In our most recent blog series, we explored how the ability to influence others is essential, regardless of your role -- and it requires a mastery of connection, clarity, and communication.
There’s another, equally important piece to the puzzle: your leadership presence.
While presence can be a critical differentiator in the ability to lead others, it’s often difficult for people to define.
Think about a leader you admire -- someone who easily inspires others and moves them to purpose. When that leader walks into a room, what traits or characteristics does he or she project? What, exactly, makes that person such an admirable leader?
The reality is, presence comes from the outside in, and the inside out. What we recognize as someone’s intangible “presence” is the result of that person’s ability to build relationships, demonstrate empathy, and develop trust in a variety of ways.
Leaders with a powerful presence are better able to sell their vision, gain recognition, and build connections. The good news is, you can develop your own presence to set an example and create an atmosphere for optimal performance.
Here are 3 fundamental ways to take your leadership presence to the next level:
- Create connections and enhance relationships through listening and empathy. In particular, be more present and connected with those around you. Be more present by “being in the moment” to help control your emotions and increase your flexibility. Don’t multitask when having a conversation. Give people your undivided attention to ensure that you truly absorb what they say. Don’t just listen; demonstrate empathy. Be more connected by taking the time to understand those around you. Get to know what’s going on in their world, so you can react, speak, and behave in alignment with their current personal situation.
- Project confidence and credibility through body language, voice, and framed communication. Visually, use your body language, facial expressions, and dress to project confidence, competence, and approachability. Vocally, employ a tone that is calm and genuine. And verbally, avoid any unnecessary qualifiers and jargon, so you don’t accidentally alienate others. You can also use a framework such as PREP to ensure you communicate effectively:
- Position: Start by stating your position about the goal.
- Reason: Provide a reason for what you believe. Remember to align the reason with what’s important to the person you’re asking.
- Example(s): Give examples of how this will make an impact. Be descriptive so people can really envision it.
- Position: Return to your original position and a call to action.
- Present with impact and move others to embrace new ideas. Great leaders are great storytellers. After all, stories can change the way people think, act, and feel. To present with impact, use descriptive language and relatable stories to lower defenses, encourage co-creation and ownership, and generate a “near experience” for those around you. This style of presenting will make you more inspirational, enabling you to move others to purpose, embrace change, and do great things together.
What defines your particular brand of presence? As you develop your own style, find reasons to project your leadership.
No matter your title, leadership presence is key to inspiring those around you. BRODY Pro’s interactive “Leadership Presence” workshop develops the skills needed to sell your vision, gain recognition, and build connections.