What Senior Executives Need to Be Listening for Today, with CMO Sherianne James

by | Jul 6, 2022 | Podcast, Workplace Forward

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Here at Bright Arrow, we interview the stakeholders of C-suite teams we’re coaching. And the CEO and other CXOs are often surprised by the feedback we share.

Because even when senior executives open the door to conversation, the next line of leaders hold back. They nod their heads and say, ‘Yes, everything’s good.’ Yet in confidential interviews, we uncover frustration and resistance.

So, how can senior leaders learn to listen deeply and read their team’s subtle cues? And what can we do to train aspiring executives to speak up?

Sherianne James is a business-minded marketing leader with 25-plus years of experience unlocking the power of brands to create shareholder value. She has managed iconic brands like Kraft Singles, Planters Nuts, Black & Decker, Milk Bone and George Foreman.

In her current role, Sherianne leverages her consumer product marketing experience to build successful B2C and B2B go-to-market strategies for the optical industry, and she has been twice named to Vision Monday’s list of the Most Influential Women in Optical as well as Dallas CMO of the Year.

On this episode of Workplace Forward, Sherianne joins me to explain why the deliberate practice of listening is an essential skill for senior executives, describing how discontent and resistance can go undetected when we ignore nonverbal cues.

Sherianne offers advice on empowering the next level of leadership to act on the invitation to share honestly, challenging us to demonstrate our humanness with employees without losing our authority as C-suite leaders.

Listen in as Sherianne shares her experience as a woman of color in senior leadership roles and learn how to help aspiring executives communicate effectively, curating messages with both conciseness and clarity.

Themes explored in this week’s episode:

  • Why the deliberate practice of listening is an essential skill for senior executives
  • How a C-suite title can get in the way of team members sharing honestly
  • The challenge of reading your team’s subtle cues and how the issue is compounded by the dynamic way we work now
  • Why Sherianne reserves complex conversations for days her team is in the office
  • Sherianne’s advice on empowering the next level of leadership to act on the invitation to share honestly
  • Why discontent can go undetected and how senior leaders benefit from reading nonverbal cues
  • The balance between demonstrating your humanness with employees and maintaining the weight of being a senior leader
  • How Sherianne helps aspiring senior leaders communicate with conciseness and clarity
  • Sherianne’s experience as a woman of color in senior leadership roles
  • How Sherianne has learned not to internalize resistance and to make strategic decisions re: when to react

Resources from this episode: 

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