Executive Presence for Women Leaders in 2021

Exuding Executive Presence adds a layer of challenges and opportunities for women to excel in the workplace. Diane Craig, President & Founder, Corporate Class Inc., shares her observations.

We are slowly and steadily overcoming the various challenges resulting from the pandemic. We have more lessons to learn as workplaces worldwide are moving towards a hybrid model of work-from-home and from working in the office, which requires current and aspiring leaders to step up and up-skill to lead teams.

Women, in general, tend to take on more responsibilities in raising children and ensuring their households run as efficiently as their offices do.

But, how does one exude Executive Presence, 24/7, with no breaks and no clear distinction in their work and home spaces?

Expert coach, Diane Craig, answers key questions to help address this challenge in 2021.

What defines Executive Presence now as we move towards a hybrid model of work cultures?

Executive Presence always has and will always come down to how you show up in any situation and how you present yourself.

Your presence and engagement during a conversation in the office might be somewhat different from how you show up on an online platform, however, the basic guidelines remain the same.

When you enter your office or a boardroom for a meeting, others immediately develop a first impression of how you are doing today — if you look happy or weighed down, if you will be able to contribute to a conversation effectively, etc. This first impression sets the tone for the rest of the engagement.

Energy flows where intention goes, and those around you pick up on where your energy is flowing at the moment.

Executive Presence is really about the ability to connect authentically and to inspire and motivate those around you.

We say that inspiring is the pull, motivating is the push.

So, if I want to pull my team in and engage them, I, as a leader, need to show up authentically.

For some, let’s say you are an introvert, at times, you will have to stretch yourself, and express yourself more passionately than you normally would to show you are excited about what you are talking about. This may not be your preferred communication style, but that’s what it will take for your message to be as impactful as you want it to be.

As we start to move fluidly between working from home and the office, there are more demands on most women, many of whom are within the sandwich generation. How do we manage that?

First, it needs to be understood and communicated within the family. A friend of mine said while her children were role-playing, her five-year-old told his playmate, “Can’t you see I am on a Zoom call?” while pretending to work on a laptop. We were both taken aback because we would have never thought of saying things like that when we were five. This just speaks to how our children pick up on the behaviours around them and also have developed their understanding of our challenges.

The second most important step to exuding executive presence, after showing the best version of your authentic self, is to be present in the moment. We need to navigate these situations using solutions like sticky notes on the door indicating your office is off-limits right now, scheduling meetings around your children’s schedule if required, and communicating your needs to your partner and team. Of course, it isn’t going to be perfect, and it takes a lot of practice, however, it lays the foundation for your success.

A good leader needs to adapt to unforeseen challenges to engage and motivate those around them under any circumstance. You have to be that role model.

How does developing Executive Presence differ for women?

Over the last 30 years, I have coached, worked with, and mentored many women. Two things I hear most often are:

  1. they doubt themselves a lot more than their male counterparts and
  2. their passion often gets equated with “being emotional.”

Both result from systemic practices and stereotypes that are believed to be true and are not backed by evidence.

The first factor results from the old style of leadership where command and control ruled the boardroom.

We think of men as confident and women as capable in our teams, and that needs to change.

As a woman, if you are invited to speak about something in a meeting or conference, it’s because you are an expert in the field and you should own it. It’s the same with applying for jobs. The lack of confidence keeps most women from getting through doors, not for lack of experience, expertise, or abilities, more often it is just about confidence and interrupting that self-doubt.

That’s why I love organizations such as The White Ribbon, whose mandate is to enable men to help develop women’s voices. It’s important for women to have male mentors and champions who help them overcome their fears and self-doubt, which are often baseless.

If women are passionate about an idea or a project, they are often perceived as emotional especially in non-inclusive workplaces.

In developing your Executive Presence as a woman, be true to yourself and remain authentic. This requires you to be assertive. Asserting oneself means respecting yourself by speaking up your mind, respecting others by acknowledging their point of view and, without expectation of them necessarily agreeing with you.

This is different from aggression, which disrespects others; and from passivity, which disrespects yourself. If you are passive-aggressive, you disrespect both yourself and those around you.  The benefit of developing an Executive Presence is that you show up like you belong.

Any tips on developing executive presence for women leaders?

Truly believe in your abilities and experiences. Do not invalidate yourself or diminish your power.

In order to be anointed as a leader, you first have to be perceived as one.

If you don’t believe you have that presence when you’re in a meeting, when you’re presenting, when you’re interacting with others, it’s going to be difficult for anyone to be influenced or persuaded by you.

