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Executive Presence and the Influence Of Emotional Intelligence

Executive Presence and the Influence Of Emotional Intelligence

The three core components of Executive Presence and leadership are communication, gravitas and appearance or presentation. All three factors, and the ability to master them, are covered under one concept: emotional intelligence (EQ). Leadership effectiveness is a product and function of a high EQ, and it manifests itself in qualities such as self-awareness, empathy and emotional regulation. Building emotional intelligence is, therefore, the best way to develop and enhance your Executive Presence.

What makes Executive Presence so difficult to define and master is that it does not depend on the individual alone. It is other people who will determine whether you have it or not. It is a shared experience that others have of an individual over time. It combines your emotional state and way of being and thinking, how others feel and respond in your presence, what the situation requires, your impact in given contexts,  and how you react under pressure. Let’s consider this in light of some of the core competencies of emotional intelligence.

Self-Awareness and Leadership Effectiveness

An effective leader is present and connected on a deeply emotional level, in any context. You need to be fully and honestly aware of yourself and your feelings in a given situation if you are to lead effectively. You will be more grounded, adaptable, confident and true to yourself and the moment. You will have a complete understanding of the impact of your emotions on yourself and those around you, which is indispensable when it comes to leading and inspiring others.

A well-developed sense of self will shine through in any environment, whether in the boardroom, out in the field, or in online meetings. 

Importance of Empathy in Team Building and Management

Just as important as understanding your own emotional state is your sensitivity to the feelings and responses of others. No matter how confident you are in yourself, you must empathize with others if you plan to lead them. Be constantly alert to how others are experiencing you and how they appear to react to the environment. This awareness is key to your ability to be seen as an effective, considerate, fair and understanding leader. Very few people will be inspired to follow you without this quality, and your Executive Presence will suffer. 

The Importance of Emotional Regulation

Nobody wants a leader who can’t keep themselves under control. People with strong Executive Presence typically have exceptional control over their mental and emotional balance. These people can keep their emotional impulses in hand, and place themselves at the service of their primary objectives. They will manage their emotions, especially under extreme pressure, which is always a strong example to other team members. 

Building Emotional Intelligence in Professional Settings

Considering the importance of Emotional Intelligence as a factor of Executive Presence, developing your leadership effectiveness is clearly personal and professional. It needs to start within, with a personal commitment to strengthening the skills of self-awareness, empathy and emotional regulation. Good leaders spend long hours developing these aspects of themselves when they are outside a professional setting. The fruits of their hard work shine through how they serve the team or organization. Professional settings are the final test and outlet for these qualities, and they will help strengthen and upgrade, but the real work takes place when leaders are alone with their thoughts and feelings.

The term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ was popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman (though he did not coin the term). According to the model he postulated, leaders with high Emotional Intelligence display the following core traits:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to read and understand your own emotions and their impact on your actions and decisions, as well as those around you.
  • Self-regulation: The ability to control your emotions and reactions, and adapt to changes in your circumstances – even unexpected ones.
  • Motivation: The drive to work towards specific goals, under the impetus of passion or interest, not just for the sake of remuneration.
  • Empathy: The ability to sense and understand others’ emotions.
  • Relationship management: The ability to inspire, motivate, influence and develop others, while also managing conflict effectively.

Corporate Class Inc. is a global authority in leadership coaching and empowerment. We strive to develop exceptional leaders and to assist organizations in developing effective leadership approaches. Contact us if you want to learn more about improving your Executive Presence and influence in the digital era.

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