Future Leaders with Keli Mitchell

Event review by India Morrow, Strathmore Foods

Last week, for the third instalment in the future leaders workshop  series, we heard from Keli Mitchell, MD at Frame. She shared her top tips on building great relationships both in our professional and personal lives.

Keli has been with frame for 18 years now and works closely with all teams in the business to ensure the smooth running of projects and campaigns.

Keli began her talk by telling us the key to becoming a good leader is to start with yourself. What kind of leader do you want to be? Do you see yourself as a leader? She explained to us that we have to define the type of leader we want to be before we can share that with anyone else and that our leadership style will come from our personalities.

She then reminded us just how many relationships we build and maintain throughout our lives. From our pets to our managers and our parents to our children’s friends. We all have 10s if not 100s of great relationships we build, maintain and develop throughout our lives. Some we do really well and others we don’t do so well. Each one shapes our future self and our future relationships. Keli believes there are four golden rules of a great relationship and the main body of her talk described how we can put these into practice.

1. Show-up. Building a great relationships is about the personal connection you make with people. It’s the nuances of their humour matched with yours, body language and how it’s interpreted and finding what  you’ve got in common to go from strength to strength. Kelis number one recommendation for building great relationships is to always do it in person... and to Say Yes to the meeting, every time! Keli later went on to speak about those meetings we dread, the ones we wish we could excuse ourselves from. For her, those are the meetings and the relationships we have the most to gain from. For those we should set out what success looks like for both parties in advance and come to that meeting with a positive attitude. Many things can be solved or overcome by being nice and understanding the goals each party is trying to reach.

2. Speak-up When you’ve got the meeting and you’re in the room, it's time to speak up. Here’s kelis step by step guide to speaking up and achieving what needs to be achieved:

- Step one: Hone your comms. Be clear and concise in what you have to say. Say it with confidence. Don’t be shy, don’t shout and don’t mumble. Present yourself well. Wear something you feel like a rock star in and enter the room with your personality shining through. Be Charming.

- Step Two: Have a point of view. Decide what your point of view is and share it with the room, people will appreciate your opinion and contribution to the doesn’t have to be right. Don’t be afraid to be you.

- Step Three: Be Genuinely Interested. Ask the people in the room how they are, how their partner is, dog, cat, anyone you can remember in their relationship circle. If you're not interested - don’t ask.

- Step Four: Be polite!

3. Follow-up. There’s nothing worse than having a really great meeting and then never hearing   from the other party again or waiting weeks for a follow up. Keli spoke to us about the important of following up quickly and staying consistent with your communications. Whether that’s doing a weekly check in, replying to queries quickly or just checking in on a regular basis.

4. Never give up. We’ve all been in a situation where something has gone terribly wrong or the outcome of a project isn’t quite what we expected. In these horrible situations Keli explained that honesty with a little  bit of Vulnerability is the best policy. We should own up to our mistakes, be the first person to let those around us know what the mistake is and where possible come with a solution to fix it.

To finish off the session Keli spoke about the key things we should all communicate well to make an agency/client relationship work well. Her key message was that a client/agency relationship should be seen as a partnership, an extension of ones team. Be honest and bring the agency along on your journey by sharing your goals, aspirations and troubles. Make sure your briefs are clear and expectations are realistic and you have everyone on the same page from the onset of each project.



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