They’re still going to doubt that you’re that leader that I want to work with, that I want to listen to, that I want to role model and that I want to learn from.

The secret of executive presence for women, in many ways, is the same as it is for men…

  • It is displaying your authenticity, your motivations and inspirations, and living them.
  • It involves speaking the truth with assertiveness and not aggressiveness.
  • It involves showing up at your authentic best, being present in the moment, and communicating challenges to your immediate loved ones and your teams to overcome challenges to be the best versions of ourselves.

Are you a woman leader ready to build your executive presence?

At Corporate Class, our expert facilitators provide in-person and live online leadership and executive presence training for women. Learn more about our Individual Training programs or get in touch with us to host a customized Business Workshop.

You can also master your Executive Presence skills with CCI’s Online Self-Paced Leadership Presence System!
leadership presence training program

What is Leadership Presence? (And Why It’s So Important in 2021)

Think of the most famous actors and politicians in our day and age — Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Barack Obama – they instantly command your attention when they walk into a room to give a speech or step onto the red carpet.

Why is that?

It is not simply because they are famous, but rather, they possess presence.

One key factor of presence – and in turn of these famous figures — is that they command the attention of others almost effortlessly. 

People stop and stare, wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

What Does Leadership Presence Look Like, Feel Like and Sound Like?

People who show up with Leadership Presence:

  1. Look like: they are comfortable, humble and engaged
  2. Feel like: they are warm, friendly and approachable
  3. Sound like: they speak with conviction, clarity and respectfully

So, what is leadership presence?

At Corporate Class Inc., we define leadership presence as the ability to connect authentically, build confidence in others, and inspire and motivate people into action.

leadership presence

Some say Executive Presence is a subset of Leadership Presence, but we believe these terms are interchangeable.

When you look at the description of each according to different authors, they are most often referring to the same thing.

The reason why Leadership Presence is more prevalent now is that it is more inclusive.

Leadership Presence is something that shows up at every level of the organization, not only at the Senior or C-Suite levels.

Building confidence requires a good amount of self-regard, which is all about self-respect and self-worth. The leadership implications of self-regard expand further than many realize.

Your self-confidence gives you the ability to:

  • inspire (the pull)
  • motivate (the push)
  • innovate (create)

It also commands respect and trust from others. It helps fuel success!

Why is Leadership Presence Important?

“Presence is the ability to connect authentically with the thoughts and feelings of others.” (Halpern and Lubar)

As is evident by this statement, the underlying structure of presence is the ability to connect.

This ability to connect, or what is commonly known as “charisma,” is what brings people and teams together.

A charismatic leader or actor can command your attention in a room full of their peers because they connect with you on a deeper level, which increases their ability to motivate and inspire their followers or fans.

This is why the world is moving away from the more toxic and traditional ideas of leadership such as the “Command and Control” style and towards a more authentic, inclusive and empathetic style of leadership.

Our favourite teachers, bosses, peers, and clients are those who form meaningful relationships with us, champion us, and push us to do better for ourselves.

Hence, every aspiring leader must work on their ability to connect authentically which requires a great deal of vulnerability at times.

As the CTI report states: “Executive Presence alone won’t get you promoted…but its absence will impede your progress.”

The extraordinary thing about leadership presence is its accessibility. In fact, it’s attainable to everyone with the will to succeed.

At CCI, we strongly believe that:

Leadership Presence is neither exclusive nor elusive.™

Developing Leadership Presence

There is a common misconception that the ability to develop leadership presence:

  • comes naturally to a person
  • does not come naturally
  • only comes to those who have been given certain opportunities

Many believe that a person without this ability to connect or have charisma is out of luck.

However, as experts in our business, and the authors Halpen and Lubar, we agree that this is not the case.

The authors state, “presence is a set of skills, both internal and external, that virtually anyone can develop and improve” (Halpern and Lubar 3).

Yes, leadership presence is something you can develop. But…

It requires commitment because it is multi-faceted, it is about developing core competencies for the role you’re in, and, more importantly now more than ever, it is about continually working on developing your emotional intelligence, social skills and interpersonal savvy.

These are skills in low supply at all levels and most difficult to develop according to research stated in the Korn Ferry Leadership Architect research and technical guide. If you’d like more information on how to develop leadership presence, we would be happy to send you a copy of this research.

The Elements of Leadership Presence

At CCI, our research and experience has taught us that there are in fact several elements of leadership presence and we have combined all of these under 4 key pillars:

First Impressions

Sometimes we nail it sometimes we fail it. What are the key components of First Impressions? Your likeability, credibility, power and appearance. As Joan tells Alan Turing in the movie The Imitation Game, “It doesn’t matter how smart you are, they will not help you if they don’t like you.”

