Executive Presence is the ability to capture the respect, trust and confidence of an audience quickly and cleanly. There are many components to Executive Presence that we teach but the one I will focus on now is one I find is often elusive for people.
No one wants to give up their power but I find that about 80% of all people we work with do that on a daily basis without ever knowing it. So what is it they do and how can you avoid making the same mistake?
David Foster in his speech titled “This is water” said, you must make a “conscious decision about HOW to THINK and WHAT to pay ATTENTION to” in order to make good decisions. Why? Because your brain is designed to quickly go and to “what about me?” and try to protect you.
This small act by your brain causes you to close down your listening, prejudge what others say, create your own stories about why others do what they do, and make assumptive decisions. These assumptive decisions are then seen by others as short-sighted, me focused and tactical.
For your decisions to be seen as strategic you want to open up your brain. So as odd as it sounds, start NOTICING how you think and what you pay attention to? Force yourself to see things POSITIVELY from the other perspective. The more you practice this the more your brain will automatically seek out alternative sides to problems, challenges and issues. This will cause others to see you as insightful, wise and trusting.
TAKE ACTION: This next week actually write down your thoughts when you run up against problems/challenges. Note any negative patterns that run through and start to eliminate them. Go and watch David’s speech on YouTube to see if it sparks more thoughts for you.