It happens in a millisecond on an unconscious level. Both can work against you. 10 Aspects of Executive Presence. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, Want To Realize Your Full Potential? Those with executive presence appreciate the value of strategic silence in order to achieve a goal, advance the conversation, navigate politics or develop relationships. The term also encompasses the characteristics of a sound leader. We admire it in others and want it for ourselves. Later, I read Deconstructing Executive Presence by John Beeson who wrote that executive presence “boils down to your ability to project mature self-confidence, a sense that you can take control of difficult, unpredictable situations; make tough decisions in a timely way and hold your own with other talented and strong-willed members of the executive team.” Instead, focus on relating to people, listening to others, being mindful of your overused strengths, and owning what you bring to the table. It’s not really about you. It’s also evident in every single email we write. Executive presence needs to be clearly – and unambiguously – defined and then developed in employees and executives so they can achieve greater levels of success. Every executive applicant is expected to be smart, experienced, and capable. 2. 2. Genuine. Are you waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can say something? Executive presence may be hard to describe, but it is a defining characteristic of the successful. You have to believe you belong in the room, know your own value and appreciate that you can—and should—have an impact. Executive presence requires effective and consistent communication and messaging. Perhaps you work for an organization that will pay for one. Be clear about the unique value, strengths and skills you bring to the table. It is also about confidence, but executive presence is less about how confident you are in your own abilities than it is in how confident others are in your abilities. You are also diminishing your executive presence because you aren’t giving others an opportunity to assess your willingness to fight for their needs or for anything else for that matter. However, many industry professionals say that it's the ability to give off a general sense of poise, confidence, decisiveness and dignity. When you fidget, ramble or cause a disconnect between your spoken words and your body language, you are diminishing your credibility. Executive presence is an element of leadership that is easy to recognize but difficult to develop. Also, if you fail to create boundaries so as to eliminate or reduce inappropriate workplace jokes and behaviors with clear lines between personal and professional acceptable conduct, you will diminish your executive presence. If you can’t or won’t effectively manage your own emotions, you won’t be able to effectively persuade others, establish credibility or earn respect. Although it’s a great target to work on, it’s often vague and confusing and requires some fleshing out. Nicole is a board certified and ICF certified executive coach, licensed psychologist, and adjunct faculty for the Center for Creative Leadership, © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. To prevent judgements that may sabotage others’ perceptions of your executive presence, ensure that the way you are carrying yourself - from the way you dress to the way you interact - aligns with the vibe and needs of the room. What brought you to where you are won’t necessarily carry you to where you need to be. I’ve asked some and many couldn’t. But there's a myth that executive presence is something that's innate—you either have it or you don't. Instead, it is about how those you are presenting before or working with experience you. With so many people striving to embody it, it’s amazing the level of ambiguity you’ll find when you ask people to actually define it. How does developing your executive presence increase your impact on your team and your business? Developing Executive Presence “Make her two inches taller!” This command came from Bruce, an executive who wanted me to work with his most talented direct report. So did Steve Jobs. I have committed my research, education and professional talents to transforming governments, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions and develop leaders and managers who have the capacity to create high-performing organizations and the competence to affect positive change. Executive presence isn’t something you can simply decide to have one day if you don’t have it already. Help! Here you can check out the articles and blogs that will have content to enlighten you on matters to do with executive presence. This starts with listening. Executive presence is very much how you control a room, the impressions you make, and how you affect the people around you. Executive Presence is somewhat of an art and science leadership skill. I serve as CEO for ARVis Institute, a strategy, change, performance and human capital consulting firm. And Make sure You Pay Attention … If you don’t speak up, you risk being perceived as inferior. Executive Presence (EP)! Although very different people, they both had that confidence and composure that allowed them to connect with others. Executive presence is an element of leadership that is easy to recognize but difficult to develop. Without specificity, you will more than likely go down a path of working on the wrong competencies – resulting in wasted time and energy. Those with executive presence are good at relating to - and reading - others to understand their needs. It’s how you communicate verbally and through your appearance and physicality. And not only won’t they ever view you as a power player or executive, they won’t even view you as an equal. This goes for clothing as well as personality and approach. 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Larry Ellison has executive presence. Mark W. Sickles, an advisor to corporate boards, says, “When executives with presence walk into the room, people think, ‘Now something good is going to happen.’ Executive presence requires assertiveness—even boldness—at times and in a respectful and authoritative manner. Open, straightforward, comfortable in your skin; no BS or sugarcoating. Look around. What does executive presence mean in your company? You may opt-out by. There is nothing more complimentary to executive presence than self-awareness. Executive presence requires highly developed conflict resolution and conflict management skills. When you are dominating the conversation, you aren’t listening effectively, and this diminishes executive presence. Executive presence might be the most highly sought-after, hotly debated, and sometimes least well-defined characteristic of strong leaders. The cornerstone of our work is the Nine Dimension Executive Presence Model.Based on over 30 years of research on what separates the most successful leaders from the rest, the Nine Dimension Model has helped thousands of leaders enhance their strengths while addressing the issues holding them back. In fact, admitting that you don’t know something can be just as powerful as knowing it. You aren’t giving people a chance to observe your passions, your interests or your engagement, and this makes it difficult to develop trust and instill confidence about your abilities from others. This is the “executive presence” that everyone will believe and trust. And if you don’t ask questions even when you should for clarity or to have a point reiterated, you aren’t giving others an opportunity to help you, and you risk coming off as completely disengaged or a know-it-all. Executive presence is beneficial for people seeking higher levels of leadership. It makes you look human. As you rise through the ranks, you may have to calibrate some aspect of your personality that made you shine in the past. How To Innovate And Keep Up With The Quick-Changing Landscape Of Luxury Retail, This Expat Turned Real Estate Guru Shares Her Top 3 Tips For Buying Abroad In The Current Economy, From Consulting To StartUp: How This Beauty Founder Used Transferable Skills To Launch A Second Career. As a result, they may disengage, and you won’t gain their trust. Our brains are susceptible to signifiers and certain “uniforms” signify certain attitudes. Executive presence requires more than great speaking skills. How people dress and talk indeed factors into it, but executive presence is about so much more. And, if you lack the willingness or ability to adjust your plans or the conversation after reading contrary emotions in others, you risk losing their attention. Surely, none of this supports your desired outcome. executive presence to be one of the three central characteristics of an effective leader (t he other two being “authenticity” and the “ability to deliver substantive results”). We’re talking about more than making a great first impression. The truth is, no one is born with executive presence, but there are some basic traits on which to build the executive presence required to lead. Who carries themselves in a way that commands attention in a positive way? Bates Communications Inc. 40 Walnut Street, Suite 302, Wellesley, MA 02481 Tel: 800-908-8239 | info@bates-communications.com Leadership development professionals know they must help their executives develop it. And maybe you just wish you could gain more respect and have your voice, recommendations or ideas heard and taken more seriously. When I discussed this topic with executives and managers, those were just some of the examples they recently shared with me for what executive presence looks like and why they want themselves and their employees to embody it. We all like to think we’re good listeners but the truth is few are. How important is executive presence? To the extent that executive presence is about you, it is about your ability to inspire confidence in others to trust you; it is about your ability to inspire others to listen to you; it is about your ability to make others comfortable approaching you. Executive presence might be the most highly sought-after, hotly debated, and sometimes least well-defined characteristic of strong leaders. It’s not just appearance, such as how you look, but more how you communicate with people initially and convey your intentions. How to burnish your leadership brand to build executive presence is revealed in Suzanne Bates' new book 'All the Leader You Can Be.' Projecting a tone of confidence is crucial for cultivating executive presence. Know what you bring to the table (and know what you don’t). Some people are gregarious and love being the center of attention while others prefer to watch and observe from the back of the room. It is about helping others believe they matter. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Others will observe how you respond to challenges, difficult people and stressful situations, and they will notice if you use—or tolerate—bullying, abusive language, yelling or unnecessary force to demean, humiliate or otherwise diminish another person in order to lift yourself or someone else up or to save face. But I don’t recommend focusing on whether you have it or not as that could come off contrived. If you show up to events or meetings late or don’t make it your business to prioritize their interests, you will not connect with the audience in the best way. The problem is that the above examples (or reasons) show that most people think executive presence is about them and how they come off or present themselves to others. Developing executive presence is intricately linked to your style- and hence start with embracing your uniqueness. 1.2 Current Study Design and Demographics Each of 34 participants completed a structured interview describing four people with presence… It’s ok to be fallible; every single human being is. At this point, it will become clear to all that you have become a leader that can be counted on, and your “awareness and confidence” as a leader should be second nature to you. Executive presence is not about you. Show them that your attention is far more focused on them than it is on yourself. Maybe you hope to develop an ability to charm others so you can compete for a promotion or gain the advantage in a negotiation or debate. What you’re trying to avoid is a blind arrogance or feeling overwhelmed by fear over not knowing one thing. Be clear about the unique value, strengths and skills you bring to the table. For many leaders this leaves them wondering how… View article Leaders know they must embody executive presence to get ahead, influence others, and drive results. I’ve been conducting executive coaching and virtual webinars on the subject of executive presence. Your executive image will cover perception, performance, energy, enthusiasm, challenge, assertiveness and ability. Nonetheless, like the age-old debate about whether leaders are born or made, one might ask if executive presence can be learned. Leadership presence, or executive presence (EP), is a term that may not be clearly defined. This leaves us with two questions: 1. Executive presence is about helping others get more comfortable with you. You won’t be viewed as someone who displays an executive presence if you don’t set standards and hold yourself and others accountable for professional standards and for upholding integrity and ethics. Maybe you desire to wow people and get them to like or favor you more because you display a distinctive level of gravitas or expertise. Executive presence is key on Zoom or any video conferencing platform. Executive presence is how people experience us: what they see, hear and feel about us long after the online meeting, conference presentation or phone call is over. And how does one know when they magically have it? There is nothing more complimentary to executive presence than self-awareness. Yes, executive presence is about being confident enough to take up your space in the world, but it is not about undervaluing the value, input, recommendations and ideas of others. Make your audience believe that you sincerely care about what they care about and what they are focused on. