When you are in that high-stakes meeting, sales presentation, interaction, or conflict your executive presence is both emotional and physiological. Your thoughts race and your heart rate escalates. People watch you. How do you execute when the pressure is on?
Confidence and self-esteem are two different things. Both are essential for executive presence. Confidence is being capable, but that isn’t enough. Self-esteem is feeling worthy – that you belong. We build both intentionally by challenging ourselves and regulating our emotions in the moment. That means you know the goal but focus on being your best without pre-occupation with your performance. Slow down your breathing and move your focus from anxious thoughts to following your breath. That clearing allows you to observe your behavior before emotions move you into a fight-or-flight mentality.
A prime athlete trains to win. When the game is played she isn’t focused on the score, just...
I see a lot of my corporate executive coaching clients struggle with the balance of certainty and humility as a leader. They want to have the presence of a strong leader yet they don’t want to appear arrogant or they have some self-doubt. Too often they dial back their executive presence as well as their voice. Here is a good strategy.
1. Listen intently to everything being said - from the 30,000 feet perspective not the 3 feet view.
2. Before you speak take a deep breath.
3. Ask a question before you voice an opinion. “Can please you clarify...?” “Help me understand....”
4. Make a declarative statement that is unarguable and hasn’t been expressed - no uptalk at the end. “What I’ve heard you say is (X)..... I’m thinking we could......”
In the end the pause, the deep breath and the asking of questions gives you a moment to observe yourself in real time so that you may be deliberate not sporadic or guarded.
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