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3 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Presence

Categories: Leadership Presence

If you want the promotion, the new opportunity, or even to lead the new project team, you need leadership presence. The truth is others will not see you as a leader until you look and act like a leader.

Think about a leader you admire

While leadership presence can be a critical differentiator in the ability to lead others, it’s often difficult for people to define. You know it when you see it – and it’s conspicuously absent when people that you’d expect to have it don't. Recognizing leadership presence in others is key to understanding and developing our own.

Think about a leader you admire – someone who is able to build connections, gain recognition, and inspire others. When that leader walks into a room or engages on a virtual platform, what traits or characteristics do they project? What, exactly, makes that person such an admirable leader?

What we recognize are key attributes developed and practiced over time:

  • Confidence
  • Authenticity
  • Credibility
  • Knowledge
  • Being inspirational

Cultivate Your Leadership Presence

Cultivating the attributes of a leader, and being seen as a leader takes time.

Here are 3 ways to begin cultivating your leadership presence:

  1. Connect through listening and empathy. It may be surprising, but the most influential leaders are often master listeners. Listening and empathy enable you to create connections and build relationships that are crucial for effective leadership. Specifically, you can try to:
    • Be present in the moment (no multitasking!) when having a conversation. Give people your undivided attention so that you understand what’s going on in their world.
    • Show empathy by taking time to let people know you care about their experience (whether challenging or joyful).
  2. Project confidence and credibility. Your body language, voice, and verbal message all contribute to how you are perceived. Consider how your appearance might project confidence, competence, and approachability. Record and listen to your voice. Is your tone calm and genuine? Is your message clear – avoiding unnecessary qualifiers and jargon? One way to enhance your message is using a communication framework such as PREP:
    • Position: Start by stating your position.
    • Reason: Provide a reason for what you believe. Remember to align the reason with what’s important to the person or people listening.
    • Example(s): Give examples of how this approach will make an impact. Be descriptive so people can really envision it.
    • Position: Return to your original position and a call to action.
  3. Use stories. Great leaders are great storytellers. Stories can change the way people think, act, and feel. Using descriptive language and relatable stories helps to lower defenses so that people can embrace new ideas.

Start Inspiring Others!

As you practice skills to develop your leadership presence, you will increase your ability to inspire others, move people toward a common purpose, and do great things together.

No matter your title, leadership presence is key to inspiring those around you. For more support with developing your Leadership Presence, check out BRODYpro’s interactive training program on “Leadership Presence” or contact us for details.

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