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. TOPICS IN THIS ARTICLE. Executive presence is less about a leader’s performance than about the signals that leader conveys through his or her daily interactions and communications. Executive presence is essential for Executive Assistants and Force Multipliers as you interact with more leadership team members and executives than perhaps anyone else in the organization. But what exactly is executive presence? There are countless articles and studies out there that discuss why executive presence matters, and many—like this one from Forbes—start to touch on what it is: So what is executive presence? How you present yourself, and your skill at leading a meeting, says a great deal about your leadership in general.Make the right impression in every virtual meeting with strategies that have proven essential to many of my clients in managing the transition to remote work. Executive Coaching Articles Executive Presence in Virtual Meetings. The way I like to define Executive Presence is a certain set of attitudes, behaviors, and skills which - when combined - send the right signals, influence others, and ultimately drive results. I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders across 3 continents, 7 countries and 44 states. People are not usually aware of why they feel towards someone the way they do - much of our judgment happens on the unconscious level. Executive presence is demonstrating the judgment to do the right thing—to be the leader who will get the job done with integrity and inspire others to fully commit to the task, mission and vision. Executive presence is also exactly what the term says—presence. It also requires the ability to adjust accordingly in response to the needs of your listeners or audience. But if, at critical points in your career, you’ve heard the feedback that you lack executive presence, you might want to consult with trusted advisors on ways you could develop a bit more. While you may have already been working to hone your executive presence, virtual meetings present entirely new challenges. That’s hard for us to swallow sometimes, especially when our style of interacting is as comfortable as an old sneaker. For instance, those with executive presence work well under pressure and are able to communicate clearly and efficiently, and they're able to observe an environment or situation and know exactly how to handle it. Maybe you secretly dream of walking into a room and just owning it to the point that your very presence will capture positive attention and captivate the audience. You will get to find out that executive presence is all about the leadership skills that you will have when it comes to engagement, inspiring, and how you will lead your team to act on various assignments. Executive presence is demonstrating the judgment to do the right thing—to be the leader who will get the job done with integrity and inspire others to fully commit to the task, mission and vision. This flexes your empathy muscle and draws people to you, a key factor for executive presence. Executive presence is more about how other people experience you. The ability to project gravitas—confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness—seems to be its core characteristic, according to more than two-thirds of the executives surveyed. A good test for where you land on the good listener spectrum is watch your mind when in conversation with someone. As an executive coach, this tends to be one of the most common goals set by managers for individuals they want me to coach. Feb 20, 2020 - Articles and blog posts on communication, leadership, executive presence, writing, publishing, and more. A large part of executive presence is making others feel important and valued. Neither is better than the other, but when it comes to executive presence you want to be balanced. The exercise becomes even more daunting when you ask recruiters, executives and managers to precisely define executive presence (a soft skillset) as a behavior or competency that employees can indeed develop. And it is about your ability to elicit the trust necessary for others to seek you out for advice. You love and feel strongly about what you do and how you do it. In fact, in a recent study by the Center for Talent Innovation, it was found that feedback on executive presence is often contradictory and confusing, and that 81% of those who are instructed to improve their executive presence are unclear on how to act on it. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. If you’re a garrulous extrovert you may need to tone it down a bit and give others a chance in the spotlight. As you may have expected, executive presencecan be difficult to detect and precisely define. There is no doubt that the ability to have presence is critical to leadership success. Vary your tone, inflection and pacing to match the situation and audience. Poise and presence are mastered through self-awareness, focus and practice. When it comes to executive presence, the expectation seems to be that people will just magically show up with “it” – some kind of vague or mystical wow factor that will help them stand out from the rest and elevate themselves, their colleagues, their teams and everyone else along the way. And who’s defining it? Executive presence is sometimes referred to as personal presence, or leadership presence. Anything that diminishes credibility or confidence with your message diminishes your executive presence. I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders across 3 continents. How you show up sets the tone for your organization, and beyond that, for your career growth. She earned her doctorate and MBA from Widener University. Make a point of being in the moment and truly listening to what someone else is saying to you. So the next time you want to proclaim executive presence on yourself or someone else who simply dresses the part, talks the talk and shows up with a boat load of charisma, stop and pause. Take the extra time to network and mingle with people. Eliminate preemptive disclaimers like “this might sound stupid” or “I don’t know if this makes sense, but…” When you preface your opinions with these openers you instantly plant the seed in your listener’s brain that what you’re about to say isn’t to be trusted. 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