Prove mettle to take up mantle

Prove mettle to take up mantle
A gloomy situation is when it is all the more important for you to start developing executive presence.
PHOTO: AFP

Job statistics are grim.

It is not a confidence-inspiring picture.

But a gloomy situation is when it is all the more important for you to prove your mettle and shine: Start developing executive presence.

Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett outlines three key elements of executive presence.

These are: gravitas (how you behave or act), communication (how you speak), and appearance (how you look), said Ms Hewlett, a founding president and chief executive officer of the Centre for Talent Innovation, a non-profit think tank.

  • Look at the people in your inner circle

It has often been said that you are the sum total of the five people who are closest to you.

Are the people in your inner circle positive or negative?

  • Always be prepared

If you have an important meeting, invest time to prepare for it.

The more prepared you are, the greater your self-confidence.

  • Update your skills

There are times when you do not feel confident in your abilities because you have identified gaps in your skills.

Take the time to acquire the skill. Learn everything you can about the field in which you work.

  • Learn from failure

Do not accept failure. Use it as feedback to study the lessons learnt, so you will do better the next time.

Practise shutting down the negative voices because there is a solution to every problem.

  • Improve your posture

Carriage and posture are part of how you look.

It sounds like a trivial thing. But when you stand tall, you feel more confident.

  • Slow your speech

Most people speak too quickly.

Just slowing down the speed at which you speak signals that you are worth listening to, and that will boost your self-confidence.

  • Build on your successes

Set small goals you can achieve.

When you achieve them, you can set goals that are slightly bigger.

Success builds on other successes.

  • Create an applause list

Create a list of your accomplishments.

People can be really tough on themselves, and you are often much smarter than you give yourself credit for.

Whenever you are feeling down, take a look at the list.

  • Recognise that perfectionism is a myth

Cut yourself some slack and quit trying to be perfect.

When you do so, you remove self-doubt, increasing your confidence level.

  • Practise being assertive

Make sure that your needs are met by asking for what you need.

Do not allow others to take advantage of you, and stand up for yourself.

Be a mentor to become a better leader

Training budgets are low, given the slowing economies.

Plus, your manager may not know the best ways to invest in your professional growth.

Do not wait for the opportunity to develop your leadership skills to be handed to you on a silver platter.

Be proactive: Serve as a mentor.

That is one way to grow professionally without having to spend a cent.

What sort of adviser should you be?

The face of mentoring is changing, so it is important to expand your thinking around it.

Today, mentoring is not just about a one-on-one relationship, where a more experienced professional comes alongside a younger one.

These relationships now include mentoring circles and peer-mentoring.

But whatever the type, there are several traits to a good adviser, including being focused, inventive, patient, open and steadfast.

Having these traits mean your mentee benefits from your experience, network and insights.

But what is in it for you?

For one, mentoring builds your self-confidence.

It also hones active listening skills and increases interpersonal skills.

It lets you tap into new resources.

You are able to build connections and a professional network.

Mentoring can inspire new enthusiasm for your own career path, and you gain a sense of satisfaction about your personal brand and the valuable knowledge that you offer something good to your organisation.

These benefits will assist you in your ongoing professional development, providing opportunity for your own prospects.

This article was contributed by Right Management, the global career experts within United States-listed HR consulting firm ManpowerGroup.


This article was first published on February 6, 2017.
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