tender, it’s holy ground

So invest in your growth, and stay the course

Stephen Covey.

Hope to meet a better you soon - Vishal Sharma  

Did you like the content, was it relevant and useful?

  • Yes
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