Communication Skills

We communicate verbally and non-verbally. Both methods are equally important when it comes to speaking with clarity, brevity and impact.

Pay attention to the body language, the small words we use that sometimes carry so much weight. For example:  Asking “Why” may sound accusatory, “You should” may denote a negative aggressive tone.

The way you communicate reflects on your personal brand as well. Your personal brand is your reputation currency and you must manage it — if you don’t others will happily do it for you and it may not be what you want to be known for.

Purpose Driven Leadership Competencies

The inclusive leader is self-aware and provides a safe environment for all to have their voices heard without fear of retribution.  Great leaders understand the important role emotional intelligence plays in all interactions and how to stretch their leadership style when needed in order to get things done.

Commitment

If it’s worth living, it’s worth recording. Mine for goals, define them, refine them and attach a strategy to each of them. For each strategy, develop an action commitment plan to help you reach every one of your goals.

By including the elements of leadership presence in your leadership style, you’ll connect better and faster, know how to project credibility, stay calm under pressure, captivate an audience and much more!

Benefits of Leadership Presence Training

Leadership Presence Training with an expert is beneficial and recommended for all professionals, as it helps individuals see and understand themselves from an external lens, and develop their strengths and improve on their weaknesses.

The process for leadership presence training requires:

Commitment: a commitment to introspect, reflect and work on certain tendencies and overcome insecurities in challenging situations to assert one’s presence.

Readiness to learn: It also includes the learning of new techniques to help become a more persuasive and influential leader.

Apply the training: Finally, for ultimate effectiveness, it’s critical to take this learning and apply it in your daily work, and look for assignments that will require you to use these newly learned skills.

We learn 70% on the job, 20% from people and 10% from training.

Once you apply your training in a real situation, the stakes are higher and the learning is truly experiential and transformative.

Often, this is not an easy journey and hence, requires an experienced coach.

We have learned from our experience, and this exercise is always cathartic for each individual, in addition to helping them move up the ladder in their careers.

Leadership presence training enables each person to assert their individuality and form more meaningful and deep relationships with those around them, which results in stronger teams, higher performance, and a culture of empowering ourselves and those around us.

At Corporate Class Inc., our team has conducted extensive research on executive and leadership presence. We also have a combined experience running into triple-digit years in the leadership training and coaching space. Our goal is to empower people to unlock their potential. Let us help you on your journey to empower yourself and others.

Master your leadership presence skills with CCI’s Online Self-Paced Leadership Presence System!

leadership presence training program

Works Cited

Halpern, Belle Linda and Kathy Lubar. Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate and Inspire. New York: Gotham Books, 2003. Print.

What is Executive Presence Training (And Why it Matters More Than Ever in 2021)

When we aspire to be leaders, the underlying context of that aspiration is the desire to lead, make a positive change, inspire others to do and be better, to head up an organization, to make an impact on others and in some cases leave a lasting impression or legacy.

Leadership is often associated with key traits and skills we expect people to have, at times, we correlate leadership with positions held.

Indeed, leadership is those things and more; it is the ability to have others willingly follow your lead – regardless of position held.

For many organizations, one of the biggest challenges facing them is pipeline issues and succession planning.

While businesses know they need to develop both these tracks, few have a clear path with the exception of perhaps the most senior role(s).

However, if organizations want to thrive and prosper, they need to develop their talent pipeline and often, the most critical skill is leadership presence and in particular executive presence training.

What is Executive Presence?

So, what exactly is executive presence?

It can mean different things to different people; simply put, leadership or executive presence comes from being authentic, building confidence in others, and inspiring others to take meaningful action.

Leadership and developing your executive presence, specifically, is a journey of personal transformation of:

  • who you are;
  • the kind of leader you are;
  • and the kind of leader you want to be

Considered the gold standard in the industry for many reasons, executive presence training is anchored in 30+ years of research and is grounded on understanding the neuroscience of the brain; recognizing that positive change comes with managing triggers, behaviours and your ability to self manage in situations to achieve excellent outcomes.

How to Develop Executive Presence

While developing your leadership is achieved through different methods, executive presence training is a key differentiator because it supports the growth of your courage, confidence, and strengthens your communication skills, builds empathy and enhances your active listening.

Individuals who develop executive presence influence their leadership strategy thus impacting their personal journey and building their capacity to seek opportunity and stand out among leaders.

So why is executive presence different and cited as the gold standard?

The impact stems from the personal development of an individual such that there is a great deal of self-reflection while building capacity and skills that develop a person in a fulsome way.

