5 Ways to Instantly Enhance Your Executive Presence
As an aspiring executive, you need to learn early on what the essential traits are if you are going to become an effective leader. Leadership skills are more than just knowing the latest information from the top thought leaders in the industry; it’s about how you present yourself. It’s not even about your position in the company or even what your potential is. It’s about perception. You can’t just say you are a leader; you need to give the perception of being the leader. This article will help you learn everything that you need to about why executive presence is important and how to instantly enhance it so that you can grow into the leader that you want to be.
What is Executive Presence?
According to research from the Center for Talent Innovation it is believed that executive present is a desirable trait that accounts for about 26% of what an employee needs to possess to get promoted through the company. This concept is one that combines personal skills as well as interpersonal skills and is conveyed to others through your presence. It’s the feeling people get when they work with you. It’s how well you communicate. It’s all about how you can instantly take leadership of the room just by showing up. It’s how you carry yourself in every facet of your professional life. However, it isn’t about being the loudest person in the room or the one who gets the most attention. It’s about captivating the room with your words and body language.
Why is executive presence so important? When you were hired, you were primarily hired because of those hard skills that you possess. These are the skills that are measurable and relevant to your career. But as important as these skills are, these hard skills are not what’s going to help you move up in your career. Soft skills are what makes the difference between someone who grows as a leader and someone who stays stagnant. According to a study from MIT, developing these soft skills will give you an estimated 250% return on your investment. Even employees who didn’t get this training can benefit from those who did, just because of the executive presence that their peer developed.
5 Ways to Instantly Enhance Your Executive Presence
While this is a natural skill that some people were just born with, the good news is that you can learn to develop and enhance your executive presence. In this section, you will learn some of the best ways to accomplish this and grow as an effective leader.
When someone is confident in who they are and what they are capable of, they don’t need to tell others that they are confident. However, there’s a fine line between being over-confident and not being confident enough that you need to balance if you are going to be successful. Confident people show that they are confident through their presence. They are self-motivated individuals who take calculated risks to get ahead.
You need to show confidence through your body language and actions. Stand straight up and in a power pose for a few seconds to give you the confidence boost that you need. Then, you need to get your brain into the confident state of mind. To do this, think about a moment where you felt really good about yourself and your abilities. Focus on this and how it made you feel, then convey that same feeling while you’re at work.
2. Have Stellar Communication Skills
Easily one of the most essential skills for having that executive presence is your communication skills. You need to be articulate in your speech, and confident in the words that you are speaking. This helps you be seen as an authority figure because you know what you’re talking about! However, this also means that you need to focus on your listening skills as well. There’s a distinct difference between “hearing” and “actively listening”. When you hear something, you may only pick out a few words and remember them. Through actively listening, you can better engage with whoever you are speaking to.
Focus on things like eye contact and develop your public speaking skills. You don’t necessarily need to become a professional public speaker, but you will need to learn how to speak in front of people (even groups of people) to exude your executive presence.
3. Your Appearance
Your physical appearance says a lot about you. The saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is true. Take the time to ensure that your clothes look good (for example, pressed and well-fitting)and you are practicing good grooming habits. Even the smallest change can really help have an impact on your professional life. Being sharply dressed and well-groomed make you stand out as a leader.
4. Accept Constructive Criticism
Some people take criticism to heart rather than use it as something to learn from. When you hear criticism, take it as a learning experience that you can improve from. This allows you to present yourself as the best version of yourself, becoming a better leader. Take any comments in stride, even with a sense of humor. Not only can you take this criticism as a learning experience, but you will show others that it’s okay to not be perfect and that there’s always room for development.
5. Improve Your Body Language
Your body says way more than any words can about you. People don’t always remember the words that you say, but they will always remember how you make them feel. Make sure you have solid eye contact that says you are listening to them. Smile in a way that conveys warmth. Use tactics like mirroring which helps convey empathy and solidarity. Your body language is so important to your executive presence because it’s a huge contributing factor to how others perceive you, either in a positive way or a negative light.
It can mean the difference between gaining the trust of your colleagues and employees or them having little faith in your ability as a leader
RECAP: 5 Ways to Instantly Enhance Your Executive Presence
- Have Stellar Communication Skills
- Your Appearance
- Accept Constructive Criticism
- Improve Your Body Language