We’ve all been told how important it is to have executive presence. And we may have an inkling of what that really means – something about charisma, maybe? Or being the strong silent type? Maybe it’s about commanding the room or being the kind of person who is so confident, he or she doesn’t need accolades? Maybe it’s all that and so much more.

Executive Presence means you have the ability to;

  • Listen more than you speak
  • Laugh, play and exhibit ease and joy
  • Admit when you are wrong
  • Be confident and comfortable in your own skin
  • Fully understand the situation at hand
  • Admit what you don’t understand – quickly
  • Be generous and self-deprecating
  • Be honest, trusting and trustworthy
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Stay calm during a crisis
  • Trust the process and share that trust with your colleagues

There’s nothing magical about gaining executive presence.

Getting there has to do with collecting a set of experiences and practicing a variety of habits. Executive presence can be learned. The magic happens once you’ve got it. So, let’s go!

Coach Me Quick tips for developing the magic of Executive Presence:

  1. Practice this acronym: W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?) When you are with colleagues and talking, ask yourself if you need to be saying what you are saying? If you are not adding value, turn the floor over to someone who rarely gets a chance to share his or her ideas.
  2. Take a moment with colleagues and direct reports to share what makes you joyful. Be self-deprecating. Allow the team to take a short time out to enjoy a joke or a laugh before rushing back to the agenda or professional goal of that moment.
  3. Admit when you are wrong or don’t have the answer. This creates trust and exudes confidence.
  4. Do your homework so you know as much or more as anyone else about the situation at hand. And when you are missing information, readily admit it and ask for help.
  5. Always give the benefit of the doubt. And if someone has made a mistake use your energy to help that person shift from blame to solution-oriented thinking.
  6. When there are challenges, remember the big picture and remind others that all will be o.k. Be the calm in the storm.

Executive presence is a skill set that can be practiced and honed and then, watch the magic happen!

Working for the magic in L.A.,