This article comes from Entrepreneur.
If you want to cultivate your executive presence, consider adopting these core strategies:
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to express one’s emotions and to perceive and influence others’ emotions. Organizations with an emotionally intelligent leader at the helm have low turnover and high buy-in. But organizations headed by leaders deficient in EQ often flounder. Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick failed as CEO because he lacked the necessary EQ. After he was caught on film berating an Uber driver, he was asked to resign.
If your EQ needs a workout, try increasing self-awareness by challenging yourself to experience a broader range of emotions. You can also work on controlling your thoughts through mindfulness practices like meditation. And you can foster empathy by engaging more intentionally with others.
When crafting your narratives, remember that executive communication is the icing on the effective communication cake. It considers what people already know, what they need to know and what they want to know. It also promotes key mechanics such as stories over status, plain speak over jargon, outcomes over activities and proposing solutions over reporting problems to assure that the core message is relevant and resonant. Watch any general deliver a military briefing to better understand the look and feel of a well-developed executive voice.
Our physical appearance sends all sorts of messages to the outside world. If you’re not well groomed and sharply dressed, those messages could hurt your career.
Consider what messages your current grooming habits are sending to the world around you and ask whether your influence is being diminished by your physical appearance. Even small tweaks can have an unanticipated impact on how you are perceived and thus create a new opportunity to maximize your influence.
Working in an office is like being married: If you want it to last, you need to talk about everything, all the time. Pixar is well known for its healthy corporate culture, in large part because they excel at communicating. When they screen a rough cut of a movie, they invite all employees to offer notes on ways to improve the story. That open dialogue empowers the team and builds camaraderie. If you can get those lines of communication laid, you’ll position your organization to succeed.
If you want to develop your executive presence, accept that you aren’t perfect and revel in your humanity — the beauty of your frailty.
This shouldn’t suggest that correcting your character flaws and other detrimental behavior isn’t necessary. Constructive criticism helps every leader to become their very best.
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