If we were to say to you the term “Executive Presence” what does it make you think of? A stack of perfectly wrapped gifts from your boss for being such a stellar employee? (no that’s presents not presence but good try.)
In all seriousness, does the term Executive Presence bring anyone in particular to mind? Do you thoughts jump to a well-tailored suit and an excellent hairstyle? Does Executive Presence make you think of a particular leader from your past or one you admire?
Executive Presence is one of DuMore Improv’s most requested workshop topics. We have a lot of fun as we help folks uncover their own personal feelings about presence and how to increase their own capacity for it.
So what is Executive Presence?
Executive Presence means to “Authentically connect with others to motivate and inspire to a common goal”Colin McAllister via Linkedin
…that confidence and composure that allows [a leader] to connect with others.Jun Medalla via Business Insider
Allison and Jim like to add to this “Your ability to engage with others, organize your thoughts, and express yourself with a combination of business knowledge and warmth.”
We should also note…
- It is not an innate quality that you either have or do not have…
- It is a learned set of behaviors that enable you to command attention.
- It is moving beyond “hard skills” as they don’t always get you promoted.
- It is more about refining your “soft skills” in order to establish presence and influence.
A quick exercise…
Here’s a quick exercise that we can do right here and now while you are reading this article… we like to call this exercise “Name That Person”.
- Think of someone that you either know personally or that is in the public eye who you consider to possess “executive presence”.
- Once you have that person in your mind, think of 2-3 qualities or personality traits that you think they have mastered that distinguish their presence.
- Now write those traits down.
The more of these traits we gather and define for ourselves the more we are able to take executive presence beyond a buzz word and really begin to emulate the authentic and connecting behaviors of those who have led and inspired us.
Our Challenge to You
Post those three 2-3 traits of your executive presence model up in your workspace. Refer to it daily. Add to the list. Discuss this with others over coffee or lunch. Keeping executive presence top of mind helps us to recognize when we are exhibiting it ourselves or the moments we fall short of our very best.