A young elk buck challenges the leader of the herd with zest, conviction and passion. Victory will mean many wives. Failure is certain death. It is a traditional fight to the end.

No argument is properly delivered without conviction and passion. If you are not prepared or if you do not believe in what you are presenting it will be evident unless you are a very, very talented actor. If you are that talented, you should be in Hollywood.

The energy you bring into the room with you is contagious. It is a positive force. It shows that you are confident, focused, and passionate about what you are doing; fighting for your cause.

Ways to telegraph this personal attitude of conviction and confidence to those around you:

-Check your tiredness or personal problems at the door. Actually take a personal moment before entering the room to consciously do this. If you are with a team, step aside to make sure you are mentally ready to enter. If you are leading the group, you should do this before even meeting up with your teammates.

-Enter the room boldly. Make an entrance, don't just open the door.

-Make a big deal when meeting someone for the first time. Recognize personally each of the people in the room. Pause when shaking hands and mentally register the person's name and facial features. Make direct, in-control eye contact with each person observing how they react to your openness.

-Make it a point to see if everyone has everything they need, even if it is not your office. Take control of the environment. Be assertive in seeing to the needs of others.

-Start off with a positive statement. Something a simple as "I'm ready to do this!" sends a very clear message across the table and it is far better than saying, "Are we ready to get started?".

Practice how you enter a room, greet others and start a session. Rome wasn't conquered in a day. By developing a natural manner to bring enthusiasm and passion into your persona will make you a more dynamic small group leader. It is the informal leadership role that may enable you to steer the discussion and formulate how the arguments will play out.


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