As an executive leader, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “executive presence,” but what does it mean, and why does it matter?
Executive presence is critical because it impacts how others perceive you as a leader. It involves showing up with confidence, composure, and clarity in your communication, among other skills. Executive presence is a measure of your ability to command respect, convey authority, and inspire people to action.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is believing that competence is the pathway to success. While competence is important, influence, presence and politics can play a nearly equal role depending on the organization.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why executive presence matters and share 4 steps to improve your executive presence.
Step 1: Enhance Your Physical Presence
Body language is an essential aspect of executive presence. People judge us based on our appearance and behavior from the moment we enter a room. If you stand tall, maintain eye contact, and adopt an open posture, you convey confidence and gain instant credibility. On the other hand, slouching, averting your gaze, and fidgeting can signal anxiety or lack of confidence. Dress appropriately for the occasion; dress codes matter.
Step 2: Develop Your Communication Skills
Executive presence is the ability to communicate with clarity and confidence. It requires effective public speaking and presentation skills, as well as the ability to listen actively and respond thoughtfully. With clear communication, you inspire trust in your ideas, which leads to more support for your initiatives. Practice giving presentations to your team, writing effective emails and memos, and communicating well with subordinates and superiors. It is also important to be a good listener.
Step 3: Manage Your Emotions
Leaders are often under intense pressure and stress. It’s easy to let emotions control your behavior, which can affect executive presence. Avoid appearing angry or frustrated, and resist the urge to blame others for problems that arise. Instead, take ownership of your emotions and strive to remain calm, cool, and collected. With this focus, you will be able to manage strong feelings, communicate clearly, and make wise decisions. Emotional Intelligence is key because it informs how much you can effectively respond to your team members, build relationships, and manage yourself under stress.
Step 4: Get coaching or training
Contrary to popular opinion, getting support to improve executive presence is a smart and savvy way to own your career and step into an empowered career position. Trying to figure it out alone can cost you precious time, money, and reputation currency. Find a coach you feel aligned with and save yourself the emotional frustration that can come from failure to understand the rules of how to play the executive suite game.
Whether you’re just starting out in your executive career or you’re a seasoned veteran, executive presence is essential to your success. As a leader, your ability to command a room, communicate effectively, and inspire your team relies heavily on your executive presence. By enhancing your physical presence, developing your communication skills, and managing your emotions, you can improve your executive presence and take your leadership skills to the next level.
Book a call with us today to learn about our Executive Presence for Modern Leaders program designed to improve executive presence in 4 months. This executive presence training is designed to add value and get results. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to show up as the leader you’ve always wanted to be!