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What Is Executive Presence? How To Develop It?


Executive presence – This word has a very important and official tone. However, it is not something that is the sole right of the senior leadership of a firm. It is a trait that is necessary for this day and age. Executive presence is essential, but it does not have to be enigmatic. Most significantly, executive presence is a talent, not a personality attribute, which means it can be harnessed and developed.

Here’s a simple explanation of executive presence. what it is, why you need it, how to obtain it, and much more

What Is Executive Presence?

A strong executive presence shown by a professional.
People with a strong executive presence look confident and can work well under pressure.

Leadership or executive presence may mean many things to different individuals. However, simply defined, it comes from being real. Also, it is a process of instilling confidence in others and encouraging them to take impactful action.

Leadership, and especially creating your executive presence, is a process of personal development of:

  • who you are,
  • the type of leader you are,
  • and the type of leader you aspire to be

Executive presence is also about maintaining poise and grace under pressure. It is the ability to carry oneself confidently and bring value to the table. A person with a high degree of dynamism is someone with an excellent executive presence.

It is a characteristic that allows one to be assertive. This is done through a display of confidence and effective leadership. Executive presence enables leaders to grasp the requirements of their team members in relation to the needs of the business.

An executive presence consists of several distinct characteristics required for good leadership. When they come together, they form a leader who may be the driving force behind a firm. As a result, those with executive presence skills are usually in leadership positions.

Why Is Executive Presence Important?

Executive presence importance
Importance of executive presence

When firms are looking for individuals, having an executive presence is typically a valued characteristic. Here are a few advantages to developing this character trait.

Better employee morale

Corporate morale often improves when an executive team member emanates an executive presence. Their lively leadership makes individuals feel more satisfied in their employment. Also, it increases their understanding of job tasks and performance ratings.

Lower attrition or resignation rates

Good morale in the team brings down the attrition rates significantly. Moreover, this brings down the hiring and training costs in an organization. Also, when employees stay for a longer period, brand loyalty increases.

Enhanced productivity

Happier employees will generally lead to better outcomes. This is a result of them feeling a greater sense of trustworthiness towards their leaders. Employees who have a higher sense of fulfillment in their jobs tend to have higher productivity.

Overall, this translates into more tremendous success for the business.

Awareness of necessary changes

A well-established executive presence means that the person can identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This helps him in making changes wherever necessary.

Also, a better understanding and a greater understanding of any impending changes can help a leader and his team prepare for the new environment.

How to Develop an Executive Presence?

Develop an executive presence
Developing executive presence may take some time but it’s worth the effort if you’re looking at making a career in leadership.

Executive presence is a skill that comes naturally to some people. However, many others develop it over time. In this section, we will look at some steps involved in building an impressive executive presence.

Expressing a vision

One of the essential aspects of developing an executive presence is to have a vision that can take the organization forward. Also, it should be compelling enough for people to believe in it.

A person should be able to articulate your vision effectively in every situation, whether it’s a three-minute elevator ride with a senior executive, an offsite with your team, or a dinner with key stakeholders.

A robust and well-articulated vision is ultimately how you create your mark; it distinguishes you and is an excellent instrument for instilling confidence.

Understand how others experience you and interact with you

Persons with a good executive presence have great perception skills. This helps them as they are able to use their professional relationships more effectively to achieve their goals.

The higher one goes up the ranks in an organization, the more they need their colleagues and peers. Effective interpersonal relationships along with a great executive presence can enhance a person’s visibility. Also, this opens the doors to bigger opportunities.

Learn about how other people view you. Consult mentors and get inputs from bosses, peers, and subordinates. Include persons who have seen you in a range of scenarios.

Build your communication skills

A leader should be highly effective at communication. All aspects of his communication must be clear and concise. So, everyone who aims at creating an executive presence should work on improving their communication skills.

Active Listening

One of the most crucial parts of communication is the ability to listen. Effective listening helps us to engage more with our audience. People who are good listeners are good at coming up with alternatives and solutions.

The capacity to listen properly indicates self-confidence, which is another critical aspect of executive presence.

Grow your network

People who have a great executive presence make connections with others. Also, they have a better sense of the dynamics of complex relationships. They understand different persons have different personalities.

Also, with these diverse personalities, people have varied strengths. However, a diverse group of individuals also leads to chances of office politics. Someone with a good executive presence can navigate organizational politics and even use it to his advantage.

Operate effectively under stress

Many people mistake assuming that seeming extremely busy demonstrates their importance to the business. It doesn’t; it merely shows that they’re overworked and probably can’t be trusted with more responsibilities.

Nobody likes to witness an overwhelmed leader. People with strong executive presence appear calm, even-keeled, composed, well-prepared, and in command at all times. That assures them that they are ready to take on even more.

Your appearance counts

Visual appearance creates the first impression, and first impressions are vital, whether conscious or subconscious. You want to make sure your initial impression is positive.

