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Do Your Leaders Project Confidence and Competence?
Credibility and confidence are paramount in business — even the slightest of behaviors can reveal a perceived leadership weakness. Here are the do’s and don’ts for developing confident and credible leaders.
In the current hypercompetitive economy, leaders must present an air of credibility, particularly when it comes to face-to-face interactions. Whether they’re meeting one-on-one or making a major presentation, leaders’ confidence and competence are constantly under watch.But what does confidence and competence look like? And why do some capable leaders project such credibility, and others, who may be just as smart and capable, don’t?Some say these qualities are rooted in leaders’ body language, with 25 specific visual and auditory cues — explicit behaviors for posture, gestures, vocal skills and eye contact — that affect the perception of credibility. And unlike countless other cues — age or physical features, for instance — these cues are within leaders’ control. Small changes can make a big difference. Here are six do’s and don’ts of which learning leaders should be mindful. Do’sDo keep your head level. In the business world, one of the best ways to project executive presence is to keep your head level when speaking. No raising or dropping your chin — this can appear aggressive or, in some cases, submissive. Teaching Tip: Ask people to sit tall with their shoulders level. Then prompt them to scan the room like a camera on a tripod, moving only their head while keeping their torso still. Do speak with optimal volume. Fans of the popular television show “Seinfeld” will remember the “low talker” episode, in which a character on the show sparks the attention of Jerry because of a habit of speaking at an absurdly soft volume. Likewise, in business settings a common problem with volume is speaking too softly or dropping volume at the end of sentences. The good news is that volume is the easiest vocal skill to adjust. First, however, leaders must recognize the difference between adequate and optimal volume. Teaching Tip: Increasing volume isn’t about ability; it’s about willingness. People who speak with low or merely adequate volume often have an internal metering issue. According to their ears, they’re speaking louder than they really are. To help such people recalibrate, videotape them talking with someone who speaks at optimal volume. Once they recognize the disparity, they’ll become more willing to increase their own speaking volume.
Microlearning — Size DOES Matter
June 20th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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