Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Leadership presence is often thought of as one’s ability to “command” other’s attention, for example, when interacting with them or walking into a room. Although that is a part of leadership presence, the definition that most resonates with what I coach leaders on is by Belle Linda Halpern and Linda Lubar. Their definition states that leadership presence is the ability to “connect authentically with others in order to motivate and inspire them to achieve a particular result.”
There are three key aspects that support this definition of leadership presence. They are self-confidence, curiosity, and charisma. If you possess these, you possess strong leadership presence.
Self-confidence is knowing why you are leading and having a purpose behind your leadership role. It is also being certain you are in the best leadership role to share your talents. Knowing these things ensures you exude self-confidence.
Being curious demonstrates what was spoken about in a previous blog and that is, being learning oriented. It shows you are a leader who wants to learn more and are aware that you don’t know everything. It also demonstrates self-confidence in your ability to lead, despite the fact that you “don’t know everything” and are curious to know more.
Charisma includes elements of self-confidence and curiosity but also includes some other things like posture and eye contact. These may seem like small nuances but they are actually huge aspects of charisma. How you actually walk into a room and hold yourself says a lot about how charismatic you are. You want to be the one who walks in the room confidently and makes eye contact while smiling warmly and firmly shaking hands with others in the room. This will demonstrate more charisma than one who walks in and does not interact with others or make eye contact. I suggest walking into a room as if you’re hosting the event or meeting, even if you’re not. That immediately puts you in the frame of mind of “host” and as the host, you will warmly and confidently greet your guests. This demonstrates strong leadership presence.
Start practicing a few of these techniques and notice how others notice you, how they stop and pay attention, and how they want to find out more about you based on what they see when you enter the room! It will also draw others to you and make your overall leading much easier. Remember, be authentic, be confident, be curious, and the rest will follow!