Make sure your appearance is appropriate for the setting and the company culture. Pay close attention to your attire, tailoring, and grooming, and make sure nothing about your look is different from the image you wish to create.

How to Improve Executive Presence

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Tips for an enhanced executive presence.

Even though you may already have many of the characteristics of an executive presence, you can always improve these talents. Here are a few tips for increasing your executive presence at work.

Accept Change

Change is the only constant in life. This holds true in the workplace as well. So, one must learn to accept and come to terms with it. A positive response to change can also help encourage other team members to adjust to rapid changes. Accepting changes in the job might also help you find inventive solutions.

Learn to summarize things

Brevity is the soul of wit. Also, the lesser one speaks, the more people are unaware of his next move. However, it is necessary to maintain a level of transparency in communication.

One must establish a succinct communication style. In meetings, use these skills to understand how to convey more information with fewer words. Using these abilities can also assist team members in learning how to ask the proper questions and communicate more effectively.

Be decisive

Decision-making abilities are essential in every leadership job. Gather the data you need to make an educated choice before deciding on a course of action. Inform people of your decision with assurance.

Think both long-term and short-term

A company’s demands are frequently both short- and long-term. Learn to evaluate the entire ramifications of any decisions you make, not just how they could influence the business but also individual team members. Create both short- and long-term objectives.

Demonstrate Passion

Passion for the job may increase the enthusiasm and productivity of others. Encourage your team members to share your enthusiasm by communicating the company’s vision and ambitions.

Develop strategies to explain how each team member is crucial to these goals since integrating everyone into the purpose allows your teams to work together more effectively to achieve these goals.

How to Have Executive Presence Virtually?

Leadership traits portrayed by a professional
A good executive presence

People’s attention is more prone to wander on the virtual meeting screen, body language is mostly missing, and establishing an interpersonal connection might be difficult.

However, one can establish the right executive presence even in a remote work setting. Let us look at some ways to achieve this goal.

Promote tools for your team to get in touch with you

If you were in a face-to-face setting, you would indicate your desire to speak with your team by leaving your door open or using other visual indicators. However, letting others know you’re accessible on a virtual platform might be far more challenging.

Use virtual technologies to express openness to convey the same concept that your team may “drop-in.” You might, for example, arrange a regular Zoom drop-in hour when your team may discuss difficulties or strategize with you.

Also, you could use tools such as Microsoft Teams to conduct informal “happy hour “ or TGIF meetings similar to water cooler discussions in face-to-face offices and help establish community.

Being comfortable with video and teleconferencing technology

Technical issues can happen to the best of us. Like the infamous Blue Screen of Death error when Microsoft launched a plug-and-play feature in 1998.

Leaders must convey a message or a directive. Dealing with a technological problem draws focus away from the aim of an executive’s job.

Test your technologies before the virtual meeting to aid your executive presence in a virtual working world. If you encounter problems, get help from your organization’s information technology personnel.

If you are organizing the conference, invite one of your colleagues in information technology to attend. Remove the technological hiccups so you can concentrate on the content.

Use a professionally suitable background.

Don’t position yourself in front of a backdrop that makes you feel uneasy. Being your authentic self contributes to the confidence that comes with executive presence. When you are at ease, you can present better.

Recognize, however, that executive presence is shaped by what people see and feel from you. “Will my video conferencing background prevents the audience from listening to and understanding my message?” you should ask yourself.

Consider sitting at a tidy workstation, in front of an uncluttered bookcase, or in front of a simple landscape painting. You can use a backdrop with some individuality. However, be certain that your concentration is on you and that your surroundings are not a distraction.

If you have a work-from-home allowance, use it to buy a ring lamp, for example, for better room lighting.

Avoid fidgety or nervous movements

A professional with executive presence commands respect for their remarks and their surroundings. Even amid a crisis, a leader shows calm and firmness.

Try to keep hand motions and voice fluctuations to a minimum when speaking or presenting. Extreme gestures will not help you connect with those on the other side of the computer screen. It will just serve as a diversion.

Speak Clearly

A professional with executive presence commands regard for their words and environment. A leader maintains calm and firmness even in the face of a crisis.

When speaking or presenting, try to keep hand gestures and voice fluctuations to a minimum. Extreme motions will not assist you in connecting with people on the other end of the computer screen. It will only be a distraction.

In Conclusion

Employees require a high degree of executive presence. This will enhance their persona and help them lead with conviction. They will also carry themselves with a lot of confidence. As people move up the corporate ladder, it becomes more important for them to have a better executive presence.

A consistent focus on executive presence will also hone an individual’s leadership abilities. Also, the senior leaders in the company likely start to notice him more. This will increase their chances of being involved in crucial initiatives.

Firms can build a leadership pipeline by focussing on their employees’ executive presence. Moreover, they get to increase leader engagement.

Employee retention is also higher as a result of these efforts. Finally, companies benefit from different perspectives from a diverse pool of talent due to their hard work.

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