With 2014 in its infancy, it’s the season to once again think about your New Year’s resolutions. When you make a resolution, do you stick with it for the entire year? Or do you find yourself letting go of your goal three weeks into January? In order to break bad habits and develop new strengths, it takes perseverance and dedication – and plenty of time.
At Corporate Class Inc. we believe that Executive Presence is neither exclusive nor elusive – it can be learned. Still, it’s impossible to simply acquire Executive Presence overnight. Like a good resolution, it takes time and effort to develop Executive Presence. This year, will you aim to develop your Executive Presence?
Here are a few elements of Executive Presence that you can work on throughout the year. As you do, you will see positive changes in yourself.
Do you remember standing up in front of the class and giving your first presentation? At the time, did you feel nervous to present to your peers and teacher? You have come a long way since then. Yet according to Psychology Today, public speaking is among the top rated fears for adults. And confidence goes beyond getting up in front of a crowd – it also means that you are confident in your own ideas and work, that you are confident meeting new people, and that you are confident enough to lead.
If you plan to build confidence in 2014, think about the small things that contribute to your overall feelings of confidence. Check your body language: good posture and a strong stance are changes to your composure that can make you feel more confident immediately. Or, what about that great idea you had for your company? Spend a little extra time to develop and research your ideas and you will feel better about sharing them with the group. After persisting with small changes like these, your confidence will grow over time.
Trust is another very important attribute that is not immediately gained. Additionally, when trust is broken, it is very difficult to repair and re-gain it. But when you do develop trust in the workplace, your colleagues will have faith in you to lead and in turn you will gain more responsibility and influence.
To build trust among your contacts, start on an individual level. Make meaningful connections with everyone that you can – help a colleague with a project or offer to provide insight on a document. When your abilities are clear to others, they will trust you to lead.
Grace Under Fire
The ability to maintain grace under fire, or keep calm during a stressful moment, is a key component of Gravitas. This quality takes a lot of training and self-awareness, as it is very easy for any of us to get flustered in a stressful situation. Grace under fire means having the ability to step back, assess a situation, and proceed logically – all while the stakes are high and the pressure is on.
To work on building your own ability to remain cool and collected during a hectic moment, consider simulating a predictable stressful moment – from the calm of the present. Now that you have time to think, what measures would you take? How would you handle agitated colleagues or clients? When it comes time to tackle a real stressful situation, you may feel more prepared from having considered it already.
Happy New Year! Best of luck choosing your New Year’s resolutions – and keeping them until 2015!