As a Leader, your ultimate responsibility is bottom line results.  You watch the productivity numbers, the financial reports, and customer satisfaction surveys.  With more emphasis than ever on business sustainability, it’s understandable you might be focusing more on activities than people.

What might it be costing you in terms of employee engagement when your focus isn’t on your most valuable asset – your employees?

So what do you do?  You already feel stretched with not enough hours in the day.  You can’t imagine trying to fit one more thing into your day.

The answer to this dilemma isn’t about doing, it’s about being.

Leadership Presence is the sense people have when they are around you.  It’s about being attentive, calm, and a secure base for your team.   It’s a presence that inspires and instills trust because they know you’ve got their back.

To be realistic, Leadership Presence can also go the opposite way.  Without intending to, you could be conveying a cold exterior and your employees don’t know how to relate to you.  From their perspective, they sense that your focus is more on employee limitations and incompetencies than strengths; more on tasks than their personal growth.  Truth be told, they may even limit contact with you because they don’t feel you are invested in them or you have a few rough edges that keep them at arm’s length.

Which kind of Leadership Presence do you have with your team?

If it is positive, Leadership Presence is the secret sauce that inspires your team to bring out their best.  It is based on trust and encourages the expression of differences in how to approach challenging projects.  Because your team feels your belief in them, they are willing to take risks, go the extra mile, and stay with your organization even when they get offers from competitors for more money.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 in the following five areas to gauge your Leadership Presence with your team:

  1. You know your staff as a people, not just as employees.  You understand what motivates your team and what is important to them.  You take a genuine interest in them that conveys you care and you want to help them be successful.
  2. You are accessible.  Even if you work remotely, if your staff perceives they can easily reach you, it helps them feel they matter to you.  By being clear and direct about job expectations and boundaries of how to reach you if needed, it will go a long way in empowering and supporting your team.
  3. You walk the talk.  Your staff knows you won’t expect anything of them you wouldn’t do yourself.  By setting a positive example of hard work, ethics, and character your presence inspires like-mindedness in your team.
  4. You are self-aware and perceptive of other’s needs – More and more research is showing the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace.  Especially during times of conflict, you see beyond the surface issue to understand where your employee is coming from.  You understand the foundation of a strong connection with your staff is being psychologically tuned in to your staff and many battles can be diffused if not eliminated.
  5. You exude confidence that is contagious.  Your leadership conveys a unique blend of strong conviction with humility.  Your team has reassurance – especially during tough times – that you support them in taking risk which sparks innovative change and ultimately success for the team and organization.

How did you rate yourself?  What other qualities would you add to what makes up Leadership Presence?

If you would like to enhance your Leadership Presence, consider attending the workshop on April 1st – “Innovative Solutions for Business Leaders…Dealing with difficult employees and people.”  During this workshop, I address how to deal with conflict effectively and how your presence as a Leader can soften abrasive people.

Make the Conscious Choice to develop your leadership presence, and you will have the secret sauce that inspires collaborative teams and minimizes conflict.

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