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Shane Hatton: Building Relationships and Understanding Your Audience

Shane Hatton: Building Relationships and Understanding Your Audience


Shane Hatton is a leadership and communication expert. His book Lead the Room: Communicate a Message That Counts in Moments That Matter is packed with interesting and practical information pertaining to his “big three obsessions”: Positioning, Messaging and Developing.

Your Platform: Opportunities to Thrive... and Burn

Being a broker is all about building relationships through influencing, connecting and communicating. Every time you have an opportunity to stand on a platform — whatever that platform looks like — is an opportunity to build on what you’ve accomplished, but sometimes we can unknowingly burn it through not being intentional. We might stand up on a stage and say we’re all about empowerment of people; that we’re all about helping people be their best. Then when we walk off stage, we’re nasty to people in the hallways or we don’t connect; we ignore them and we don’t ask how they’re going. Everything that’s happening off platform is actually undermining everything that takes place on the platform.

Everything That You Do Says Something About You

In one of my first jobs I was working at a university and they took my staff photo sitting in a brand new science lab they’d built; that became my profile photo for LinkedIn. I didn’t use LinkedIn for a long time but it stayed there. When I first started my business, people were looking me up online and had a photo of me in a science lab: There was this discrepancy about who I was online versus what I said I’m about. We actually forget that it could just be an old Facebook account or an old blog account that we set up years ago that’s still out there floating around the internet that actually is building a picture for people about who we are. Whether it’s your online presence, your interaction with customers or a LinkedIn article, everything that you do says something about you. I don’t ever discount anybody from the position of leadership; I think we’re all leaders in some capacity.

Success is About Building a Network and Being The Right Connector

“Soft skills” — a combination of people, social and communication skills — are important because they’re very human skills and they are becoming more crucial for the future of work in Australia. When we step into a corporate environment, we can forget that beneath the surface of everybody, we’re still just human. Learning those skills aren’t so much about “how do we have the processes and systems to be able to network better or connect better”, it’s actually “how do we just move back to being more human and adding the human factor in our relationships, really?”

Reframing Works 

If you’re time-poor or being weighed down by competing priorities here are some scenarios to consider:

  • Rather than saying “I don’t have time”, reframe it and say “it’s not a priority” and use that whenever you think you don’t have time for something.
  • Instead of saying “I don’t have time to get up and go to the gym”, say “it’s not a priority” and see how that sits within you.
  • If somebody says to you, “Hey, can you work on this project right now?” you could say, “Oh look, I’m sorry I don’t have the time to it” or “Actually, it’s not a priority for me right now.”
  • If it is a priority for you, then you’ll reshuffle and make things work.

Carve Out Time For The High-Value Things

We always make time for the things that we value. The question is, “do I value this enough to carve out time to make this happen?” We tend to fill our calendars pretty quickly with low-value tasks or things that we just can’t say no to. Leaders are always in the business of, “how do I make sure that I’m doing the things that only I can do rather than doing the things that anybody can do?” There’s some things that I’m not great at when it comes to finance. I can do it and I could spend a lot of time doing it but I would much rather pay somebody who is excellent at it, which reclaims a whole lot of my time to do the things that I am good at.


Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed are those of the individual contributors and not of NFC Aggregation. Any reference to third party goods and services are not endorsements or recommendations by NFC Aggregation.

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