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Developing Your Executive Presence


When you think of executive presence what comes to mind? Is it the sharp dressed individual who seems to captivate a room when they enter it? Although these two things may in fact be true, many industry professionals say that executive presence is the “ability to give off a general sense of poise, confidence, decisiveness and dignity.” Suzanne Bates builds upon this definition by stating it “is the ability of the leader to engage, align, inspire, and move people to act.” But is this something that can be taught? Executive presence may come more naturally to some but it is certainly something that all of us have the potential of developing.

In her article 7 Strategies To Help Stand Out As A Leader, Bruna Martinuzzi discusses ways in which to develop your executive presence.

Developing Your Executive Presence:

    1. Hone your conversation skills: Be inclusive of the audience when addressing them. Be aware of how other individuals are responding to the conversation. Do they seem at ease or on edge? Being able to adapt your conversation style to meet the needs of your audience in an effort to make them feel better about the topic once you walk away is a key aspect of executive presence.
    2. Cultivate character and authenticity: Genuinely know who you are and what your values and beliefs are. Executive presence is more than a fancy suit and simply looking the part.
    3. Show warmth: Be approachable, engaging, and genuinely interested in those around you.
    4. Be present: Executive presence is not about commanding a room and having all the attention on you. It’s more about “stage presence” and a give and take between you and your audience.
    5. Develop executive maturity: This has to do with the components of emotional intelligence. Be able to recognize your strengths and what is left to learn, manage impulses and quick responses, observe body language and moods of others in an effort to respond appropriately, and use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.
    6. Master presentation skills: Giving a presentation articulately and with poise is something that is difficult for many. However, being able to do so exemplifies executive presence. Take the time and investment necessary to perfect this skill.
    7. Seek feedback: Asking a mentor or trusted colleague for honest feedback may open your eyes to areas of improvement. We are often not aware of how others may perceive our actions and it gives us an opportunity to adjust accordingly.   

Developing these skills and recognizing areas of opportunity will make you a more engaged team member; a more influential colleague; a more inspiring leader. All of us whether we are in a traditional leadership role or not can benefit from Martunzzi’s suggestions on developing executive presence.

“Executive presence is credibility that goes beyond a title.” ~Tom Henschel

Becca Usher

Becca joined Aureus Group Healthcare Leadership in September 2013 and has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. With experience on the provider, payer, and insurance broker sides of healthcare, she possesses the operational, clinical, and regulatory knowledge necessary to adequately assess and screen candidates. As a recruiter, Becca focuses on healthcare administration searches across the United States with a priority focus in the Midwest. Becca graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sport science. She also earned a Master of Healthcare Administration as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD.

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