Your executive presence
Have you thought about your “presence” in the workplace lately? What image do you portray to your employees, boss and upper management? It’s a good question and one that was posed in a Wall Street Journal article by Joann S. Lublin.
Most professionals pay a lot of attention to their credentials, goals and accomplishments. But not all of them take the time to evaluate how their clothes, speech and body language affect their careers. The Journal article features a few corporate programs that offer makeovers to potential senior managers. The coaches offer advice from how to command respect with the way you sit during meetings, ask questions, and treat staff members. The message: Although results count, you won’t get your ideas heard if you don’t command presence.
Those aspiring to the higher ranks in an organization have to do their own due diligence to decide what constitutes presence in their organizations. For example, emphasizing knowledge and ability may be a powerful driver at a high-tech company, but authoritative decision making may be more important at a financial institution. Add the challenge of leading teams around the globe, and you need to develop a style that speaks across cultural differences.
High-powered suits and making eye contact are important factors in executive presence. However, don’t forget to be sensitive enough to choose a style that matches the mission and culture of your organization.