In today’s busy lifestyle, whether at the office, at your favorite social function, or even at the grocery store, it is very important for you to exude professional presence in public. A professional presence will help you to achieve many of your goals, e.g., getting that budget approved, being calm and poised during meetings, and becoming a charismatic goodwill ambassador for your office and your community. Professionals that have a ‘presence’ are described as having ‘that something’ or having an ‘aura.’ Let’s begin in the spirit of our “Professional Presence in a Casual World” Program by building your own Professional Presence Toolkit:
- Be flexible. Often, someone’s failure to plan becomes your emergency. While you do not want to become a doormat, you need to be flexible. Learn about other people’s personality styles (and there are many); this way you can better relate to each individual’s needs. For example, does your manager prefer to communicate in quick bursts via email, or would she rather have a meeting in person? The same goes with your immediate team and the general public. Learn what makes each of them tick, and be flexible with the most appropriate response.
- Pursue excellence. Avoid accepting mediocrity as excellence! Be the person that delivers excellence in everything you do. On the phone, at your desk, in presentations — everything you do, do it with zest. Being known as a person of excellence will take you far within your circle of influence and beyond to make the world a better place and further your career.
- Listen more; talk less. In an era where people don’t think twice about talking over each other, it is critical to be an exemplary good listener. Practice this with your team and everyone you interact with. After first listening, ask insightful questions to the individual(s) concerned.
- Practice diplomacy and tact. You are tested daily. As a professional, you must remain calm and focused when conflict arises. You may be privy to numerous confidential matters and you may also at times find yourself being the town psychologist. A professional that is poised under pressure is someone who will be given the autonomy to make critical decisions.
- Be a person of character and respect. Be known as positive and pleasant. You interact with many personalities, and need to work with individuals who may not always be at their best. Goodwill is something that has to be earned and it stays with you for a long, long time. Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it: not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours. Staying composed when dealing with members of the community will go a long way to solidifying your public profile.
- Practice “netiquette.” Email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and blogging are just a few of the social media tools used to interact with the public. Whether you are emailing your boss, colleagues, or constituents: be formal. Compose thoughtful emails and proofread them carefully before hitting send. There are many examples where seemingly private posts from public officials become broadcasted for all to see.
This is only the beginning, and a good reminder that you own your presence. You are the author of your identity, and you write the script for managing your credibility and career. Commit to putting into practice the tips described above in order to show your superb charisma, credibility, and influence. It’s your biggest asset in defining your career, accomplishing more within your scope of inflence, and becoming a prominent voice in your organization.
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
Employee Development Systems delivers results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance.
Photo by marioanima via Flickr
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