For example, when we think of great leaders, we associate humble confidence and the ability to project knowledge with credibility.

But, how do you gain credibility and confidence?

It comes with developing trust and making consistently good impressions.  This lasting impression on people is created through consistency in:

  • communication;
  • knowledge of your area of specialization;
  • being authentic,
  • lifting others

For example, when we think of leaders, we associate the ability to communicate effectively and powerfully and in doing so, that quiet confidence comes through.

However, this impression is more than words we use, it is how present we are and how we present (or how we show up) that supports and defines the impression we make.

For example, if you are speaking and moving back and forth, looking down, speaking in a monotone, fidgeting, with arms crossed, imagine the impression you make to an audience regardless of how well you know the material.

Executive presence training develops and teaches an individual to hone the skills to communicate effectively such that what you say and how you say speaks to and reflects your personal brand and the high value you bring as a person along with your knowledge and contributions.

Executive presence also develops leadership in individuals by empowering them to gain a greater understanding of the executive brain and its functionality; specifically, the individual’s triggers and how to manage them and the responses effectively.

The ability to hone and strengthen your interpersonal skills can help navigate work place politics and challenges critical to leadership success.

Benefits of Executive Presence Training

Leadership and those with executive presence are highly sought after.

Every organization wants excellent staff and colleagues who have leadership skills and potential, because these individuals will rise to the occasion, and help lead the organization in times of crisis in a way that instills trust, minimizes disruption and leverages strategic competencies.

Leaders do not just focus on results; leaders with executive presence build on their knowledge and leverage their credibility, confidence and excellent interpersonal skills to make a lasting and positive impression.

Executive Presence requires developing competencies and investment in yourself to empower and expand your career potential.

At Corporate Class Inc., our executive presence training in Toronto and across the globe is designed in such a way that reflection and practice become an integral part of your personal and professional development.

Change and a growth mindset happen when individuals seek to learn, invest in their leadership journey and open themselves up to becoming a better version of themselves. Like all great skills, it also comes with practicing what you learn.

Executive presence training is an investment in your current and future self; it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Why You Need Executive Presence Coaching

When you are present, confident, and reflective and lead with authenticity, you build your Executive Presence and these skills and experience are a game changer.

Diane Craig, President of Corporate Class Inc., emphasizes that, “to be crowned a leader, a person must be recognized as a leader. Our role is empowering people to lead. Executive presence is a blend of related parts that vary according to personality and circumstance. There is no formula; every client is unique. We ensure they evolve and develop their own authentic presence.”

As one aspiring leader and participant has shared, “through our discussions, I have much greater awareness and understanding of how my behaviors and impressions may hold me back from unlocking my potential as an executive. The approach is based on research and the latest thinking on executive presence. The advice has been truthful and direct, yet delivered in a kind way that helps me internalize it, remember it in the moment, and reach for different behaviors. There are certainly other vendors in this space, but I’d be surprised if their service came close to that offered by this high touch, highly effective team.”

Corporate Class Inc. conducts executive presence workshops around the world — from the Americas, to Europe and the Gulf.

CEO’s have endorsed our training and executive presence coaching because of its strong value proposition; “The investment I made with Corporate Class has helped me personally and increased my business exponentially. This program has reinforced the value we place on a work environment that is based on respect. Understanding and consideration for our internal and external clients. This training has also supported our employees in their career development, proving to be a great professional and personal investment for everyone who attended.”

Top business schools around the world recognize Executive Presence as critical to closing the gap between talent and exceptional leadership by finding your voice, developing the quiet confidence to navigate what comes your way, leveraging and maximizing your strengths,. Our client list speaks to the impact our programs have made on our patrons and their organizations around the world.

At Corporate Class Inc. our goal is to empower people to unlock their potential. Let us help you on your journey to empower yourself and others.

Master your executive presence skills with CCI’s Online Self-Paced Leadership Presence System!

leadership presence training program

When is Punctuality Important for Business and in the Workplace?

punctuality in business and in the workplace

Question: When is punctuality important for business or at work?
Answer: Always!

The importance of being on time is taught to us from a very young age. It should be no surprise, then, that lessons in punctuality stay relevant throughout our lives and work.

Punctuality informs many aspects of Executive Presence. Being on time helps you to establish a good reputation and allows others to trust you. When you are punctual, your professional image appears polished and organized, rather than hurried and haphazard. Above all, it’s simply the professional standard to be consistently punctual. Yet many people still fail to meet this standard.

