Understanding and Building Executive Presence

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Understanding and Building Executive Presence

Executive presence is your ability to inspire those around you by leading with confidence and setting standards for quality and reliability. Coworkers, employees, and other executives will respond better and work harder with someone who leads by example and stands by what he or she says. Having executive presence doesn’t just mean you look good on paper and have the right job experience, it means you consistently prove that you have the potential for great achievements. There are many qualities and business practices that build great executive presence, but there are three main characteristics that everything is built upon. Executive presence can be found in demeanor, communication, and ability to handle pressure in the workplace. Luckily, it’s something you can cultivate and learn if you don’t feel you’re a natural.


While a lot of people might have a great resume, your demeanor is an important way to build trust with those around you. The ability to communicate through consistent behavior shows your team who you are and what you stand for. You don’t have to be an extrovert, but being comfortable and confident in your skills, and showing a willingness to engage with people are key. Understanding how others perceive you is an important way to be able to assess where you can most improve. This means it’s also valuable to think of yourself and your actions objectively. Your ability to relate with many types of people, and get them working together is essential to your success as well as the company’s.


The second foundational factor to executive presence is great communication. Someone with great presence has the ability to communicate on several levels:
  • They must be able to consistently articulate what they need, when, how it should be done, and by whom. 
  • Effective CEOs devote time to their connections, and they make an effort to relate and engage with their colleagues and subordinates.
  • They have excellent listening skills and are able to listen and engage with people at every level.

Handling Pressure

Working well under pressure is also a key trait to possess as an executive. A leader who’s overwhelmed, confused, or frazzled doesn’t instill confidence in his or her employees. People with good executive presence are prepared for a variety of different scenarios and are calm and composed, and able to steer their team no matter what happens.   If you’re looking to build the executive presence of your leaders, consider utilizing a customized roster of executive coaches through CoachDiversity Institute. CDI works with talented individuals at all career levels to build presence, cultivate engagement, and adapt to changes in the workplace. Contact us today to learn more.