Leadership Presence – Genuine People Get Genuine Results
Everyone has met someone who projects an aura of warmth and authenticity that inspires that follow-you-anywhere loyalty. They seem to have the ability to make everyone they meet feel comfortable and at ease. When they speak, people listen. They are engaging, genuine and confident. Because they connect easily with others, people like them, trust them and enjoy working with them. These people have what we call, leadership presence.
So how do people develop leadership presence and why is it so important in today’s economy? We are living in a two-minute world. We have the first minute to show people who we are and the second minute to establish credibility. How we present ourselves so affects how we are perceived, that it will excursion our careers and affect our earning possible. Leadership presence allows you to cultivate respect, build trust and create genuine relationships. And in today’s competitive economy, creating and sustaining genuine relationships is what success in business is all about.
The good news is that it is not something that only a privileged few are born with. It is in fact an active achievement and everyone qualifies. The only pre-required is a commitment to take yourself and others, to a higher level.
The following six steps will provide you with a road map, that will help you get there:
1. Be Genuine
Success in business today is about making genuine connections with people, building relationships and always strive to do the right thing. People with leadership presence know who they are, what they stand for and what their values are. By living their life in alignment with their values they build self-respect and in turn, earn the respect of others. In a world where the human connection is diminishing, those people who rule from their chief will find themselves in a league of their own. And their clients and co-workers will reward them with their loyalty.
2. rule from a place of compassion and respect
People who project executive presence know that respect and compassion are the keys to creating genuine relationships. They know too, that these values are directly tied to great outcomes and noticeable results. by experience, they have come to recognize that roadblocks to communication are usually due to a without of compassion and a without of respect. As such, they know what respect method and they understand the subtleties of respect. They care about their people and their clients.
These people have learned that everyone is worthy of respect and they treat everyone equally. They have discovered that when people feel respected, which is a basic human need, they are able to respond to others in the same way. They realize that respect is the glue that holds people, relationships and companies together. Those with leadership presence understand this and consistently think of respect as a verb to be put it into action. These leaders are kind, thoughtful and genuine and they inspire others to emulate them. In turn, they are rewarded with people who go the additional mile for them because they know they would do the same for them.
3. Make yourself noticable – Learn How to Manage First Impressions
Take a moment to think about a person you know who projects leadership presence. When they walk into a room, do heads turn in their direction? Do they dress with style and distinction? Do their facial expressions make them approachable? At a networking function, when they include people in conversation, do they make that person feel like he or she is the only person in the room? Chances are, that person always makes a positive and lasting impression and knowing how to manage first impressions plays a vital role in a person’s current success.
So just how important is it? According to a study by Dr. Albert Mehrabian of the University of California, Los Angeles, in a first impression scenario, 55 per cent of the conclusions that are drawn about an individual are based on non-verbal communication (dress, body language and facial expressions), 38 per cent are based on vocal image (the sound of the voice) and only 7 per cent on the words spoken.
The enlightened person realizes that, to make a positive first impression, they must get out from behind technology and truly connect with others. The human connection can only happen when people hear the sound of someone’s voice, look into someone’s eyes or shake someone’s hand. So, it pays to make that phone call or meet with an employee, client or prospect in person. People who do may just create a genuine relationship and unprotected to more, in the time of action.
4. Communicate with impact
Though everyone communicates differently, people with leadership presence are aware of their communication style and regularly strive to enhance it. And they are wise to do so. According to senior executives surveyed by the Conference Board of Canada, excellent communication skills are among those most highly valued in all employees.
To this end, numerous studies have been undertaken in order to estimate the impact of credibility on communication effectiveness. Those studies have concluded that there are five dominant qualities that everyone is looking for in a credible communicator: competence, composure, character, likability and being outgoing. A person’s ability to fine tune their message and project these qualities has a profound impact on their credibility and their presence.
It’s important to keep in mind that the dominant reason business people communicate is to proportion information in order to create a call to action. If they want to communicate with impact, people with leadership presence are aware of the words they choose and the style in which they deliver them. They realize that their voice is often the first impression people will have of them. It is what defines them and facilitates the human connection. In order to strengthen that connection, they project their voice with confidence, energy and enthusiasm. When they speak their words paint a thousand pictures and by using colourful adjectives and descriptive phrases, their ideas come alive.
And lastly, great communicators are active and caring listeners who use much more time asking questions then they do speaking. They are fully present when conversing with others and they elevate the self-esteem in others by their silence, their caring and their attention.
5. Develop business etiquette and protocol
People with leadership presence have the rare ability of making others feel comfortable and at ease. They have are aware of the nuances of proper etiquette and business protocol. Many of the rules that apply to entertaining guests in their home also apply to entertaining their clients at work. This includes everything from a proper greeting, a strong handshake, engaging in small talk or dining like a diplomat. Developing their skills in all of these areas adds to specialized self-confidence and in turn, allows them to focus on the business at hand. After all, they are ambassadors of their firm and how they present themselves in a variety of business situations, will speak volumes about the company as a whole.
6. Strive for balance in life
So finally, what is that elusive quality that we see, but can’t quite define when we meet someone with leadership presence? It’s often called appeal – that rare quality that comes from knowing and honoring themselves and projecting that to others. This scarce quality can only be fueled and developed by living a balanced life. By looking into and after themselves, eating well, exercising and making time for the people and the things that are most important to them, they not only feel great about who they are, they build self-respect and increase their self-worth. This is what fuels a positive self-image and allows a genuine leader to shine.
At the end of the day, leadership presence is really about being the kind of human being others wish to emulate. It’s about humility and authenticity and projecting who you are, from the inside-out. It’s about living life in alignment with one’s values and showing others what one stands for. By putting these leadership qualities into practice, not only will people create genuine relationships, they will reap rewards that go beyond their greatest expectations.
And that all adds up to a better bottom line.
By Kimberley Richardson