According to a 2016 study presented by Kauffman Index Startup Activity; Women make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the United States – the highest percentage since 1996. Women entering the workforce with a dream, or women who have worked their way up the corporate hierarchy all want “it.” They want the elements and allure that all successful female professionals project. Executive presence is the “it” factor, and the vast majority of people are not born with it but devote time to build and hone their presence into a leadership style that is appropriate for their work environment while being true to themselves.
The female executive presence is not a phenomenon and is built when entrepreneurs have true grit and show persistence. Below are four ways you can build upon your executive presence and make it look flawless.
Communicate Clearly and Concisely
Communicate your ideas clearly, do not ramble, and understand your audience. Respondents in a recent study rated command of a room important for men (54% versus 49% for women). More respondents cited the ability to read a client or audience an important trait for women (39% versus 33% for men). In other words, men are expected to command a room, where women are expected to read a room.
Women who use their mental intelligence in synergy with their emotional intelligence are better at building workforce relationships. Many women believe they only need to place their intelligence and answers on the table when in reality it’s all about being approachable and allowing others to engage with you.
Display and Practice Gravitas
When men are assertive in an executive position, they are looked at as leaders. However, an overwhelming consensus believes women in the same role that show assertiveness, might be labeled as pushy, or worse.
Projecting dignity and seriousness as an executive is key to acquiring respect. Gravitas is all about keeping your cool and remaining thoroughly informed in the areas related to your position. Female entrepreneurs who show the capacity to listen more than they talk, accept responsibility for their or their company’s actions and understand issues have a better grasp on gravitas.
How can you grow? Accepting feedback from colleagues and peers is critical to understand what areas you can stand to improve. Feedback is not a sign of failure, but a medium to find ways to better your approaches. Understanding how you fit into the executive terrain will help you see how you stack up to other leaders in your field as well as expectations. There are always ways to improve your current way of doing things.
Many women find it helpful to find a coach when looking for feedback because in many instances executives or entrepreneurs do not have colleges or a board to advise them. Executive coaches will be able to provide you with unbiased feedback in areas others may feel uncomfortable because they feel the information might be too raw.
Build Executive Presence through Appearance
How you present yourself and your appearance is the first impression your colleagues view you in. Although you would think how you look shouldn’t be in the hierarchy of entrepreneurship, it is, and it’s important to put your best face forward.
The act of grooming and wearing professional attire exhibits you are disciplined and pay attention to detail. When it comes to makeup and clothing; too little signals you don’t care, while too much screams you’re trying too hard. Dress professional, with well-tailored attire, and wear makeup that highlights your features and is natural.
Branding yourself is important for your executive presence. The professionals at Korey Howell Photography understand how to assimilate professionalism and entrepreneurship into your headshots.
Ready to add professional headshots to build executive presence? Contact us at Korey Howell Photography today to book your session!