How adopting a coaching mindset builds executive presence

July 16th, 2021 | By Madhu

Executive presence is a character or a persona that every leader is working hard to embody, so that they evolve and be better version of themselves. To understand executive presence better, we must first understand presence. The dictionary defines presence as “the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present”. In simple terms, presence is being wholly conscious and available to what is happening in the moment.

When we extrapolate this to organisations, executive presence can be defined as the ability of an individual to be fully available for their peers, subordinates, superiors, and the wider system, as and when they are with them, in every interaction and in that moment. For a leader to be fully available, it requires them to build several skills so that they can inspire confidence in all the stakeholders they work with. This could range from listening actively, communicating effectively, managing emotions, being self-aware, being resilient, etc.

When a leader adopts a coaching mindset, they partner effectively, in a thought provoking, inspiring and empowering manner, thereby maximising the potential and inspiring confidence of the people experiencing the leader. Below are 5 behaviours displayed by a leader, who has embodied a coaching mindset. Each of these behaviours symbolise a high level of executive presence.

Clear Goal Setting: Every conversation, the focus is on the goal to be achieved. The goals are co-created with the stakeholders. The importance of the goal is understood by everyone and factors that determines the success of the goal is clearly defined. This brings in alignment and ownership towards the goal.

Open to reality: Judgements, personal biases, previous experiences are kept at bay. The leader actively listens to the people, with an intention to understand and not to provide solutions. Realities are accepted without any filters. This builds confidence in the people to share their views and opinion, without any apprehension. Thereby, providing a safe space. Trust emerges.

Enabling out of box solutions: As the leader partners with people to find solutions newer ways of solving things emerge. There is no telling. People working with such a leader are willing to experiment and put forth their best foot, not just achieve the task at hand but to go beyond. This brings in fulfilment and happiness in the system.

Co-creating action plans: It is no more about the leader directing what must be done and how it is to be done. It is about working together to understand what needs to happen, foreseeing the stumbling blocks and bringing accountability.  The potential of every individual is tapped. The leader provides confidence and support to the people. The competence that every individual brings to the table is fully respected.

Developing work relationships:  The leader in every interaction connects to both situation and the person, their emotions, needs, beliefs, and assumptions. The leader operates at high degree of empathy, vulnerability, and authenticity. People working with such a leader feel connected, safe, and confident.

Adopting a coaching mindset is about unlearning certain behaviours and embodying new ones. Most importantly, consciously practising the new behaviours. However, as you embark on this journey, you will start empowering people and feel empowered, thereby moving up the scale in displaying your executive presence.

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Madhu Kanna - Certified Executive Coach | Leadership coach

Madhu Kanna

I am a Certified Executive Coach and I work with leaders to help them play at their full potential!!

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