Here are a few examples of professional contexts where punctuality is key – and why being on time can be a deal breaker. If you are someone who is chronically late, let these examples inspire you to become an early bird!

First Impressions: Interviews & Initial Meetings

punctuality at interview

It should go without saying, but it is never acceptable to be late to an interview. This is such a common standard that some employers will refuse to interview a candidate if he or she is even one or two minutes late.

Other than interviews, there are many contexts where first impressions and punctuality go hand in hand. For example, consider the early stages of a partnership or a deal. If the person with whom you are negotiating walks into a meeting 10 minutes late, would you trust them to stay organized and present throughout your relationship? The answer is likely no. In this case, something as harmless as a bad habit can ruin a business relationship before it even begins.

Meeting Deadlines and Completing Work on Time

When you consistently complete documents, finish projects, or produce any other kind of output on time, it reflects positively on your work ethic and your quality of work. Not only will colleagues notice your personal standards, but they will also acknowledge your commitment to your company and its success.

By contributing your own work on time, your actions show that you want your company to stay on track and meet its goals. Others in your organization will take note – and such clear demonstration of dedication to a company is a solid foundation for advancing within that organization.

Arriving on Time to Internal Meetings

For regular internal meetings, some employees may deprioritize their importance and take a casual approach – which often entails showing up late. Even though regular meetings may not often be as critical as an initial meeting or a deal, do not assume that they are not “important.”

Close colleagues may understand if you are occasionally late due to bad traffic or a long appointment. However, avoid making a habit out of tardiness to internal meetings. After a while, those in your company will begin to notice your style and it will begin to hinder how they perceive you. More importantly, this could affect how you do – or do not – advance within your company.

Workplace Productivity and Team Morale

Punctuality in the workplace is directly related to team morale. When people show up chronically late, the flow of work is disrupted with other team members having to cover up for delayed co-workers.

Tension and resentment can rise within a team, with punctual members feeling a lack of respect, and getting agitated each time they need to cover for a colleague and take over additional responsibilities. Modern workspaces thrive on teamwork and interdependency, so if this becomes a pattern, it can dampen team morale and reduce the overall productivity of a team.

Reflect Your Company’s Reputation

In today’s cut-throat competitive market, companies that don’t consistently deliver on time, fall out of favour. No matter what role you play, being committed to punctuality showcases your commitment to your client — a sign of someone who demonstrates the desire to do the job well, and is well-prepared.

Every employee is a reflection of the organization. When someone is chronically late, it reflects on the firm or the business. This can cause customers to lose confidence. An unfavourable vibe about your company may also start floating in the community, leading to fewer referrals and less business.

Be Perceived as a Future Leader

Punctuality in the workplace and in business reflects professionalism. Your reputation and the way you are perceived is an important asset to getting ahead. When team leaders regard you as punctual, and someone they can rely on, they are more likely to include you in new and important projects, as no one wants to work with someone who is likely to miss a critical deadline.

Simply being on time puts you in a position to be seen as more competent, loyal and dedicated to your work and the firm. These qualities come in very handy to be perceived as a future leader, especially when management is looking to promote.

How to Encourage Punctuality in Business and in the Workplace

So, how can you inspire employees to be on time and promote punctuality in the workplace?

As a business leader, the most important thing you can do, is to lead by example.

Model the desired behaviour you expect, by arriving to work on time, and starting meetings and trainings on the dot. For staff who always seem to be late, warnings and potential suspensions rarely work and don’t always change behaviour.

Instead, reward punctual team members with an extra bonus or some added time off, giving tardy employees a genuine incentive to be on time.

Above are a few examples of the many contexts in which punctuality in the workplace and in business is key to building leadership presence, and the progression of your career or company. After all, there is much truth to the saying, “the early bird catches the worm!”

First Impressions are powerful: In a split second they establish the existence or absence of Executive Presence

first impressions

First impressions are the building blocks of every connection we make. They impact our decisions about whether to proceed with the connection and ultimately have the potential to derail an impending relationship.

Developing the ability to read people and interpret your initial connections with them can guide you to manage how you are perceived; the impact you make, and the opinion people form of you in that very first encounter.

Foe or friend?

Experts agree that we have a genetic pre-disposition to form fast, accurate first impressions. This intuitive ability can be traced back to our cavemen ancestors. They were on high alert every time an outsider appeared on the horizon: “Foe or Friend? Am I in danger?” This is our primal instinct working. It’s in our DNA to jump to conclusions when we meet someone new.

Executive Presence is synonymous with creating a positive, charismatic First Impression

Analyzing your own First Impressions of people equips you to increase your awareness of their perception of you. This helps fine-tune behavior that leads to increased levels of engagement – and the ultimate goal of Executive Presence.

