The phone rings at The Kaufman Partnership and a vice president of human resources is on the line. “We have a talented individual that we want to promote and they have the business skills but they are missing something. Can you help”?

This concern is common. In board rooms it is often known as E. P. But what is it?

What is Executive Presence?

People who hold executive positions are the face and voice of the company. They can build or erode an organization’s reputation through their visual impact, their spoken image, and their conduct.

Executive Presence (E.P.) consists of both substance and style — and how they are communicated and perceived in the minds of others.

Executive Presence often determines whose career takes off like a rocket, and whose doesn’t.

What is the business case?

Corporate consolidations and mergers and acquisitions lead to increased responsibility and offer new opportunities for those employed in the new entity. The need to collaborate, find innovative solutions, and discover efficiencies requires well developed “people” skills.

Many professionals have been technically trained, and that simply isn’t enough.
The challenge for leaders today is to fully engage others — both within traditional structures and across boundaries — so their organization maximizes key talent and achieves business success.

How can increasing Executive Presence address business challenges?

Managing reactions is key to creating a positive work environment.

An executive who can deal with ambiguity, adapt to new situations quickly, and diffuse tense situations is a valued asset for an organization. These skill sets can be utilized to increase transparency and open communication as well improve overall organizational performance.

How do you improve Executive Presence?
The cultivation of E.P. is both an art and a science.

To maximize their executive presence, professional smust be dedicated to life-long development. They must embark on a journey to increase their self-awareness, receive frank feedback, and seek candid input from a variety of diverse sources.

We cannot improve what we are unaware of — our “blind spots.”

The key step is to learn what others see. This can be achieved in a variety of productive ways. Individuals can ask for a candid conversation with their internal stakeholders, external networks and industry peers.

Unfortunately, many people don’t receive candid feedback because is they don’t ask for it and these are difficult conversations to have. And once you receive frank feedback, it is important that you take steps to improve or people will not give it to you again.
In our comprehensive coaching programs, the Kaufman Partnership establishes goals for each client engagement, including interviews with key stakeholders to ensure that they are the right goals.

Next, we use our proprietary Kaufman Impression Management System® to identify and define the 24 key impression factors that directly impact your executive presence. From this data, impression assets and impression needs are revealed. Then, together we develop an action plan that will accomplish your desired Executive Presence goals.

Have you asked for candid feedback?

How was that experience for you?

Did you find yourself defending against or resisting the input?

Were you able to listen to it without judgment?

Were you successful in using the feedback to make positive changes that others recognized?

Did your efforts result in career enhancements?

Please tell us how you are doing and let us know if you are interested in learning more.