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If you've ever asked a senior leader or a mentor what it takes to advance to the C-suite, they've most certainly included time, experience, network, and confidence. The winning formula is a combination of self-confidence, poise, and genuineness that influences your ability to inspire others to believe in your vision and walk with you. In addition, as a son of God, you must embody the values of the Gospel as your competitive edge.
As a professional, you are judged on both your presence and your performance. People establish opinions about others within seconds. The true concern is not whether you'll make an impact, but rather whether you'll make the impression you aspire for. The good news is that developing executive presence is something that everyone can do. You can improve yours with a little effort. It can start with 4 cornerstones as explained below:
Count on Feedback
Begin by soliciting comments on your presence. Understanding your impact on others is especially important if you lead or aspire to lead.Inquire of your manager, coworkers, and mentors: "How would you describe my style of presence?" What is your general opinion of me? What can I do to communicate more effectively?
Light Up your Communication
Your physical presence is intricately tied to how you communicate – not only verbally, but also nonverbally. Everything you say and do communicates a message.
In general, you should be clear, succinct, and confident, as well as action oriented. Instead of stating, "I wonder whether...", say, "I see it this way." Structure your communication such that your recommendation or bottom line comes first, followed by any necessary analysis and explanation.
When engaging with senior audiences, consider this: What do I want to ensure they understand if they leave after two minutes?
Value Behavioral Experimentation
Choose just one or two presence-building behaviors to practice based on the feedback you received. For example, if you received feedback that you frequently appear hurried in meetings, you could practice actions that show composure, such as using longer pauses in your speaking and remaining more still. You might also observe a leader you admire who commands the room when speaking. Our Lord has been a great observer and listener Who attended many sermons before he initiated his Own distinctive path that inspired many missionaries. It is your turn to be inspired by the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit and discern what makes some behaviors so effective, and then try them on.
Nurture the Seeds
While new habits may be unsettling at first, they should not be completely unauthentic. People can detect deception from a long distance, therefore your presence must be honest. Being viewed as false or insincere will also harm your job advancement.
Bottom line, it's easy to lose sight of our behavioral goals within chaos, so choose a modest visual signal as a reminder. Perhaps having a small crucifix by our desks can be a reminder to sacrifice for others with a servant attitude. It is a good idea to allocate a few minutes before key meetings to recall and imagine how you want to perform, while saying a prayer before the meeting. It can also be beneficial to resort to some brain hacks such as visualization to interpret imaging as if it were an actual event, assisting us in acting in ways that are compatible with what we imagined.
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