HomeOpinionMaintaining executive presence

Maintaining executive presence

THE ability to present yourself and your information is a critical management and leadership skill. In fact, ‘Executive Presence’ accounts for about 26% of what it takes to get promoted and this has nothing to do with your technical skills or expertise.

People Management Issues by Robert Mandeya

Executive presence is the ability to project gravitas (substance), confidence and poise under pressure. It includes the ability to speak and present with assertiveness and influence. This aspect develops the confidence and competence to speak and present at local, regional and international meetings so that ideas will be understood and respected.

Small things you do that people use to judge your personality
From the moment two people meet, they’re sizing each other up, looking for signs of qualities like honesty, intelligence, and altruism.

Whether it’s a date or a job interview, the small stuff matters — from the firmness of your handshake to how often you check your phone.

A look at the Quora thread, “What are the really small things that tell a lot about a person’s psychology and personality?,” shows some of the most common behaviours people use to judge others.

Your handshake
Several Quora users admitted they judge people based on their handshake.

According to Julian Parge “Strong handshakes usually reflect a strong and confident character, where as weak handshakes usually indicate a lack of confidence and are almost always a characteristic of people who would look for an easy way to do things,”

Research backs up the idea that your handshake can reveal certain aspects of your personality: One study found that people with firm handshakes were more likely to be extroverted, emotionally expressive, less likely to be shy and neurotic.

Show up on time
Late for a very important date? The person who’s waiting may be forming a negative impression of your personality.

“A proactive person will be there on time, because he is self-motivated, mentally organised and values time whereas a procrastinator will be running here and there at the last hour,” says Humaira Siddiqui a specialist in personality type. According to science, those who are chronically late aren’t necessarily inconsiderate people — but they’re probably more laid-back, “Type B” individuals.

Restaurant staff
Multiple users said they pay close attention to how other people interact with waiters.

“I will never, ever date a man who is rude to restaurant staff,” says one female in an interview.

Even top executives say you can learn a lot about someone based on the way he or she treats waiters, hotel maids, and security guards. One, CEO of a prominent company, says he once declined to give someone a job partly because she was nice to him but rude to someone cleaning the tables nearby.

When drinking
According to David Junto: “A person that looks into the cup when drinking tends to be more introspective, self-aware, idealistic, and focused.

A person who looks over the rim of the cup when drinking tends to be more influenced by others, more environmentally aware, carefree, extroverted, and trusting. A person who closes their eyes when they drink is in some sort of pain or discomfort and is preoccupied with pleasure and relief.”

Your nails
A certain academic has strong views on people with bitten nails, saying that it’s a sign “the person eats away at himself.”

Meanwhile, research suggests that those who bite their nails (or pull their hair, or pick their skin) tend to be perfectionists, unable to fully relax.

Mandeya is a senior executive training consultant and communication in management advisor, a personal coach in leadership and professional development with the Institute of Leadership Research and Development. E-mail: mandeyarobert@yahoo.com, mandeyarobert@gmail.com.

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