The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

March 1, 2013

Career Coach: How To Build Up Your Executive Qualities

What image do you project? How do people react when you enter a room or when you walk down a hallway? Do you possess that intangible quality known as executive presence?

It is somewhat easy to spot, but not so easy to define. It is a mix of skills that help you send the right signals. Among other things, executive presence is the ability to project self-confidence and to make tough decisions. People who exhibit executive presence seem to have everything under control. They walk with a relaxed confidence, standing tall, shoulders back. All of their nonverbal cues say, "I got this. Everything is good on my watch. And, there is nothing I would rather do."

Meanwhile, they send a clear and confident message verbally. They speak with passion and enthusiasm. Their voice is authoritative yet approachable. While the words seem to simply flow, they are actually chosen carefully and delivered thoughtfully at the correct pace, rate and pitch.

At first, the idea of executive presence may sound like a bunch of fluff, but research has found a connection between it and job promotion. If you are perceived as a leader, your chances of being promoted increase. Plus, people want to follow a leader who is genuine, competent and decisive. Your executive presence could benefit you and those around you.

Executive presence can be developed. If you desire a future in leadership then it is in your best interest to work on your executive presence. Consider the following elements:

— Communication

People with executive presence are excellent communicators and they value communication. They are dynamite public speakers. Their writing is excellent. They are active listeners. The key to their success is their audience-centric approach to communication. It's not about control. It's all about the audience. From a nonverbal standpoint, they move purposefully. They send all the right nonverbal messages.

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