On her very first day at work, Femsy sits in her new office, which she is sharing with Mansy. Billy strolls into the room and asks Mansy: “Oh, I see you have a new secretary?”


Mansy laughs.


Femsy feels upset but does not correct the situation.


A great leader:

  • Is self-confident, self-aware and mature;
  • Is able to relate to others and builds effective relationships;
  • Markets herself well;
  • Pitches herself to the situation;
  • Uses humour to ease tension;
  • Is cool under pressure.

How to best handle the situation:

Managing the first three minutes is essential. The tone is set and first impressions are formed. Take charge of the situation by putting yourself forward confidently, use humour to ease the situation, take time to introduce yourself and ask questions to get to know your new colleagues. Count to 10, don’t signal to them what you think and don’t take it personally!  Put your judgments on hold. In that way you will be better equipped to respond more effectively than when you get irritated. Irritated or arrogant responses will only lead to negative reactions from the other side. Talk/behave as you would with anyone else.

Learning suggestions:

  • Think of yourself like a brand in the way you behave and the way you present yourself. The ability to let others know who you are, what you have to offer and how you can make a difference in their organization is one of the keys to success.
  • Draw on a repertoire of responses and ways to manage everything from first introductions, meetings to phone calls.
  • Attend an Effective Communications Skills/Human Relations Skills course, which will help you to develop a “take-charge attitude.”
  • Establish a mentor relationship with a senior leader. Hold regular meetings with him/her to discuss specific issues as they arise and debate alternative courses of action to continuously improve your leadership presence.


What are the four or five things you want people to say about you when they are describing you as a leader?


Read more about Co-Colours and Co-Colours Team.

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