02-13-2017 Updated 04-17-2017 Taking on a new executive role is often met with many challenges. The transition can go more smoothly for everyone when you project a strong executive presence. How important is this? Very.
By thoughtfully improving the presence that you project, you can earn more respect from your team faster, and more efficiently establish authority and accomplish your goals in a more effective manner.
Use body language to your advantage to instantly adjust the amount of confidence that you exude when you enter a room. Be conscious of your posture, walking with your shoulders back and down, rather than hunched over as you hurry about. During meetings, sit straight up in your chair, making direct eye contact with whomever is speaking. Instead of slouching in your chair with your arms crossed, aim for a more open presence, with your arms resting on the table. To prevent restlessness during longer meetings, periodically mix up your stance and lean into the conversation a bit to illustrate your interest and focus.
If you need more practice carrying yourself confidently in high-pressure situations, take on a side project in sales. Opt for one with a low-risk platform like Amway, which will offer you an opportunity to develop confidence in confrontational situations and, in turn, your own abilities.
Projecting an executive presence is all about poise and confidence, which both come easier when you feel prepared. Extra prep time can be helpful in nearly every aspect of your day. Start by setting your morning alarm clock 30 minutes earlier. Whether you use this time to pick the perfect outfit, squeeze in a quick workout or simply enjoy a leisurely breakfast, allowing yourself some additional time to prepare for your work day can help you avoid arriving at work frazzled and unprepared after making a mad dash out the door.
Preparation is also key to helping you command the room during your daily meetings. Instead of scheduling your meetings back to back, allow yourself 15 to 30 minutes in between meetings to decompress and bring yourself up to speed on the subject of your next meeting. Formulate any questions you expect the meeting to answer to ensure your team stays focused and on-task. If meeting with your superiors, use this time to come up with eloquent responses to questions you expect to be asked.
Whether it’s allowing yourself a little bit more time to get ready in the morning or taking an extra 10 minutes to prepare for each meeting, a small amount of time can go a long way toward helping you feel ready to tackle anything that’s thrown your way.
This may seem a little counterintuitive if you equate executive presence with a commanding authority, but making others feel good about their efforts can actually work in your favor as you establish respect and authority over your team. Strive to really make your team members feel heard by giving them your full attention during conversations. Give credit where credit is due, especially to your superiors, when one of your staff members comes up with a really great idea.
By empowering others with positive feedback, they will work harder to help you meet overall goals, which reflects better on you as a company leader.
Articles written for The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc. by others may include hyperlinks for connection to companies or products mentioned in the article for convenience of the reader. The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc. receives no financial benefit from these links.