How are First Impressions created?

We make assumptions and judgments using hunches and intuition, not information.

There are 4 key factors that influence our First Impressions
These are:

  • Likeability
  • Credibility
  • Power
  • Appearance

As part of our intuitive process these are the entry points we use to make judgments:

Factor 1. Likeability

“Am I comfortable with this person?”
We respond to warmth and friendliness.
 We are at ease with extroverts; they are demonstrative and expressive.
“Am I confusing shyness with concealment?”
We often misjudge introverts for their soft speech patterns or limited eye contact.

Factor 2. Credibility

“Do I trust and believe this person?”
We have an irrepressible need is to feel at ease with people.

Factor 3. Power

Powerful people exercise influence. 
We recognize their authority and involuntarily feel the need to please them.

Factor 4. Appearance

“Do I like the look of this person?”
Yes, we do judge a book by its cover when it comes to first impressions.
The upshot is we generally consider ‘likeable’ people attractive. Attention-to-grooming is key to how we measure attractiveness and appearance.

Takeaway

The key to making a positive First Impression is to focus on how you make people feel about themselves. To achieve the right state of mindfulness:

  • Be conscious of how you’re feeling
  • Take control of your emotions and your energy level
  • Focus on positive thoughts

Experts have proven that our mind can change our body. When we’re happy, we walk more energetically; we lift our head and shoulders. When we sit up straight, the entire body “salutes” our surroundings. We appear attentive, open and receptive.
Finally, remember as we judge others, they judge us.

Back to school countdown!

Classes will soon be in session:
Courses for individuals!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 marks the opening of our new fall curriculum with Introduction to Executive Presence & First Impressions.
This 90-minute, interactive session takes place at our Toronto Head Office from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. Fee: $225.00

To enroll, contact Michelle Yuen at: 416-967-1221 Ext 107 or Click here

In our complex, challenging and competitive world, Executive Presence is not an optional asset. Executive Presence is an expectation. We encourage you to take stock of your presence to take charge of your future.

Executive Presence: Does your team measure up?

executive presence

There was time in the not so distant past when the expression “Executive Presence” actually referred to the aura, charisma and poise of mostly senior leaders. Today, it is universally understood to be the characterization essential – for aspiring leaders at every corporate level.

As its authority and stature have risen, Executive Presence has assumed a more empathetic mindset. The original, narrow definition has expanded to include an individual’s ability to:

  • Forge alliances, bring people onboard, enlist others in a shared vision, move things forward
  • Consistently demonstrate an understanding of other people’s perspectives
  • Persuade and influence with authority through finely honed communication skills
  • Adopt big-picture thinking

Put your team to the test across 10-key Executive Presence categories

This brief quiz is designed to reveal the current standard of EP within your organization. It may give you a surprising perspective on how the nuances of daily behavior come together to project EP to clients and stakeholders, your competition, and within your organization.

10-key Executive Presence categories:

  • Authentic Executive Presence and First Impressions
  • Corporate Goals and Branding
  • Presentation Skills
  • Body Language
  • How to Work a Room at networking events
  • Virtual Communications
  • Office Politics
  • Run Effective Meetings
  • Professional Appearance
  • Executive Dining

Download our complimentary Team Scorecard

Ask Corporate Class

leadership presence

This week we introduce a new feature where we answer your questions. Please see the link below for submission details.

Question:

Please explain Leadership Presence Workshops, who should attend and the material covered.

Answer:

Today, the expressions executive presence and leadership skills are often used interchangeably. We selected Leadership Presence to describe training specifically for management that administers teams. It’s training for people already recognized within their organizations as leaders, who are responsible for driving results.

Our focus is training to facilitate and develop stronger, more reflective judgments that generate greater team productivity. The 2-day interactive workshop builds on the fundamentals of team dynamics. Last month we introduced Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report. This survey absolutely reaffirms the significance of teams:

“Agility plays a central role in the organization of the future, as companies race to replace structural hierarchies with networks of team empowered to take action.”


Leadership Presence Workshop examines five keys to leading a team

The core content is based on the five keys that are the door openers to guiding, driving, influencing and actually leading teams:

  • Emotional Intelligence: A so-called “soft skill,” or people skill – we examine how empathy can and should be implemented in real-time business applications.
  • When leaders learn to decipher their own motives and values, they are better equipped to assess those of team members.
  • Integrating specific elements to create a productive “climate” that stimulates daily team interactions.
  • Setting team goals– how to move from theory to implementation.
  • Understanding leadership style options – and how to select the correct one for the moment.

