The Importance of Executive Presence
Great leaders always stand out from the crowd. That can be because of natural charisma or body language. It can even be how you dress or the people you surround yourself with. Understanding how to appear professional in the workplace can help you get ahead in your chosen profession and can help you network more effectively with other professionals or executives.
The Perception of Others
You might not care what others think of you in your personal life, which is great, but it’s not the same in the working world. The perception of others drives workplace relationships, how other companies perceive your place of work and even opportunities for promotion.
Maintaining an air of compassionate professionalism at all times creates a positive image of a competent, confident person.
Your Perception of Yourself
It’s not just how others look at you that’s important. Your level of professionalism can impact your self-worth. The better you look, the happier you will be every time you see your reflection. Effective communications lead to achievements in the workplace you can be proud of. And having an ironclad reputation means you can walk into work every day with your head held high, with your role and responsibilities being your only concerns.
5 Ways to Act Professionally Every Day
1. Communicate Clearly
Be polite, but don’t beat around the bush. Direct communication with no hidden agendas moves projects forward faster than obfuscation. Avoid corporate buzzwords unless they’re absolutely necessary – or added in for humor! Say what you mean and no more.
2. Dress Well
You’ve heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want,” right? That’s a good start to appearing professional in your chosen field. This doesn’t necessarily mean dress smartly. Take your company’s culture seriously – don’t come in a suit if everyone else is in jeans. Look after other aspects of your appearance too, like your hair and nails. The details make the difference.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is a way of staying in the moment, concentrating on the details of what’s happening right now. Not only does this help you stay calm under pressure, but it helps you notice opportunities for improvements or great ideas.
No matter how busy you are, take the time to listen to your direct reports and peers. It makes them feel valued, which increases workforce loyalty. But it also helps generate innovation in the workplace.
5. Protect Your Reputation
Ideally, your workplace culture should revolve around honesty and respect. If rumors fly in your workplace, nip them in the bud as quickly as possible. But if there are signs of that breaking down, being the person to fix it not only repairs your reputation but boosts the whole company’s reputation and positions you as an ethical leader.
Executive presence may not be as important as it was a few decades ago, but if you want to be a standout leader at work, you still have to look the part. The way you are perceived will have a huge impact on your workplace relationships and opportunities for professional growth. But executive presence goes far beyond how others look at you—it can change how you perceive yourself as well.