7 Tips to Boost Your Professional Presence at Work

Have you ever thought about your presence in-depth? Have you wondered why some professionals stand out, while others blend in with the crowd? What makes them different from other everyone else? Have you found that you feel more comfortable in a personal setting versus a professional setting? What type of presence you want to demonstrate in public?

People Walking

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio Manager

In this blog post, I’ll share with you some tips that I have learned from my decade of experience and reading.

Tip 1 – Mind Your Actions

In order to boost your presence, it is crucial to mind both your macro and micro actions. Your posture, facial expressions, tone, and content are examples of micro actions. For example, what type of posture you use to sit, what type of tone you use while speaking to someone at work, etc. Activities like the time you step into the office and the frequency of your coffee breaks are macro actions. If you want to build a strong executive presence, small things like coming to office early, following the guidelines etc. can help in boosting your presence.

Tip 2 – Dress for the Occasion

What you wear to the office is a physical expression of who you are as a person. This is the easiest tip to implement, and one with the largest payoffs. We all know the saying – “Dress for a job you want, not the one you have!” Remember, the clothes you’d wear for a client meeting is very different than what you’d wear for a Friday evening social gathering.

Tip 3 – Smile

It is always advisable to smile often. It makes you look like a more approachable and trustworthy person. People find you attractive when you smile. Also as actions are contagious, smiling can cause other to smile, which can help build an overall warmer work environment.

Tip 4 – Manage Negative Thoughts

Every individual has negative thoughts for some reason or another. It could be for public speaking, resolving a dispute, or just handling a bad news. What separates an executive presence person from others is the way they handle those negative thoughts. Acknowledge the negative thought and then handle it with a pregame ritual. A pregame ritual is a practice you do to handle negative thoughts by encouraging positive thoughts to appear and reinforce your strengths. There are a number of pregame rituals you can practice, for example, you can take some time for reflection, you can envision a previous success, you can talk to friend, or you can look at something really beautiful to deviates you from distracted from negative thoughts.

Tip 5 – Use Meetings Effectively

Regular status meetings are an excellent platform to show your presence. However how often we dread attending weekly meetings? Instead prepare for the meeting! Try to add some freshness in the format, make it fun for everyone!

Tip 6 – Develop a Vision

Reflect and have a vision. If you are a manager, have a vision for the overall team. Why the team is in place, what is the team’s role, and what can the team aspire to achieve. Or, if you are an individual contributor, have a vision for yourself. A vision that’s aligned to a sense of purpose, can help you accomplish more and help you see the bigger picture.

Tip 7 – Connect on a Personal Level

Do away with your mobile phones, computers, and iPads for some time. Connect with people by committing yourself fully to the discussion you are having. Avoid writing emails if you can convey the same message in person or chat over a coffee. Most of the best opportunities are discussed with the person directly.

Finally, I want to comment that it is very important to be authentic while practicing these tips. Just pick and choose which tip you want to adopt. While you can pretend to be someone else for some time, authenticity helps one to exhibit his or her true presence in difficult situations. It also helps in aligning verbal communication with non-verbal communication.

I have started practicing these tips and I hope you start doing it too!

If you are interested about the topic of presence and want to read more, I strongly recommend – The power of presence – Unlock your potential to Influence and Engage Others!

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