The Six Habits of Executive Presence

A wise colleague of mine described Executive Presence as:

“The water leaders swim in to get things done. It’s not optional. It’s essential for respect and trust”.

KineticFuture are experts in coaching the ‘how’ of EP one to one and in groups. Today I’m going to share with you The 6 Practical Habits of EP. This is a distillation of the KF coaching method for your presentation communication.

6 Habits of Executive Presence in Presentation Communication

  1. It’s all about the audience – flex to their needs and perspective you’re already halfway there.
  2. Integrity & expertise – how are you going to demonstrate this?
  3. Authentic passion & belief – your topic may not set your pulse racing but you’ll have to find something that motivates you
  4. Warm authority under fire – there is a pivot point between warmth and authority. You’re looking to find the right blend for the situation and culture.
  5. Listens to understand – the audience needs to feel this is a two-way conversation and you have to truly understand what they are thinking.
  6. Tailored value messages and strong storytelling – underpinning your confidence is knowing the value you bring to the other person and being able to articulate it. Strong storytelling will build engagement and memorability.

On our courses we’ll work with you on your physicality (vocal energy, body language etc.) blended with communications strategy plus you’ll develop your story ready to present. All focused on a real work situation. Your colleagues will also coach you and you’ll learn to self-coach too.

We have worked for 19 years with demanding companies including Abbvie, The ABI, Barclays, GSK, The Open University, Novartis, Mars, MSD, Reckitt Benckiser and Vertex.

Do call or email me if you’d like to know more. Everyone can develop their Executive Presence with dedication and good coaching. And the rewards are great for you and your teams.

Unspoken Truths of Promotion

If you want to secure that top job, you must understand that the rules of the game are totally different. It’s like a switch has been thrown. At the senior levels there are unspoken truths which will block you or help you win that senior role. Are you ready to play in a very different sandpit? That’s what we coach on our executive presence courses.

These unspoken truths of promotion are infuriating but easy to unravel. You need to take a big gulp, decide whether you’re prepared to play the game and work on your strategy. Fear not, you do not need to lose your authenticity but you will need much more insight, personal flexibility and savvy.

You may hear phrases like “She just doesn’t seem to be (name senior job) material” or “I’m not sure if he’s really got what it takes for us”. Behind closed doors at senior levels, it’s these ‘gut feel’ type comments that really drive whether you are invited into the senior level roles. Vague yes. Unfair yes. Not a fair process. True. But this is the reality when you strip it right back.

The reason is pretty clear. At the senior levels it’s a tough billet. Colleagues expect a lot from each other and often they play rough behind closed doors. They need to know you can hack it. They want to know you’ll thrive with minimum support. And now expectations of you are very different. You are representing the company brand as well as your own. 

So your job is to work out the unspoken truths in your culture, your own company. Then decide how you want to play the game. What really matters? What do you need to demonstrate by how you behave and how you communicate? And to whom? And yes, it is a game but one which will help you achieve great things for yourself and your team.

Global Executive Presence research clarifies overall key leadership behaviours such as being able to ‘show your teeth’ and integrity. Being clear on your own values, strengths and how to play to your differences will also help. Our coaching and planning tools will ensure you can think all this through and handle things in your own way. Then we’ll coach you on your practical communication across meetings, presentations, tough conversations or in social situations so you can send a consistent message, physically and by what you say when. Have a look at immediate easy executive presence tips now and pass them on.

I appreciate that my honesty may be uncomfortable for some people, but it reflects my own real-life experience past and present working at the top. Read my biography here. These unspoken truths exist so let’s be frank. And anyone can learn how to develop and use their executive presence at work. It is absolutely possible with a good coach behind you.

KineticFuture specialises in coaching leaders to be highly skilful communicators. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. They have six main areas of work: – Thinking partnership coaching, executive presence, presenting and storytelling, tricky conversations, resilience and communicating purposeContact us to find out more.

Can Executive Presence be Learned?

If ‘develop stronger executive presence’ is on your 2019 development plans, be optimistic!  It definitely can be learned quickly with us.  It’s just about being true to your own values and understanding the behaviours other leaders expect to see from peers.

The bottom line is that you get to choose to be flexible in each situation or not.  It’s that simple.  Once you decide to go for it, we know our Executive Presence group course will get you to your goals, in your own authentic way.

Drop us an email to find out how you can learn to do this practically in your own real work.  karenmoyse@kineticfuture.com

Top Tips for Executive Presence (And what it’s not)

  • Executive Presence effective behaviours have been defined by strong global research.  It’s not fluff.
  • It’s about balancing warmth and authority.  It’s not about old-fashioned power plays.
  • It’s about integrity, ‘showing teeth’ and demonstrating expertise.  It’s not superficial.
  • It’s about getting good work done and empowering teams.  It’s not about being the loudest.
  • It’s about communicating in a flexible, skilled way, suited to a leader not a junior.

KineticFuture has deep expertise in coaching leaders to be highly skilful communicators – on our team courses or 1-2-1 coaching. We work with some of the most exciting companies in the world and have a repeat assignment rate of 100%. We’d love to talk to you.

Ditch Your Imposter Syndrome

IMAGE OF RICHARD MADDEN FROM THE BODYGUARD SOURCED FROM GAGE SKIDMORE AT WIKIMEDIA COMMONS & CROPPED FOR USE.

Happy New Year to you. Today I’m thinking about imposter syndrome – when you’re afraid you’re going to be found out. AAAh! Even Richard Madden, The Bodyguard, winning his Golden Globe this week confessed he’s felt like this all his career. Many business leaders I coach tell me they feel just the same.

So why not ditch this stinking thinking for 2019?

Hot news is… I qualified as a Time To Think business coach yesterday!

I love this powerful approach which achieves extraordinary results fast. I can help you discover a whole new way of thinking about business and yourself. And, of course, this includes ditching that imposter syndrome.

Call me and we’ll tackle it together (find out more here).

Imposter Syndrome Top Tip

Ask yourself:

“What could you assume instead (about yourself) in this situation that would be credible, liberating and genuinely true to you?”

For example, my own new assumption would be that:

“I’ve deep expertise in my field and even if I operated at just 20% of my ability, it would make a huge impact”.

Embarrassing to say out loud but helpful when I need to be brave! You’ll have your own.

Have a wonderful weekend. And call me if you’d like to know more about my Thinking Partnership Coaching – one to one or in groups.

Frustration Buster – Part 1

You’ve communicated the vision, you’ve got a great plan but your team or your management is just not getting it. And they are certainly not moving to action.

And it’s no good just shouting louder like the cartoon Brit abroad if you want action.

I’m going to start with a dirty word. For some reason I can’t fathom, the idea that you are ‘selling’ when you communicate is a huge switch off.  Yet life is a pitch – call it what you like.  So dive in and learn a great deal from strategic sales skills.

At the very heart of ‘selling’ is the idea of ‘get over yourself, it’s all about the audience’. It’s all about listening more than you talk and uncovering insights.  It’s about understanding and respecting the other person’s needs, desires, fears.

Yet, we all see leaders at all levels in the company battering people with their own agendas and own messages in their own language. Be honest, in our rush and stress we may all be doing this ourselves!

Top tip:

Base your communications 100% on what’s in it for the other person or the audience. What do they want? Where are they coming from? Sure, you need your own objective in mind, but this is the only way you’ll have a hope of igniting others around purpose.

KineticFuture solves problems by offering advanced communications coaching for: leaders battling change, strategic sales people dealing with scepticism and technical people talking to non technical audiences. Do talk to us about your own challenges by emailing Karen@kineticfuture.com.