Executive presence is a term we hear often in the professional world, but what does it actually mean?
According to an article published in Forbes, “executive presence is about your ability to inspire confidence — inspiring confidence in your subordinates that you’re the leader they want to follow, inspiring confidence among peers that you’re capable and reliable and, most importantly, inspiring confidence among senior leaders that you have the potential for great achievements.”
In my experience working with executive clients, there are two main components that help to build a genuine, compelling executive presence: effective communication and authenticity. In order to have a strong executive presence, you have to be a strong communicator. Additionally, it’s imperative that you display a leadership style that is genuine, empathetic, and value-driven.
And here’s some good news: You don’t have to be an executive or hold a leadership position in order to start developing your executive presence today. In fact, growing your leadership presence prior to taking on increasing responsibility is a noticeable way to develop critical skills that will help you thrive when you do land that promotion.
Here are three ways to grow your genuine executive presence today:
1. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses
Developing a focused self-awareness is essential to growing an executive presence that is authentic and true to you. Self-awareness is a key leadership component that can either build your leadership or seriously constrain it, and it’s often pretty obvious when a leader has taken the time to develop it or not.
Start building your own self-awareness by writing down five personal strengths and five weaknesses. You can take this one step further by then asking a handful of trusted colleagues or friends about your strengths and weaknesses, then complete an audit and see if your self-perception aligns with how others see you.
2. Get comfortable speaking in front of others
I know, I know – public speaking is often a topic that makes many people feel a bit queasy just at the mere thought, but if you want to hone an executive presence that is inspiring and confident, speaking in front of others is a necessity.
It can be incredibly useful to remember that feeling nervous about public speaking is completely normal. By removing our own negative, unhelpful thoughts surrounding public speaking out of our minds, we allow ourselves to feel the normal nerves without them overtaking us.
I like to think of public speaking as a muscle that requires training, so use every day interactions as opportunities to develop this skill. The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll become speaking in front of others.
3. Be consistent in your words and actions
Consistency is a key component to developing an executive presence that others notice. Maintaining a consistency in how you communicate, how you follow through on your word, how you spend your free time, and how you make others feel are all elements that contribute to your professional brand and leadership reputation.
Reflecting on leaders you admire and the qualities they possess, developing a plan of action to emulate those similar attributes in a way that’s true to you, and ultimately carrying out that plan in a consistent manner are integral parts to building a presence that will inspire others around you.
Executive presence is a skill set and essential professional component that requires deliberate effort and time to develop, but it can make a vital difference in your ability to inspire confidence in your leadership potential.
Are you ready to elevate your professional presence via clear, confident communication? Book a call today to find out how My Communicoach™ can help.