Have You Checked Your “Presence” Lately?
As an executive coach, I’ve been asked to help employees with many things. However, hands down the number one area I’ve been asked to coach high potential employees on is executive presence. Whether you’ve been working 2 years or 20, you’ve probably heard this term many times. It’s otherwise known as “gravitas” or “the way you carry yourself.” So, what is executive presence and should we care? The answer is yes! Mastering this important characteristic is what gives people a leg up on getting the special opportunities and big projects that help them get visibility in all the right ways. The importance of presence was also shown in a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation. They found that executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted and that being perceived as leadership material is essential to be elevated into those coveted positions!
So, if you’re looking to get promoted or haven’t progressed as fast as you’d like, this may be an area worth looking into. It’s a key differentiator that helps you stand out from the crowd! Here are some tips to get you started:
- Ask for Feedback – If it’s been a while since you’ve asked for feedback on your presence and how you “show up” it’s probably time. Ask your manager to provide you with feedback which will also signal to them that you’re working to develop this important characteristic. Go one step further and gather one or two trusted peers and ask them for feedback too!
- Authenticity – One important factor in exuding presence is to be able to do it in your own way. What makes you unique from the rest? What are the characteristics that set you apart? If you aren’t sure, take some time to reflect on this so you can use your unique strengths with intention and maximum impact. You can also seek feedback from your trusted peers on this as well.
- Communication – Do you speak directly? Do you look people in the eyes when you speak? What we say and how we say it are key factors in exuding presence. Just as important are taking out filler words in your speech that don’t add any value. Words like “um, you know and sort of or kind of” shouldn’t be used as it dilutes your impact.
- Appearance – Whether we like it or not, our appearance can help or hinder our level of executive presence. Are you too informal or sloppy for the situation? Be aware of how you’re showing up to meetings or key events.
- Role models – Who are the leaders you admire? Chances are, they are your role models because they exude presence and charisma or both. Determine what it is they do that demonstrates presence and incorporate it for yourself, in your own way. If you’re able to speak with the person you admire, ask them for tips on how to amplify presence.
At the end of the day, having executive presence is really about showing others that you can handle all different types of people and situations with poise. By being intentional with how you speak and handle challenges, you can elevate your presence greatly! What are your suggestions for developing presence? I’d love to hear from you!
#leadership #executivepresence #coaching #feedback