Interview with Molly Fletcher
How are your keynote presentations unique?
The feedback that we get often is that my keynote presentations resonate really well with both men and women, which I’ve been told is unique for a speaker. One of the ways I really connect with my audience is through humor and stories. My goal is to be able to connect with every person in the room, and to leave them not just inspired and motivated, but with some tactics that they can go out and incorporate in their lives and work immediately.
Who or what inspires you most?
I’m most inspired by people who lean into change and into their fears, and believe that their “What If…” is worth going for. What inspires me the most is hearing the impact my message has on someone in the audience. It’s those stories that are memorable and remind me of my purpose and my platform to create positive change in people’s lives.
For example, when I heard from a financial adviser recently who landed the biggest piece of business in her career using the advice I share… or the young woman who broke into the sports industry and shared “I helped pave her way.” The list is endless, but it’s about helping others be their best self. My personal mission is to lead, inspire and connect with creative courage and optimism. When I hear the stories of other’s success inside of these moments, that’s when I know I am living my mission.
Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?
I’ve been able to speak to so many incredible audiences inside of so many great organizations and companies that it’s hard to pick just one. When I see my audience fully engaged— laughing, crying, smiling with me— that is incredibly rewarding because I know I am connecting. I love being able to connect with so many different types of people. When they start sitting in their seats and end standing on their feet, I know it’s been a good day!
In your view, what skills are needed to be a good negotiator?
What I learned from my years of experience as a sports agent is that effective negotiation is just a conversation. Communication and the ability to connect are essential to success. In my book, A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating: How Conversation Gets Deals Done, I walk the reader through the five stages of a successful negotiation. They are: set the stage, find common ground, ask with confidence, embrace the pause, and know when to walk away. If you can master those five steps, you will be successful.
Can you give 3 tips for establishing the kind of relationships that are crucial to business success?
- 1) Connect vs. communicate. People want to do business with people that they like, that they trust, and that can help them. Take the time to truly connect with people instead of just communicate your ideas. This means digging in and asking the hard questions, listening, and taking the time to understand their gaps and values.
- 2) Build a favor column. Find unique ways to add value to your relationships. Show them what it’s like to do business with you before you get the deal.
- 3) Have the tough conversations. Have you ever finished a conference call or left a meeting and thought to yourself, “Phew, it didn’t come up!” Avoiding tough conversations is one of the biggest traps we can fall into in our business relationships. Most relationships fall apart because of the conversations we DIDN’T have, not because of the ones we did have. Tough conversations move relationships forward.