What happens when you walk into a meeting? Does the room grow quiet? Do you suddenly sense that all eyes and ears are on you? Do you get the feeling that you command the room? If that happens to you, you more than likely have IT – the Leadership Impact Trait, or what some refer to as presence.
Since most want to grow in their ability as leaders, there is good news! IT, or Presence, is merely a habit. A habit is a collection of behaviors, and each of us can learn and unlearn behaviors. First, as Yoda would say, identify and unlearn the patterns that hold you back and weaken your influence as a leader, such as
- Pretending or, even worse, believing that your way is the way to achieve results.
- Being negative and consistently pointing out what is wrong.
- Using mean-spirited and hurtful words.
- Interrupting and not letting the other person finish.
- Most research talks about 20 characteristics that give leaders presence – the “IT” factor.
More good news! Four of those characteristics seem to account for close to 90% of the IT factor. To be recognized as having the “IT” factor, people want to see that:
- Support Your People. You support your people publicly and give corrective feedback privately. You have to believe that there are no mistakes, only feedback.
- Appreciate other perspectives. You develop the habit of using 4 of the most powerful 15 words in the English language. You ask, “What do you think?” Having asked the question, you listen without interrupting. When appropriate, you can make magic happen by using a couple of sentences like “‘That is interesting. Tell me more.”
- Focus on compelling outcomes or results. Except under unusual circumstances, there are almost always multiple ways to accomplish a result. Some of them may be more efficient than others.
- Solve problems quickly and effectively. That means you focus on the causes rather than the symptoms. And you focus on the desired outcome. For example, in the early days of the Space Race, the USA invested unknown amounts of money on an ink pen that would work in zero gravity. The Russians were quite happy using a pencil.
Those are the low-hanging fruits of the leadership “IT” factor if you want to develop presence. Up until now, you may not have focused on these four characteristics. From this point forward, pay more attention to the four causative factors. You might discover you have more influence than you once did.
Click the following link to read the complete article on the Franchising.com website: Hard to Lead Unless You Have IT
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