Being a strong leader is a combination of a number of things. For some, it is a natural gift—a magnetism that gravitates others to them and makes them an effective leader. For others, leadership is a quality built up over time, constructed and refined and practiced until it gains effective gravity.
First Impressions are Everything
The first thing someone notices about us is our appearance and behavior. They see how we dress, hear how we speak, and notice how we hold ourselves. Then they add all these all up to make a first, initial assessment.
However, in addition to your appearance, it is important to consider other elements that define your leadership. Here are five tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of the Northwest to help you or someone you know develop a stronger leadership image:
1. Maintain Balance — Smart leaders know how to strike a balance between being both strong and supportive. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as you have to straddle a fine line between being a leader who can take a joke and one that commands respect and authority. Whatever you do, never toggle between the two types in extremes, or you will lose your employees’ respect.
2. Avoid Self-Absorption — Whether your company consists of three employees or three hundred employees, the moment your business becomes more than just you, it becomes a team moving toward a mutual goal. Remember, isolating yourself from your employees is never a smart business move. Strong leaders are inclusive, not exclusive.
3. Show Interest And Energy — A disinterested and lethargic leader can expect more of the same from his or her reports. Strong leaders possess a genuine passion for what they do that turns the daily grind into a welcome challenge.
4. Practice Your Speaking Skills — Take a moment to Google public speaking and vocal training. If you can, attend a Dale Carnegie Training course that teaches vocal training techniques. The ability to speak articulately is a powerful tool that lends itself well to projecting credibility as a leader, and as such is something you should not take lightly.
5. Communicate With Clarity — In addition to the ability to speak well part of strong communication is communicating with clarity in written form. The rule of thumb here is to “write like you speak, speak like you write.” Be conversational, be concise, and have a logical flow to your written documents.
Your leadership image is comprised of many elements. Your appearance, your behavior and mannerisms, the way you speak and the way you communicate all contribute to the concept of you as a leader in your organization. Business leaders should treat each of the items above with equal regard, and give serious consideration to every component mentioned if they strive to present themselves as a strong, competent, dynamic leader in the business world.
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Witthaya Phonsawat