Leadership styles

Today, being an effective leader requires having a broad repertoire of leadership styles for varying situations. Consider playing a round of golf with just one club – would you play a good game? Likely not.

The same is true of the need for a repertoire of leadership styles. According to Harvard University findings there are six styles: 3-long term styles and 3-short term styles that create an optimal toolkit and equip leaders for every situation.During the workshop we examine the six styles; all are applicable to any size company, any industry and any culture.

The six leadership styles are:

  • Visionary
  • Participative
  • Coaching
  • Directive
  • Affiliative
  • Pacesetting

Studies have shown that leaders typically have a very narrow repertoire of styles they use with their teams. Participants have an opportunity to explore and expand their own styles. This creates the ability and awareness of when to adopt a specific style based on the circumstances, team members engaged and desired outcome.

Sustainability Program

Leadership Presence Workshops feature an optional Sustainability Program offering continuous check-in consultations to further enhance the learned skills.

Some final thoughts from Trend 1 of the Deloitte report:
“As this new type of organization takes hold, working in teams will likely become the norm in business, and dynamism will become an organizational hallmark. Building and supporting teams will be leaders’ principal tasks.” (Our highlights)

Submit your question to Corporate Class Inc. Please note: Every effort is made to answer questions in a timely manner.

Connect, network, manage difficult conversations and make great presentations

People don’t intuitively master the ability to connect, to network, to manage difficult or awkward conversations, and to make great presentations. All are learned skills.

At Corporate Class, we train business professionals to develop and refine their communications skills. The ability to forge alliances, to bring people on board, to enlist others in the shared vision that moves things forward are fundamental to successful communications.

Three Communication Skills Courses taking place in our Toronto Boardroom

Course 1: How to Command and Work a Room
Developing the skills to face a room of people you barely know or have never met, with self-assurance, seemingly effortless conversation and to make meaningful connections is the focus of this Course. The centerpiece of our training is developing the presence, self-assurance, and confidence to make the most of business networking events. The expression work-a-room is something of misnomer because it really refers to friendly interaction with fellow-attendees at an event.

What’s required to step up, and step out at networking events?
Even seasoned professionals often feel intimidated when facing a room of new people. Our training recognizes the significance of overcoming this social anxiety and empowers participants with new methods of communicating.

We train people to develop precise techniques that seamlessly build connections and lead to establishing relationships, regardless of the event or venue. The goal is to be sufficiently experienced with these ever-present interactions to achieve a comfort level – and the ease, grace, and poise – to speak to anyone, on any occasion. In addition, this newly activated skillset provides participants with a significant competitive edge. Cost $225.00

Course 2: Conversations that matter
Business professionals understand that to positively influence an outcome, every window of opportunity counts; every conversation matters.

Often, delicate conversations that are not carefully managed, may lead to incorrect decisions and disappointing outcomes. During this Course, we review and assess active listening behaviors and examine examples of conversations that broke down and became uncontrollable. We compare these failed endeavors to how an improved outcome could have been achieved.

Participants practice a series of procedures to maintain a balanced mindset in potentially challenging situations, and discover how to analyze and transform behavior to improve chances for optimum results. Cost $225.00

Course 3: Presentation Skills: On Stage Presence
Today, the skill to present, persuade and convince – to speak with impact – upstages even the best products or ideas. This presentation skills Course trains participants to make compelling, engaging presentations.

Technique is key to overcoming speaking anxiety. When people are confident about their material, have systematically organized it, and rehearsed in a disciplined manner, they communicate ideas effectively. We introduce a model for participants to create a framework that guides them through fine-tuning and honing presentations.

This Course is designed to show participants how to demonstrate high-quality communication skills when speaking more formally – making speeches, presentations or pitches. Cost $225.00

Toronto Courses in our Boardroom

We are in the process of finalizing our Fall 2017 dates. If you would like to receive information about these Course dates, please contact us:
michelle@corporateclassinc.com
416-967-1221 Ext 107

The Link Between Authenticity and Warmth – And How They Factor Into Building Relationships

Building relationships

Define: au·then·tic
Adjective

Of undisputed origin; genuine” (Google.com)

Authenticity is one of those words that seems to be tossed around within business circles quite a lot as of late. Like Executive Presence, there can sometimes be confusion in regards to its definition within a corporate context. When we speak of authenticity, we are really referring to a person’s true self. Are they genuine or are they putting on a show? Authenticity, or the quality of being authentic, is one of the core characteristics of a leader.

