The idea of executive presence may sound like a bunch of fluff, but research has found a connection between it and job promotion. If you are perceived as a leader, your chances of being promoted increase. Plus, people want to follow a leader who is genuine, competent and decisive. Your executive presence could benefit you and those around you.
Executive presence can be developed. If you desire a future in leadership, then it is in your best interest to work on your executive presence. Consider the following elements:
Communication: People with executive presence are excellent communicators and they value communication. They are dynamite public speakers. Their writing is excellent. They are active listeners. The key to their success is their audience-centric approach to communication. It's not about control. It's all about the audience. From a nonverbal standpoint, they move purposefully. They send all the right nonverbal messages.
Appearance: Those with executive presence look good. Their clothing fits properly. It's clean and pressed. They look polished. They know what to wear and how to wear it. They take care of their hair, skin, teeth and nails. It's not about being flashy. It's about being professional. They realize they represent others, and they take that role seriously. They take extra time to look good every day which, in turn, helps them feel good. Attention to appearance affects confidence, attitude and energy.
Substance: Executive presence is not an act or a role to play. It all begins with substance. Know the answers. Be the go-to person. It's almost impossible to build confidence unless you have the necessary business-related skills and credibility. Having passion for your field and your job is necessary. Love your work.
Poise: Calm is a major building block of executive presence. When others are losing their tempers or adopting negative attitudes, those with executive presence are poised. They have the ability to take a breath in tough situations, weigh the options, and calmly determine the next steps. Those with executive presence may not always like being in a pressure cooker, but they know how to navigate one. Their poise is comforting to those around them.
The office: Your office is an extension of you, the way people perceive you, and the way you work. A cluttered office could signal a cluttered mind. If you want to be perceived as a sharp executive and a sharp leader, then have a sharp office. Keep your desk clean. The furniture and wall hangings should support the image you hope to project. Plus, it feels good to work in a nice space.