Executive presence is important for anyone who is seeking to move to a leadership position. Why? because people need to see you as a potential leader; as someone who has the potential to take on more responsibility and grow professionally.

What you may not know is that you have control over the way you are perceived. You don’t need to leave it to chance. Once you decide how you want others to think of you, you can create that professional image.

Here’s how to start:

  1. Write out at least 10 descriptors of how you want to be perceived.

        2.    Look for a female role model within your company who has achieved leadership success. How does she communicate, behave, manage and lead others, motivate others.  What does her body language say about her? Does she come across as confident? How does she demonstrate that confidence? Write down your observations.

        3.    Ask trusted colleagues at work to give you honest feedback about how they currently see you. Then share your intentions for how you want to be perceived and ask permission to check in with them to see if they see any changes.

       4.     Make sure you are dressing the part. Take extra care to look professional and polished.

       5.      Pay special attention to your verbal communication so that you are not sabotaging your efforts by using minimizing language.

Keep the list of 10 descriptors posted where they are accessible and visible. Look over the list before you go into important meetings or even before you start your day as a reminder.

Over time you can change your professional image and support your advancement efforts.

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