Four Components Of Executive Presence

Executive presence—that certain gravitas and innate ability to inspire and influence others—is a key skill to develop when you work in sales. When you have a strong executive presence, you know how to draw people in and compel them to keep listening. This skill serves you well whether you are pitching to prospects, presenting to clients or meeting with your sales team.

According to leadership expert and executive coach, Joel Garfinkle, extroverts aren’t the only ones with strong executive presence. He says many introverts possess a more subtle but equally important version of the elements of executive presence.

Whether you want to help those on your sales team or strengthen your own executive presence, Garfinkle says there are four key points to know. We share Garfinkle’s thoughts on the four components of executive presence in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Confidence. The first key component of executive presence is confidence—and just the right amount. If you appear overly confident, it may come across as bravado or bluffing, says Garfinkle. Introverts usually exude a tamer version of confidence than extroverts. Rather than talking just to be heard, they state their opinion when they have something valuable to say. Whether you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert, you can improve your executive presence by remaining calm and collected and making yourself a reassuring presence to those around you.

2. Boldness. Introverts aren’t traditionally considered bold. However, when they overcome their natural tendency to hang back, they can set themselves apart as bold. This boldness goes a long way at developing executive presence. Garfinkle notes that the presentation doesn’t even need to be flashy. The important thing is to become known as someone who makes a decision and stands by it. Once you make the leap to own your position, you can handle whatever comes your way.

3. Trustworthiness. Another important component of executive presence is trustworthiness. Since the introverts on your team are probably less likely to have a showy persona or participate in gossip, they are probably viewed as trustworthy professionals. The challenge, says Garfinkle, is allowing others to see that their character and personality matches their words and actions. This is difficult for professionals who come off as a closed book. Remember that people need to know a little about you and where you stand in order for them to trust you, Garfinkle points out.

4. Insightfulness. Professionals who have the ability to hang back and observe a situation before responding are demonstrating a strong executive presence. This is where introverts tend to shine more than extroverts because they are accustomed to listening before speaking.

Garfinkle says it’s important for professionals to share their insights, though. Many people don’t speak up thinking that no one wants to hear their thoughts, or they need more time to put their ideas together. Remember that people want to hear what’s on your mind—and they want to hear now, not later. Garfinkle recommends that professionals practice being clear and concise on the fly in order to develop their executive presence.

Executive presence is the special sauce that can separate ordinary sales reps from the extraordinary ones. While extroverts may regularly demonstrate the components above, introverts also have what it takes to build a strong executive presence.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Joel Garfinkle has written seven books and is recognized as one of the top 50 leadership coaches in the U.S. As an executive coach, he has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Amazon and Starbucks.

filed under June 2021
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