You must have been noticed that if a person entered in an office or in a room, a stranger can also feel that he/she is a boss or a supervisor. When he/she starts talking then also you know immediately that he/she is in charge or a manager. So the question is what it is? What is the power he/she has behind it? How we came to know about him/her that he/she is an in charge of that place? Yes, it is known as Executive Presence. Everyone has their own presence but how you build and show your presence is important so here we will learn about executive presence.
What is Executive Presence?
To define Executive Presence is not an easy thing as there is no particular definition of this. It is highly difficult to summarize in words as it is also not measurable. It also doesn’t mean that you have to have a costly watch, costly shoes, branded suit with a briefcase, or have so many plastic money. Executive presence has far more to do with what’s on the inside. It is essentially someone’s ability to inspire trust and confidence and move people to take action. You carry with you a blend of composure, talent, and maturity that helps you make smart decisions, inspire others, and power through difficult times. Executive presence is the impressions you make and how you affect the people around you. It’s how you communicate verbally and physically. It is the ability to give off a general sense of poise, confidence, decisiveness, and dignity. The term also encompasses the characteristics of a sound leader.
How to build your Executive Presence?
To build your Executive Presence is not a rocket science but it is not also easy. First, you need to analyze yourself honestly and make a list where you are lacking. Do you remember a time when you met someone where they didn’t listen to you? They hogged the conversation. They were only interested in their point of view. They dictated the way to do things. They judged you. Now imagine if this is what others felt about you. So here are some characteristics of Executive Presence where you can work and build your Executive presence.
Positive Body Language:
Your body language and your body posture matter a lot. I am sure you also judge people with their body language. The physical presence of a leader tells a lot about his or her presence and people automatically form positive or negative opinions of someone based on a person’s body language. Your nonverbal communication skills can either support you or undermine you.
If your communication is good, no one can beat you anywhere. A leader with executive presence has excellent communication skills. If you are not able to deliver your thoughts/plans to others, your life might be difficult. Those who had their executive presence, they are very well in their communication. The leader with executive presence communicates clearly and with confidence, using energy, volume, and authority. Speaking and listening in ways that move the discussion forward, and fostering a space where diverse ideas are appreciated and embraced.
Executive presence is about leading other people but many descriptions of executive presence start with self-confidence. You won’t convince others that you’re a great leader until you convince yourself. If a Major General is not confident, how can he win a war? If you are confident then only you can give confidence to others. The adage “fake it until you make it” doesn’t hold true here because a lack of confidence shows up in body language, which is the biggest determinant of how people perceive us. Demonstrate your confidence through the way you speak, behave and engage that you believe in yourself and in your ability to succeed and thrive. Remember, confidence comes from knowledge or expertise.
Possessing the power and influence to make things happen and also serving as an authority about the area you’re responsible for it. This includes possessing a mastery of the key information necessary to make effective decisions.
Talk A Better Game:
Talk a better game, stay on top of industry developments. Spend time with top management and understand what issues the top minds are discussing and predicting about the current state of business affairs. The more knowledge you have about your industry, the more powerful you are. Furthermore, it will help build your own confidence. Do not use filler words such as like, umm, kind of, etc. Take pause between your ideas when you’re speaking, don’t string your sentences together, and don’t talk fast.
Mindful leaders are more effective in their leadership, and they can both improve and make better use of their skills and qualities. The benefit of mindfulness is unlimited. If you can integrate mindfulness into the rest of your life, you’ll see benefits in everything you do. And that helps develop executive presence, too. Being mindful of how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and what you’re about to say is valuable because it helps you make the most of every situation.
Be Calm and Cool:
Calm and Cool is the foundation of Executive Presence. During stressful times, someone with an executive presence does not throw stones here and there. They stay calm and collected. They do not look like nervous but rather, seeming self-assured and in control. If there is any bad news, they deliver it in a way that doesn’t completely deflate you. They also discuss about the opportunities.
Although a smile is the best quality but still you need to know when to smile and when not to. You also need to know when to smile less to have a greater effect in communicating your message.
Build a Strong Network:
Leaders with strong executive presence have networks of people that trust them and that they can rely upon. Having a valuable network is great for any executive—but if you’re looking to establish your executive presence, it’s crucial.
Build good habits:
Other than the above, here is a few points also which you might consider:
- Dressing sense
- Engaging in positive self-talk before you start your day
- Practicing strong posture and positioning
- Taking an extra moment to think before you speak
- Eye contact while talking with others. It conveys your confidence, authority, poise, balance, understanding and certainty
- Voice is another mechanism to shape perceptions. Adapting your tone of voice and pace at which you speak is a powerful tool
Remember that every challenge is an opportunity to improve your presence and that every time you miss one of your goals is a chance to make better plans for the future. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the best ways to practice executive presence. If you can do that—and use the exercises above—you’ll build an executive presence to be proud of.