The aura of leadership that some people exude seems to surpass all of the typical outward indications, of the best suits and shoes worthy of an executive. According to a study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, executives that successfully convey their current (and likely future) position act self confident, strategic, decisive, and assertive.
These days we have less time to convey an impression to others. Several big businesses have recently launched programs in professional presence that open the eyes of their attendees, giving them an increased sense of their professional selves, how they address others, their communication style, their behavioral patterns, and more. The typical outcome of these programs is a set of employees who embrace self-accountability and have a clear sense of themselves, their impact on those around them, and how to be their most effective self, both personally and professionally.
A solid understanding of professionalism in a contemporary setting differentiates you from everyone else around you who are following a career path and following a life at home, versus creating one. Increase your professional presence to stop following and start creating!
What distinguishes individuals with high professional presence?
- Confidence in their abilities to perform the functions they were hired to do.
- An ability to solve problems and focus on solutions.
- They make decisions that are sound and responsible and impact the good of the organization as opposed to self-serving.
- Confronting or eliminating fears from their thinking. Focusing on positive outcomes instead of negative results is their operational method.
- Taking risks. Professionals take calculated, measurable risks in order to challenge themselves, create movement and change the organizational culture.
- They take care of themselves through effective self-management. They exercise, they eat the right foods, they nurture themselves and create an environment that is positive and motivating instead of one that is filled with stress.
Perfect Your Presence!
- Be honest with yourself about your own challenges; how you communicate and convey yourself to others.
- Practice active listening skills
- Never interrupt!
- Avoid interruptions by counting to four before you reply
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Stand or sit large to demonstrate you take up space
- Use few qualifiers as they imply lack of confidence
- Don’t clasp your hands behind your back (you’ll look deceptive)
- Practice a firm handshake
- Clarify your purpose and how it serves others. This will improve your performance.
- Pay attention to the existing culture in your workplace. Does your behavior and outlook match that? If not, modify your behaviors to succeed in that environment.
- Learn the competencies that you will need for the future and get started with self-training. Remember Covey’s words of wisdom to always “Sharpen the saw!”
When was the last time you sharpened your skills in these Professional Competency areas?
- Organization awareness for strategic imperatives
- Leadership skills
- Technological innovation & literacy
- Personal accountability for performance
- Change management & resiliency
- Verbal & written communication
- Problem solving
- Global application & understanding
- Presentation skills
Consider choosing at least 4 of these areas where you could build your competence, and make it a professional priority to begin sharpening your skills in those areas. Can you work with your manager to develop a career plan that is inclusive of the areas you identified above?
Most people get stuck in one set of skills. They don’t push, they don’t try harder, and therefore, they don’t excel. Here is the good news: You can be different!
At Employee Development Systems, Inc., our programs been helping companies increase productivity and effectiveness for over 20 years. We invite you to take a look at our programs and what our clients have gained from working with us.