10 Quick Ways to Enhance Your Virtual Executive Presence
Sherpa’s Definition of Executive Presence: The behavior people exhibit to connect, influence and relate to people in their organization. Executive Presence is a blend of temperament, abilities and behaviors that, when combined, send all the right signals.
Using these ten Executive Presence (EP) traits mentioned below, you will discover ways to enhance the way you present yourself virtually. Our EP thought leaders here at Sherpa Coaching have developed ten Executive Presence workbooks with follow-up coaching that will bring you career to the next level.
Are you seeking feedback from others on your Zoom calls? One way to demonstrate acumen is ask for information that fuels your insight. Gaining insight can help you make decisions quickly and easily. It also involves the ability to discern what is important to share and what is not. Discernment means ‘understanding’, with a crystal clear ability to see what others might not see and be able to communicate it. Next time you’re on a call, ask for the feedback you seek. You cannot offer insight on knowledge you were not aware of in the first place.
Do a quick once-over in the mirror. Are you displaying yourself to the world how you want to be seen? It is easy to lose our sense of hygiene and style when you’re stuck at home all day every day. Getting dressed as a professional, not only makes you look good on the outside, but also raises your confidence on the inside. Taking that extra effort to groom yourself properly makes it feel worth it at the end of the day.
3. Being Present
Take a moment and notice your breathing. I tell my clients to practice something called 5-5-5 breathing technique. Inhale for 5 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. Notice how you feel. By the time you have completed this, you have brought yourself back into the present moment and turned off your parasympathetic response to fight, flight or freeze. Welcome – you are back in the here and now.
Inspire. Motivate. Influence. Challenge yourself in your virtual meetings to try one of these three things. How can you inspire your team today? What could you say to motivate them? How could you influence and direct the energy flow in your meeting? Those with innate charisma can do this with ease, however, pushing ourselves to try inspiring, motivating and influencing helps enhance charisma naturally. In a 2005 study, a British psychologist estimated that charisma is 50 percent innate and 50 percent learned. This is always a skill we can work on developing.
To create clarity, you must be aware of what you bring to every communication. Be sure to create clear, precise agendas. Be fully engaged in every conversation. Do not downplay your direct reports’ discussions with you, especially when it is a sticky situation. Be engaged and care about what your people are saying. This will help establish clarity in your calls.
Try this – Do not talk about yourself in a group meeting. Do not brag or boast. Be able to say: “I made a mistake.” Recognize and validate your team beyond all else. Look for help. Ask for help. Be receptive when offered help. Understand, you are not in this alone. You are confident. You are talented, but you are NOT all-knowing and all-seeing. When you are humble, you are able to admit a mistake. This is the best way to exercise your humility.
A simple way to enhance your virtual poise is making sure you are sitting up straight. Look at your camera and others (not just at your own image). When you show you are happy to be there, people know it. This genuine check-in can make you appear and feel more poised in your conversations. Poise means being natural, without any affectation or pretense. People recognize your dignity, and their own dignity, when you are happy to be with them.
Leadership is built on relationships. Begin by actively participating in your meetings. In each corporate culture, there is a level at which socializing is appropriate . . . and that is where relationships are built. Even though the scenery may have changed, how can you extend yourself to fellow workers and let them know you really care. Attending virtual happy hours, asking about people’s personal lives (in a professional way) on the group chat or actively listening during calls can truly enhance your relationships with others.
Know that results are important. Focus on the achievement of each virtual interaction. Results-oriented people make things happen. They appreciate and welcome ‘bottom line’ measurements. Understanding which results are important and focus resources to achieve them. Verify the tasks that need to be performed in order to meet certain goals or to achieve a certain performance standard. Beyond the tasks, it is about the way you add discovery and innovation to your team. Being results-oriented involves understanding your business partners and the value they bring to the bottom line. Adding innovation to a results orientation makes you a well-rounded leader.
To create openness in your virtual presence, reinforcing that truth be told, you must ‘show yourself’. Be open to talking about the tough stuff. Share your belief in the projects or circumstances at hand. Make yourself heard and understood. Be prepared and allow yourself to be vulnerable. This not only opens you up to self-growth but will expand your abilities as a leader.
After working on these ten traits and giving mindfulness towards each of them, your virtual Executive Presence will be utterly transformed. The ability to lean in to these traits, allows you to be the best version of yourself online and in-person. With this changing world, we have to adjust our standards and our behavior to what will work best in all environments. Try working on these tips to help see growth in your own Executive Presence.
Be sure to join us on January 28th for our Virtual Executive Summit to learn more about our Executive Presence series of ten separate traits. In addition, you’ll deep dive in to the trait of your choice with six individual, one hour coaching sessions with a Sherpa Author/Coach. Click here for more information.
Like what you just read? You can purchase any of the Executive Presence series workbooks here.