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We all know it when we see it, but how do you define it? Surely you’ve been in a room where you’ve noticed someone that seems to have the attention and respect of a small circle of attentive peers. The center of attention looks confident and relaxed, is well groomed, makes eye contact with everyone in turn and smiles readily. S/he doesn’t dominate the conversation, but encourages others to express their thoughts as well. If you were to ask the people in that small group what attracts them to that person with leadership presence, you’d likely hear some or all of the following:

“S/he is confident and authentic.”

“S/he is warm and approachable; easy to talk to.”

“S/he takes a personal interest in me; I feel listened to and respected.”

What is revealed in these brief comments? Confidence, respect and connection; the essentials of leadership presence. Where are you on that continuum?

Arrogance and insensitivity derail careers. Do you attract or repel? Do you lead by intimidation or by example? Do you exude confident in your skills and expertise? Do you lead by connecting well and inspiring others to do and be their best? If not, the good news is that these behaviors can be learned when you work with a good executive coach.

Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC