Executive Presence:The unspoken (yet critical) factor in your career success
Did you know that 93 percent of communication is non-verbal? This is why you can “just tell” certain things about certain people – such as their commitment to professional conduct, and their chances of making it to the C-suite in the course of their career.
When it comes to closing the deal, gaining the promotion or landing the client, presence is a huge factor. Not only that, but it affects one’s ability to lead a team. After all, would you want to put your trust in a leader who regularly appears unkempt and unsure of himself? Would you sign a business deal with somebody who has trouble meeting your eyes?
We are naturally drawn toward certain qualities in people, which communicate power, honesty, and other important personality traits. This is the secret of Executive Presence: when you master it, it empowers you to master your professional relationships. If your presence is strong, your impact will be as well. This doesn’t mean overpowering others; in fact, it’s a subtle art of communicating using all the tools available to you: dress, body language, speaking and writing, presentation skills, working a room, and even dining etiquette. All these factors work together to create a powerful yet relatable personal brand.
It may seem as though some people are just “born with” these skills, but in fact they are all taught, from the way we carry a conversation forward, to the way we style our clothing. The people who appear effortlessly put together have, in fact, studied the art of Executive Presence. Therefore, when you or your team would like to join those ranks, you will need to master the appropriate skills.
Over the next six months, I will post a series of articles detailing various factors that contribute to Executive Presence and its four pillars:
- Body Language
- Presentation Skills
If you want to improve your presence or that of your team, check back monthly for more information; or look into my Executive Presence training and image brand building workshops, which are available to individuals and organizations.
However you approach developing Executive Presence, always give yourself opportunities to gain feedback. We often are not able to see how we “come across” to the people around us. A personality quirk, an unflattering personal style, or even a minor habit that seems natural to us, might communicate something to others without our even realizing. We all have our blind spots, and truly the best way to understand them is to get feedback from our peers. Groups such as networking communities and speaker trainings can be very helpful, but be sure that you are seeking out honest feedback from someone who truly wants you to succeed.
In my training workshops, I give personal feedback to each guest; no matter how successful the executive, there is always a surprise when it comes to the presence they wish to exude, vs. the impression they are actually making.
This is why Executive Presence must be studied, and mastered, to create success. Once we understand how to use these tools, we can communicate more clearly, express ourselves more faithfully, and inspire confidence in those around us. It is truly the crucial factor for high-level success!