Warmth: A Key Component of Authenticity

More often than not, we can spot authenticity from a mile away, just like we can with Executive Presence. What often accompanies authenticity is warmth (of course, this is not always the case!). This warmth factor, or the ability to build trust, is an incredibly important element when it comes to relationship-building. Exuding warmth is a key component of charisma, and allows us to connect better and faster with others. As a result, when we are authentic, as well as warm, we are providing ourselves with the opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level and to build critical relationships.

Warmth Versus Competence

According to Amy Cuddy and her associates, experts on body language, first impressions and power posing, when we meet someone, whether for the first time or the fifth, we immediately try to show our competence. This makes sense, as we want others to know how smart we are, how well we know our stuff, how successful we’ll be with this new task. The problem is that when we meet someone else, we’re not immediately concerned about his or her competence, but rather the ability to know if we want a relationship with that person or not. This is clearly an issue, as we tend to present ourselves the way we think others want to perceive us – showing our competence – when in fact we should be doing the exact opposite – showing our warmth and our ability to connect personally with others.
As expressed by Cuddy and her team, we typically encounter either Lovable Fools (high warmth, low competence) or Competent Jerks (low warmth, high competence). For example, a Lovable Fool might go into a job interview that she’s slightly underqualified for. Nonetheless, she interviews well, shows her warmth and authenticity, and expresses a desire to learn more and expand her knowledge. On the other hand, the Competent Jerk might go into the interview with the right qualifications, and exhibit no warmth and show no desire to work with others on the team. Who do you think the interviewers will choose? The one who exhibits warmth and the desire to work with others, who can learn to increase her competence, not the know-it-all! When we have a choice, we chose the Lovable Fools over the Competent Jerks. In a perfect world, we’d get the Lovable Stars, and that’s rare!
How does this apply to authenticity? As Corinne Lavictoire, a CCI Associate, said in a recent video: “[Your audience] wants you to be memorable, not perfect.” When we try to show our competence first, we are attempting to show how “perfect” we can be and are not focussing on our lasting impression on others. This is an issue, as that is not how one builds trusting, lasting relationships! Remember, authenticity → warmth → trust → better relationships. Being authentic and showing warmth are core characteristics of a good leader.
For more information on how you can increase your authenticity and capacity to build trusting relationships in business, take a look at our courses and workshops! In addition, check out our blog post: “The Top 4 Leadership Qualities That Make A Great Leader” to read more about trust.

The ONE Thing You Must Learn to Share to Improve Your Leadership Presence

improve leadership presence

So, you’re a leader. You inspire and motivate those around you; you have a dedicated, loyal group of followers; you have a vision for the future. You’re doing great!

Wait. Do those around you, including your dedicated group of followers, know your vision? Do you communicate that vision with them? Do you know what it will take to attain that vision, and how those in your circle can help you get there?

We often hear leaders identify themselves as visionaries. Perhaps they are, but they don’t seem to be perceived as such. When we debrief our clients on their Executive Presence 360, many of them indicate that they are visionaries. To their surprise, their respondents don’t indicate that as an attribute. Why the disconnect?

Leaders are laser focused and move towards their goals with that vision in mind. They ask their team members to work on certain tasks without sharing their vision. They omit to explain why what they asked them to do is so important. Sharing your vision will not only help you attain that vision, it will inspire and motivate your team to forge ahead and help you make that vision a reality.

The “Why” Factor

Simon Sinek, popular author, speaker and consultant, explains how great leaders inspire action through their vision during his Ted Talk. According to Sinek, all great leaders and organizations think, act and communicate in the exact same way, which just so happens to be the opposite way of everyone else. Sinek calls this method of communication the Golden Circle.

In the middle of the circle is the “Why”, then comes the “How,” and finally, the “What.”Everyone knows what they do, some know how they do it, but very few know why they do what they do (the purpose, cause). That’s why most of us communicate from the outside in – we share our “What” first.

All great leaders, on the other hand, communicate from the inside out; they share their “why,” or their vision, first. As Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” He uses the example of Apple to demonstrate this theory by explaining that Apple, a computer company, shares their vision first, and that’s what we buy into – it just so happens they make great computers. But it’s the “why” that Apple shares with us that leads us to buy any product that they develop, whether it’s a computer, DVR, MP3, television, etc.

Being a visionary is a core trait of a great leader, however the secret lies in your ability to communicate that vision to others. If those in your circles do not see you as a visionary, and you see yourself as one, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage and inspire your followers even more. Be the leader you know you can be, and share your vision!

To find out more how you can increase your leadership abilities, including learning how to share your vision, take a look at our Leadership Presence workshops!