Top 5 Business Trends in 2013: Your Place, Your Voice

 In Presence

Recently, Forbes magazine published an article by Meghan Biro called 5 Trends Defining the World of Work and Leadership in 2013. In the article, Meghan points out that

“Uncertainty has increased, not decreased this past year. The country does not have its financial house in order. People of all ages and skill levels are worried about their jobs, their families, their futures.

It’s up to us as leaders to create a collaborative, engaged global workplace with extending social communities built on a foundation of healthy culture, real trust, and respect for all types of talent. This is a tall order, but we can do it. Our future leaders are depending on us to continue the mission.”

In order to be ready to participate in “a collaborative, engaged global workplace by extending social communities,” you will need a clear, purposeful voice, either physically or metaphorically. You will need to embrace “conversations that matter,” a name I use to describe those discussions that require thought and foresight. You will need to speak up with ideas that have value. You will need to be ready to interview and be interviewed, and you will need to listen to and be respectful of others’ voices. Below, for each, trend, I show you what to consider and how to prepare to participate.

Asian Businesswoman Leading Meeting At Boardroom Table

Trend #1:

2013 Will be the year of collaboration technology. Think: Social media.

Social Media is often a medium of expression for the Voice that represents your thoughts and expression rather than just a place to keep in touch with friends. There are lots of great books and videos on social media. To participate, learn to use it effectively. Rather than telling about your breakfast, tell your story and re-tell other peoples’ stories. Find your unique niche. Then commit to it and stay involved. Over time, your Voice will be expected in the mix. As for your physical voice, add video or podcasts to your strategy, making sure that your intention aligns with your content and both with your delivery. And also remember that the social web is permanent. Choose participation wisely.

Trend #2:

As Baby Boomers become more anxious about retirement prospects, look for a multi-generational collision in the workplace.

Brio says, “There are differing expectations now in the world of work. Challenging times lie ahead for leaders, managers and HR pros who are not able to adopt rapidly to innovation and the unique communication needs of different generations. We need open-minded, passionate, talented people of all generations to work together as one.” Your voice reflects your intention. Be clear about your intention. Create a personal statement of intention and use it as a filter for your message. Set your intention to be open-minded and passionate. Work on that executive presence. Create content that reflects these characteristics. Work on your listening skills, and learn to dialogue with others using co-operative communication skills.

Trend #3:

Increasing government regulation, especially around ACA, tax changes and Social Security, will keep job growth low.

More than ever, good interview skills will be needed to compete. But today’s interviewers are increasingly looking for unique candidates with a great story to tell. Find yours and be prepared to tell it. If you are one of the people who do the interviewing, be sure to listen effectively and remain respectful of the fact that it’s a jungle out there for anyone looking for a job.

Trend #4:

Telepresence for globally distributed teams will continue to grow.

Telepresence is a wonderful tool for creating a sense of connection across the miles. However, every time someone sees you on the TP monitor, they are comparing you to the news broadcaster they saw on television the night before. This is not conscious, but it is real! After all, there’s that frame around your image! If you don’t measure up, your brand is in jeopardy. When you sit in a TP room, take the time to look at your desk and the environment that is visible to others; remove the messy paper, coffee cups you aren’t using, stray pens and books, extra chairs, and any other clutter. On the video, the best colors to wear are periwinkle blue and deep coral without busy patterns. Get some shirts or sweaters in those colors for those special TP sessions. Avoid white. If you are the only one sitting at a large TP table, make yourself “large and in charge” by sitting centered but at a slight angle to the camera, with your arms open and elbows away from your sides. Take up as much space as you can. Do not place your laptop between you and your audience (in any meeting). Finally, look at the camera, not the screen, as much as possible so that, to the other person, you appear to be looking at them.

Trend #5:

Technology married with Social Media will now be EVERYWHERE, but we’ll think of it less as technology and more as an appliance, like a toaster.

One of the main considerations of this trend is that your “social ID” will be used everywhere you go, making statements about who you are and what you do just as if you were telling people such things aloud. Be sure you know how to be safe in this new world, but also make sure that ID represents you well. Consider the picture that shows up on Google+ or in your friends’ contact list. Does it look like you, or if it is a symbol or a logo, does it translate well to the web? How do you use this technology? Is your use in alignment with your personal brand and/or intention?

In the end, Meghan challenges us to stay passionate and continue to collaborate as we move ahead into 2013.  I say it this way: in 2013 businesses are more like choruses than soloists, but choirs are made up of great individual voices. This year is the year we recognize that we are better together. Let yours ring out while appreciating the voices around you.

Comments?  Please share yours.

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