10 Keys to Establishing Leadership Presence
“A person with executive or leadership presence is someone who, by virtue of the effect he or she has on an audience, exerts influence beyond that conferred by formal authority.”
A signature style (appearance) can greatly determine the way people perceive you. Human beings are visual. Right or wrong, we often make our initial judgment based on what we see. Being well groomed and dressing the part may be very important. Find a style that works for you.
Your demeanor is often based on how confident you are. Remaining calm and composed and exhibiting self-control may exude the confidence people are attracted to. The demeanor of leaders may be displayed in many ways, including charisma, dignity, big personality and sense of authority. These are all traits that may be improved with the right training. Use a physical trigger to reinforce and practice.
Albert Mehrabian, psychology professor at UCLA, says we are perceived in 3 ways:
• 55 percent visually (body language)
• 38 percent vocally (tone of voice)
• 7 percent verbally (spoken words)
Being physically comfortable may go a long way in radiating the right presence. If you are fidgeting and not in control of your body, that may detract from the message you’re trying to deliver. Practice Non-verbals. Be aware of blindspots.
Intellect and Expertise
If people in your field are impressed with your intellect and expertise, they may be more likely to gravitate toward the message you’re delivering. It may also be just as important to know a little about a lot outside of your area of expertise. Always be curious, Ready to learn!
After the initial physical assessment, the words that come out of your mouth may be scrutinized to determine whether you’re worth listening to. Having great intellect is all fine and good, but it also helps to speak in a way that makes people want to listen. Additionally, the quality of voice used and the ability to make yourself heard may also make an impact. Consider your tone in every situation.
Being genuine, courageous, trustworthy, tenacious and tough-minded, along with having an optimistic and positive outlook, may have a great impact on leadership presence. How are you aligning with your value system?
The ability to relate to people by being warm and authentic may help leaders build relationships. Whether it is with an employee or a client, if the right connection is not made, people may not want to work with, or make a deal, with a person they can’t relate to. Slow down to Listen. Seek to understand.
Ability to Deliver Outcomes
Characteristics that assure outcomes include strong decision-making capabilities, the ability to be flexible and the energy to get others to deliver. These are qualities responsible for sustainable leadership presence. Commit to Excellence.
Correct Use of Power
When power is used without integrity, or as a demand for compliance, it might result in having a dark presence. Leaders might consider using their power wisely, with all the positive character traits essential for having leadership presence so that everyone can stand behind it. Notice your approach/style and how it influences others.
Status and Reputation
This may be responsible for assessing a leader’s presence in the beginning, but it can be unsustainable. The initial presence someone was able to win, based on previous achievements, may only be as good as the actions they follow through with in their new position. Find ways to deepen the level of trust.