Improve Your Leadership Presence

Have you ever noticed that some people just walk into a room and immediately command attention?  What is that ‘it factor’ and how can you get it?  While some people seem to just be born with it, it is a skill that you can master.  Here are some tips that will help you better command a presence:

Appearance.  The reality is that people do judge a book by its cover.  You don’t have to be a supermodel, but you should always be well groomed and well dressed.  Choose clothes that fit you nicely and always look slightly more professional than is necessary.

Keep your composure.  Never let them see you sweat.  If you are someone who is able to stay calm in difficult situations, people will see you as a leader.

Communicate confidently.  Leaders are able to communicate assertively but respectfully.  They understand the needs of others and know how to behave appropriately in any situation.  It is important that you always communicate honestly, directly and clearly.

Watch your non-verbal communication.  If you’re not feeling confident, your body language will betray you.  Take control of your non-verbal communication.  Stand tall, make your voice loud and steady, and make eye contact with people when you talk to them.  Ask people for feedback on your body language to identify areas where you need to improve.

Maintain your integrity.  As a leader, your character is important.  People will not be willing to follow you if they don’t respect you.  Communicate your values and make sure that your actions are always consistent with them.  Set your priorities and show that you are willing to stand up for your beliefs.

In order to grow in your career, you need to get people to see you as a leader.  You might be surprised to learn that people who seem to effortlessly command attention have actually put a lot of work into it.  Be strategic and before long people will be hanging on to your every word.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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