Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Win the War of the Mind!
Is strong executive presence the ability to control emotions and sense emotions in others?
Or, is executive presence about the ability to inspire confidence? Inspiring confidence in your subordinates that you’re the leader they want to follow. Inspiring confidence among peers that you’re capable and reliable. Most importantly, inspiring confidence among senior leaders.
Perhaps, executive presence is simply the ability to engender trust in people through confidence, consistency and calm in chaos? Many industry professionals say that it's the ability to give off a general sense of poise, confidence, decisiveness and dignity.
There are many definitions of executive presence. Often, its definition relies on what the individual defining it values. In an increasingly diverse world, executive presence will look very different from one executive to another. However, the constant, is building the confidence of others that you can step up as a leader when times get tough. It boils down to confidence and self-regulation. A security in ones’ value and an ability to regulate ones’ emotions and behavior.
According to Arlin Cuncic, MA “people who are adept at self-regulating tend to see the good in others. They view challenges as opportunities and maintain open communication. They're clear about their intentions and act in accordance with their values. They put forth their best effort, keep going through difficult times, remain flexible and adapt to situations. They take control of situations when necessary, and can calm themselves when upset and cheer themselves when feeling down.”
Behaviorally, self-regulation is the ability to act in your long-term best interest, consistent with your deepest values. Self-regulation is difficult when focused on feelings, simply because that focus amplifies, magnifies, and distorts them making regulation difficult. Consistent self-regulation requires focus on your deepest values rather than feelings.