By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
Putting people at ease allows you to enter their comfort zone, making it easy for them to share their thoughts and ideas. To send across a feeling of being approachable, regardless of your power or status is a powerful leadership skill. For example, high “power distance” Asian cultures, it’s common for juniors to feel intimidated in the presence of a senior leader, making it an essential skill for bosses to learn this skill. At meetings and office get-togethers, leaders who can put young executives and junior team members at ease build better engagement and have more meaningful conversations.
- Master conversation skills: Charismatic leaders know how to break ice, how to conduct a conversation in the stipulated time, what to say, how much to speak and how to steer the conversation. They focus on being likeable and don’t waste energy trying to come across as brilliant. Leaders know how to cast the person they are speaking with in the role of an expert and mine their knowledge to deepen their understanding of the topic at hand.
- Display confidence through body language: Leaders are confident about their looks, their voice and their pool of knowledge, using these tools to communicate a sense of purpose. Also, they are comfortable displaying vulnerability by confessing that that they don’t know something or by showering genuine praise when they learn something new. Leaders synchronize their body language to show interest by maintaining healthy eye contact, add an occasional smile, maintain an open posture by keeping their arms on their side of their body, keep their hands engaged in a powerful gesture and move the body forward to display interest. Use your body as a non-verbal communication tool to show you care.
- Understand collaboration: Leaders know that today’s world is less about competition and more about collaboration. They realize that motivating their teams by engaging with them creates an atmosphere of cohesiveness. This glue binds the teams, makes them work well together as a well-oiled machinery and directly impacts the bottom-line of the organization. Leaders support reward and recognition programs, promoting team-building.
- Display curiosity: As they display good listening skills and stay invested in the conversation, they tend be inquisitive by asking several questions based on the stories people tell. They have a deep desire the learn more and use every interaction, regardless of how brief it maybe to upgrade their knowledge. Albert Einstein encourages us to pursue our curiosities. He once said: “Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason”.
- Convey energy& enthusiasm: Enthusiasm in a leader is both magnetic & infectious, making people respond with intense energy. When leaders start the conversation with high energy, others follow and want to be aligned with them. Also, in my experience I have noticed enthusiastic leaders are passionate about business, economy, social causes, sports and a variety of topics. Leaders today are change agents and much of what they say and do has to do with implementing change. Every encounter, with a subordinate, peer or superior, is viewed as a vital opportunity to create a positive impression and get their message across. Enthusiasm creates enthusiasm. Enthusiastic people still have bad days, but they don’t let challenges bring them down. “There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment” – Norman Vincent Peale Quotes.