Embodying Executive Presence: How To Be Assertive

As women leaders, it is crucial to navigate the corporate world with confidence and assertiveness while maintaining our authenticity and integrity.

Developing executive presence is not about being domineering or aggressive; it’s about commanding respect, influencing others, and making an impact. One of my clients recently asked the group for tips on not being a pushover. She said that she finally realized that she wasn’t going to get a promotion because everyone viewed her as a pushover and it was time to change this view.

Define Your Personal Brand

To establish executive presence, one of the women in the group suggested starting by defining your personal brand. Identify your core values, strengths, and unique qualities that set you apart. Authenticity is key, so being true to yourself while crafting a professional image that aligns with your goals is important.

Master Effective Communication

Clear and concise communication is essential in demonstrating executive presence. Develop your verbal and non-verbal communication skills to articulate your ideas confidently and persuasively. Focus on active listening, asking powerful questions, and using positive yet assertive language. My client struggles with stating facts as a question and one of the women in the room agreed to call her out every time she hears my client start to change her voice into a question at the end of a sentence.

Set Boundaries and Say No

Being assertive means setting clear boundaries and confidently expressing your needs and expectations. Learn to say no when necessary, without feeling guilty or apologetic. Prioritize your time and commitments, and communicate your decisions firmly and respectfully. One recommendation I added to the discussion is the “yes, and” approach where instead of saying no, you say yes to the additional work and ask for a resource that you need in order to complete the work.

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in executive presence. Cultivate self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to regulate your emotions. By understanding both your own emotions and those of others, you can navigate challenging situations with grace and composure.

Seek Feedback and Continuous Growth

Never stop learning and growing. Seek feedback from trusted colleagues, mentors, or executive coaches. Embrace constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to refine your skills and enhance your executive presence.

Build Strong Relationships

Developing strong professional relationships is crucial for building influence and credibility. Network strategically, both within and outside your organization. Cultivate meaningful connections by offering support, sharing insights, and seeking opportunities to collaborate.

Embrace Risk-Taking and Decision-Making

Executive presence thrives on the ability to make tough decisions and take calculated risks. Trust your instincts, gather relevant information, and make confident choices. Embrace challenges as growth opportunities, and be open to taking calculated risks that demonstrate your leadership capabilities.

Work with me

As women leaders, it is essential to assert ourselves without compromising our values or authenticity, yet sometimes it is hard to know how to do so. If you’re unsure how to build better executive presence, click here and schedule a time for us to talk.

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