• Sarah E. Brown

Find YOUR Voice in YOUR Organization with Tom Henschel


Have you found YOUR voice in YOUR workplace?


Finding your voice takes effort and dedication, but it is as simple as “Rehearse and Reflect.”


Tom Henschel is an executive coach. He’s known for helping corporate leaders in two ways: with executive presence which he calls the look and sound of leadership, and softening the impact of people with sharp elbows – what he calls disruptive executives.


In this episode, Tom unravels the challenge of finding your own voice in your own workplace. Here, he shares valuable insights you can apply as you rehearse and reflect.


What you will learn from this episode:

  • Discover why finding one’s voice is a common scenario in various organizations;

  • Understand that you don’t need anyone’s permission to find your way towards your voice; and




If you want to get better at this thing called communication skills and finding your voice, you need to be able to do two things: rehearse and reflect.
- Tom Henschel


Valuable Free Resource:




Topics Covered:


01:31 – Challenge is women finding their voice and being heard in a way they want to be heard in their culture.

02:48 – Women want tools to help them find a way to get their message heard: what women leaders want from Tom when trying to find their voice.

03:55 – One free and actionable tip you can do to be great at communicating and speaking your voice: If you want to get better at this thing called communication skills and finding your voice, you need to be able to do two things: rehearse and reflect. Record it and listen. Rehearse, and then afterward, reflect. Did you get the result you wanted? And if yes, how did you contribute?

05:41 – Valuable free resource to help you become an empowered leader who can speak your voice: Go get tools from Tom’s podcast at https://essentialcomm.com/podcast now.

06:16 – Q: How do you do that [finding your voice] if now you understand what you want? A: You will find your way. You will because you have to. Other people might do it faster or differently or slower, right? Other people might have more anxiety or less. But you will find your way. That's you in your workplace. That is how you find your voice. It’s to trust that you do not need permission. You do not need to be given a rulebook. You need to find your way, which means, by the way, rehearse and reflect.



Key Takeaways:


“Part of finding your voice is this idea of having a way to get your message heard. Whether they perhaps want to manage their job or manage their team or have influence around a new proposal, finding your voice – there's a way to do it. Somebody's already done it. There are things to learn from, and you get to adapt them as you learn them.” – Tom Henschel

“Record it and listen. Are you using any kind of words or sound like blame words? You might want to kind of take those out. Rehearse, and then afterwards, reflect. How did I do it? Did I get the result I wanted? And if yes, how did I contribute? What did I do that got me the result I wanted? Those are the questions to ask in the reflection part.” – Tom Henschel

“You will find your way. You will, because you have to. Other people might do it faster or differently or slower, right? Other people might have more anxiety or less. But you will find your way. That's you in your workplace. That is how you find your voice. It’s to trust that you do not need permission. You do not need to be given a rulebook. You need to find your way, which means by the way, rehearse and reflect. You will find your way.” – Tom Henschel



Ways to Connect with Tom Henshel



Ways to Connect with Sarah E. Brown



Full Episode Transcript:


Tom Henschel 0:00

If you want to get better at this thing called communication skills and finding your voice, you need to be able to do two things: rehearse and reflect.


Sarah E. Brown 0:17

Hello everyone. Welcome to The KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women where we talk about challenges senior female leaders face in being happy and successful at work. I'm your host, Dr. Sarah E. Brown.


My guest today is Tom Henschel. He's an executive coach who is known for helping corporate leaders in two ways: executive presence which he calls the look and sound of leadership and softening the impact of people with sharp elbows – what he calls disruptive executives.


He's been helping women rise for more than 30 years. He traveled around the world with Dr. Lois Frankel who wrote “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office.” Together, they spoke about “Why Men are Liked and Why Women are Heard.” He also does a lot of pro bono coaching with young women around the globe.

Tom, thank you for being here today.


Tom Henschel 1:21

Thank you Sarah for having me.


Sarah E. Brown 1:23

So what is the biggest challenge you help female leaders face in business today and what might be the symptoms of that challenge?


Tom Henschel 1:31

One of the things I love about my work Sarah is that I get to parachute into all different kinds of companies and so I see all different kinds of cultures. Across all those cultures with the women I coach – and I coach more women than men, I find the biggest challenge is finding your voice, being heard in a way you want in your culture. So, let me tell you how that might look.


Sarah E. Brown 1:57

Okay.


Tom Henschel 1:57

I am coaching a Chief Legal Officer at a production company in Hollywood. There's one man at the very top – he's the CEO – who's a very emotionally intelligent man. The entire company is this very creative, emotionally fluent group of women who are amazing, but that woman – that Chief Legal Officer – is still trying to find her voice in that culture. Now, I'm also coaching an MD-PhD woman who is running a division of scientists at a biotech company. That's a completely different culture.


Both these women need to find their voice, but they will clearly find it in their own different ways. So the challenge is that I find women having transcens any particular workplace. It's a find-your-voice issue.


Sarah E. Brown 2:43

And what is the biggest mistake your clients make before working with you?


Tom Henschel 2:48

I don't know what mistakes they're making, but I'll tell you what I hear them wanting from me. They want tools from me.


So, I think part of finding your voice is this idea of having a way to get your message heard. So whether they perhaps want to manage up or manage their team, or you know, have influence around a new proposal, finding your voice – there's a way to do it. Somebody's already done it. There are things to learn from, and you get to adapt them as you learn them. So these tools that people want – structures or feedback for how to present ideas, how to deliver feedback, whatever it might be, I find that they really are hungry for tools. And there are a lot of tools out there, by the way. There’s a book like


Thanks for the Feedback which is friendly and fun and will change your mind about feedback or Crucial Conversations which I'm guessing a lot of your listeners already have on their shelf. It's really helpful. It's got a lot of scripts in it, lots of tools in it. People love those books and they're really helpful.


Sarah E. Brown 3:48

So what is the number one free and actionable tip you can give them to address this challenge now?


Tom Henschel 3:55

If you want to get better at this thing called communication skills and finding your voice, you need to be able to do two things: rehearse and reflect. Rehearse and reflect.

So, rehearsing to me is, I grew up in a discipline that had rehearsal built into it. We got paid to rehearse; that was our job. I find it amazing to me that people approach difficult conversations or emotionally-loaded situations and don't rehearse, like you're going to go in there and wing it, like oh my gosh. No. Don't. Find someone to talk to, you know.


Really, call a buddy. It might be not somebody that you work with, but call a buddy and say, “Can I run this by you? Here's what I'm thinking…” and you'll have to explain yourself. It's so helpful when you clarify your own thinking. All that rehearsal.

You can rehearse, by the way, we all can record ourselves now, right? On our phones or on Zoom or whatever – record it and listen. Are you using any kind of words or sound like blame words? You might want to kind of take those out. Rehearse, and then afterwards, reflect. How did I do? You get to ask yourself. Did I get the result I wanted?


And if yes, how did I contribute? What did I do that got me the result I wanted? Or in part of the conversation, and by the way, because it's probably not going to all be one color, right? It's going to have lots of different colors in it. Hey, that part went really well, but oh, this other part – to reflect again. Did I get the result I wanted in that one? No? Well, how did I contribute? Here's how.

So those are the questions to ask in the reflection part. Did I get the result I wanted? How did I contribute to that?


Sarah E. Brown 5:29

Terrific. That's gonna be my takeaway message from this.


Tom Henschel 5:33

Oh, good!


Sarah E. Brown 5:34

So what's a valuable free resource you can share with the women who are listening today to help them understand this challenge better?


Tom Henschel 5:41

I really want to invite people just to go get my podcast, you know.

Sarah, I've been podcasting The Look & Sound of Leadership for 13 years and I created it with the sole intention of giving people tools – just the kind of tools we've been talking about here. So, please go help yourself, and there's categories you can select from and one of them is for women. I talk to more women than men, and I would love to


Sarah E. Brown 6:06

Terrific. So Tom, what is one question that I should have asked you that will help our audience take action to address this challenge? And then, would you please answer the question?


Tom Henschel 6:16

Yes. Here's a question that you might have asked back in the beginning when we were talking about “how do you find your voice?” How does that, you know, that's what we have in mind.


The question, the follow-up question might be, how? How do you do that if now you understand that you want to?


Here's the image I'd like to give you. I would like you to imagine that you get dropped down in a country where you cannot even read the alphabet. It is a foreign land. You know nothing except that you're among other human beings, but other than that, there are no rules here. You will find your way. You will because you have to. And you will find your way in your way. And by the way, other people might do it faster or differently or slower, right? Other people might have more anxiety or less. But you will find your way.


That's you in your workplace. That is how you find your voice. It’s to trust that you do not need permission. You do not need to be given a rulebook. You need to find your way, which means, by the way, rehearse and reflect. But you will find your way.


Sarah E. Brown 7:27

What a helpful message. Tom, thank you so much for being with me today.


Tom Henschel 7:33

I’m so glad to be with you. Thank you.


Sarah E. Brown 7:35

Thanks for listening to The KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women. If you like what you're hearing, please go to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave a review.


And if you would like more information on how we can help women in your organization to thrive, then go to https://www.sarahebrown.com/. You can sign up for our newsletter, read show notes and learn more about our podcast guests, read my blog, browse through the books, or contact us for a chat.


Goodbye for now.

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