As a coach who helps people to come across more confidently and create a powerful message, I am routinely asked by senior execs about how they can change the energy that they bring to the room. Many times, it is not just a matter of training them into the “right body language” or how to make an impactful presentation. We can definitely work with people to make them look better when they are presenting, but communication is not based on how we are performing, but on how authentic we are and how people feel about what we say and what we do.
When someone assesses the energy that a senior exec brings into the room they consider the main attitude and story that this person embodies. Does he/she believe that in order to be successful he/she needs to work hard and neglect others? Does he/she believe that the only way to sell effectively is following a script? Does he/she believe that positive attitude is just the only thing that counts so she/he never opens to truly listen to other points of views?
The result of all of this is that no matter what you say or how you say it, people will believe your underlying story, the one that you tell to yourself every single day. People might feel in a board meeting, in a sales pitch, in a team meeting, that you are very successful person but difficult to work with, or maybe that you have a way of doing things that it is not open to change. And believe me, no matter what you say, this impression and feeling will last.
So how can we bring another energy to the room? We can of course work with our message, body language and intention to improve the message, but if we really want to change the energy that we bring to a meeting, we need to work on our story. The story that we tell ourselves about success, about selling, about working with a team,or about work-life balance.
You might be thinking that this is far too difficult. For some it might be. But for most it is achievable and possible if you focus on practising your virtues, the ones that are natural to you and on which you can act on confidently
It could be that you are naturally fun, compassionate, creative, a person who cares. Why not bring it on? Many people think about success in a very narrow way. Many of the most successful people that you can think of have at least one thing in common, and I'm not referring to the compulsive achiever trait, I'm talking about having a mission, a vision, a dream and dare to show it to the world. Successful people have a powerful presence and they are not afraid of being themselves in the world
Leading with your presence is acknowledging and acting who you are, not from the ideal of any other successful person that may be in your mind. As Andrew Liveris, from Dow Chemicals put it "People can be bought with their pockets and they can be stimulated with their brains. But only if you win their hearst will they give you their fullest efforst driven by their passions"