What is executive presence and what does it have to do with you? Everything! Assuming, of course, that you want to be successful in your career, be influential in your company, and achieve your full potential as a leader. Whether you know it or not, you have already been sized up and assigned a rating on your company’s executive presence scale, and either you have it or you don’t.
My definition of executive presence is one’s ability to inspire others through the combination of their physical appearance (charisma, poise), communication ability (written, verbal) and authentic connection (interpersonal skills, ability to engage others).
How do you know if you have executive presence and how do you get it if you don’t? When asked, most HR professionals say they know it when they see it and you likely do too. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
- Are your ideas and input overlooked?
- Are you frequently out of the loop when it comes to corporate politics?
- Do you lack visibility within your organization?
- Are you overlooked when it comes to key projects and promotions?
- Do you lack senior-level advocates willing to champion you and your ideas up the chain of command?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your executive presence may need some work. Not to worry. Every business professional needs to work on some aspect of his or her presence at one time another.
If you feel your executive presence needs polishing, here are some things that you can do:
- Assess yourself. Have someone videotape you making a presentation. Take notes on the areas in which you need improvement.
- Get input from others. Ask a trusted colleague, mentor or coach for candid feedback. Consider having a third party facilitate a feedback assessment or stakeholder interviews. Gather anecdotal information from emails, correspondence or performance reviews.
- Observe other respected professionals for best practices. Note what they do exceptionally well. Look for ideas on things you’d like to put into practice.
- Develop an action plan. Identify areas for improvement and actionable tactics you can implement, like joining a professional association, taking a class, reading a book or hiring a coach.
- Practice new behaviors. Test out what you have learned and see what impact it has on your presence.
The key to executive presence is authenticity. So, while you are working at making improvements, don’t lose sight of your true self. After all, your presence is what makes you unique.
Speaker. Coach. Consultant.
“Dream Big. Take Action. Make It Happen.”
- Posted by Regina
- On November 1, 2019
- 2 Comments