How many of you have seen a person who can walk into any setting and all eyes are magically drawn to them?
How many of you wish you could do that, but instead slide in the door and stay hidden in a corner, hoping no one makes eye contact with you?
One of the most desired skills in the workplace is leadership/ executive presence. But what does it take to have it?
Here are three quick tips to help you on your journey to success:
#1: Improve Your Body Language
The quickest way to look more authoritative is to stand up straight and square your shoulders. Imagine a gladiator going into battle, confident with their sword in hand. Practice standing in this pose in front of a full-length mirror. Practice enough you develop muscle memory of how it feels.
Next, relax your face and smile. Also practice this in a mirror until it feels natural.
When you enter a room, make eye contact with those closest to the door and give them a friendly smile. No matter the expression on their face, remember that it’s not about you. Just keep smiling and maintain eye contact. Give them a “Great to see you!” and maybe a quick, warm handshake. If you’re not ready to do this in a business setting, try it with friends.
#2 Dress the Part
If your goal is to have presence, you will have to look the part. If you can’t find anyone at work you’d like to model your look after, check out photos online or in fashion magazines.
Clean, neat and put-together doesn’t have to be expensive. You can even find nice work clothes at thrift shops, but you have to know what to select first. If you can afford it, have a session with an image consultant.
Take a shower, get a flattering haircut and go in for a free makeup consultation. Having a power look will help your inner presence.
#3 Make People Feel Good
One of the most powerful things you can develop is a genuine interest in other people. It can start with the simple question “How’s your day been?”
You can complement the person on something (“I love your necklace, tie, haircut…” or say something positive about their work performance. Anytime you keep the focus on the other person, you’ve added to your own positive presence.
If you keep eye contact, listen and respond with supportive statements, you’re on the road to being a leader.
All of these tips can be practiced. Take it in small steps and soon you will have a big presence.