When you take on a new role or a new responsibility, or you are giving a presentation or making a speech, you should be a little apprehensive.
If it is really new and you have not done it before, why wouldn’t you be apprehensive?
There’s a difference between being apprehensive and paralysed by fear!
If you are paralysed be fear (as many are by the thought of public speaking) that can be overcome. Practice, practice and practice again – ideally in front of an audience, but even practising to the dog will help! There are also plenty of people to help with presentation and/or public speaking skills.
If you are apprehensive that’s a good thing. We all need to be a little on edge, a little more aware of giving of our best. Can you imagine an athlete on the starting line being totally relaxed?
You can control your apprehension through preparation and be envisaging the outcome. What’s the worst that could happen, and why would it? Often just picturing that is enough to cut through the tension and help you do a better job.
All these same thoughts and feeling apply to the team member to whom you just gave a new role or responsibility or who is taking on a pitch to a new prospect.
It’s your job, as the business leader, to help them do their job and part of that may be to help them reduce the fear level. You can guide or coach them, you can help them practice and they will then do a better job.
A session preparing for a pitch for new business is a classic example. The team making the pitch will benefit from as much research as they can do, and benefit again from a rehearsal where other team members throw up possible objections or challenges. Imagine how confident the sales person feels if the real objection is one they have already rehearsed?