How to develop powerful executive presence

Leadership presence is that illusive quality – a blend of personal and interpersonal skills that when combined, demonstrate gravitas, confidence and authority.  And it the single most important parameter, after technical skills, that influences promotion.Leadership presence is that illusive quality – a blend of personal and interpersonal skills that when combined, demonstrate gravitas, confidence and authority.  And it the single most important parameter, after technical skills, that influences promotion.

Three tips on developing powerful executive presence:

  1. Your body influences how powerful you feel.  Slouching can make you feel less impactful, so notice how you are sitting or standing and change to a more open and upright posture.  It will immediately alter your nervous system and bolster your feeling of strength.
  2. Listen to others, then take a few seconds before responding.   You will be perceived by others as having more gravitas if you slow down, and pause before making your point in a meeting, rather than rushing in and not giving others space to be heard. In a meeting, try giving your points last to ensure that you have given ample opportunity for others in the team to speak first.
  3. Demonstrate humility.  Some leaders think that showing weakness will diminish their strength and authority.  It’s the exact opposite. If you can admit when you are wrong, it subconsciously gives permission for your team members to do the same.  No-one is perfect or has all the answers, and being humble will show others that you are human and receptive to learn and improve.  An easy way to try this out is to give others in your team credit.  If they put together the numbers for a report, or prepared the presentation, acknowledge that in front of their peers.

All of these small actions can add up to how others perceive you as a leader.  It’s not one thing that denotes presence, its a series of consistent behaviours that cause others to assess whether you have executive presence or not.

Further reading can be found in these articles I wrote for Coaching Perspectives and LinkedIn.  I also recommend Amy Cuddy’s book on Presence.

Find out about our two day programme on develop powerful executive presence

This two-day programme has been created in conjunction with GreenLatte, to help individuals and corporate leaders increase their personal presence. It starts from the underlying belief system, moving to the way beliefs are reflected through body language and then to the way others see an individual’s presence.  Learn how to develop gravitas, deliver effective executive messaging and address one’s appearance.

Sue is an amazing person who has been guiding, encouraging, open to ideas, patient and gave us the space for growth. Attendee from global analytics company

Contact Sue Stockdale to discuss this programme by calling + 44 (0)7780 670664 or by email.
All of our programmes can be delivered either via workshop, in a 1-1 coaching programme, or as a virtual programme in modules using the latest video technology.

We also run programmes on a number of leadership topics including:

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