5 ways to improve your leadership presence
Every manager needs leadership presence — the way in which others perceive you and a balancing of both personal and interpersonal skills.
"You need to show up each day the way you want to be perceived — which is simple to say, but difficult to accomplish unless you do your homework and really know yourself," said Suzy Monford, CEO of Andronico's Community Markets.
Although leaders are continually evaluated by others, Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, outlined tips for leaders who want to increase their leadership presence.
Here are five ways leaders can improve their leadership presence, according to Dr. Kinsey Goman's recent Forbes article.
1. Boost your confidence. Self-confidence is the key trait involved in leadership presence, but we all suffer through phases of self-doubt. To boost your confidence, adjust your physical posture so you're standing up straight. In addition, tap into a memory of a time you performed a task well — doing so will make you feel more confident in the moment.
2. Think, "What's on their face is not about me." Confident leaders maintain their composure at all times. Though it's challenging to do so, staying calm is key to improving your leadership presence. When you're nervous or worried about speaking in front of a group, adopt Dr. Kinsey Gorman's mantra: "What's on their face is not about me."
3. Stay credible. Credibility revolves around body language and communication. However, certain words — like "because" — automatically increase one's credibility. A study at Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University put this piece of advice into action. Research subjects had to cut into a line of strangers and ask to use the photocopier. When they simply asked ("May I use the machine?"), they were successful 60 percent of the time. When they used the word "because" ("May I use the machine because I'm rushed?"), they were successful 94 percent of the time.
4. Invest in social capital. Dr. Kinsey Gorman defines social capital as "the wealth or benefit that exists because of your social relationships" and "the value created by your connection to others." Invest in your own social capital by connecting more powerfully with others. When talking to colleagues, instead of focusing on how you can promote yourself, think about how you can help them.
5. Send two sets of body language signals. As a leader, make it your goal to make other people feel happy. To do so, utilize two sets of body language signals: confident body language and open body language. Showing confident body language will highlight your power and status, while open body language accentuates warmth and inclusiveness. By sending a perfect mixture of both, you'll improve your leadership presence.
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