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Developing Executive Presence – What Really Matters

Developing Executive Presence

I’ve received a noticeable increase in requests from companies and law firms seeking help for high potential leaders to improve their “executive presence”. When I inquire into what they mean by executive presence I get very different responses.

I seek clarification by asking the HR Director or potential executive coaching client to describe the leader’s current behavior and what cultivating more executive presence would look like in behavioral terms. The behaviors typically range from being more confident to being more astute about social contexts. People’s experience of executive presence can be quite different.

I’ve found that the term executive presence can mean different things to different people. Asking penetrating questions to gain more clarity for both the client and executive coach is critical to the executive coaching process when coaching a leader to cultivate their executive presence.

What Really Matters

While your physical bearing is important, your core values and the way you communicate them are even more significant.

Your executive presence is reflected in the energy and image you convey, along with your understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Leaders with a strong presence intuitively know what will cultivate loyalty and approval. They also recognize how to avoid coming off as egotistical, insecure and insensitive.

Your emotional demeanor influences others’ perceptions. You need be able to balance your own needs with those of others and the organization’s. This requires keenly honed emotional awareness—being in tune with the situation, the context and other people.

When your personal values resonate and are aligned with others’, you have an opportunity to lead in meaningful ways. This will attract others to you and command the respect of peers and superiors. An infectious grin and authentic sense of camaraderie will open doors, but the ability to communicate sincerely and connect with core values is what inspires people to respond.

Your presence communicates your self-worth and confidence, as well as the level of respect you have for others and the situation at hand.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence? Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How does my emotional demeanor influence others’ perceptions?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who create sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are intrinsically motivated and fully engaged. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

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