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Master These 5 Attributes to Successfully Influence Others

Jun 23, 2020 | Organization Effectiveness

Ever wonder what it takes to command a room, influence perception or get a seat at the table?

A striking personal appearance, excellent communication skills,  extraordinary competence, clout and rapport are each compelling  qualities that immediately come to mind.

However, no matter which individual variables you consider, they all  point to the same thing: your ability to successfully wield influence  through executive presence.

But what is executive presence, exactly?

Harrison Monarth, an expert in coaching high-level players in the art of perception management and author of Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO, describes it as the ability to:

  • Accurately “read” people and predict their behavior
  • Influence the perceptions of others
  • Persuade those of opposing views to your side
  • Create and maintain a personal “brand”
  • Manage and control your online reputation
  • Perform damage control when things go wrong

Harvard Business Review explains it this way: “Although  executive presence is highly intuitive and difficult to pin down, it  ultimately boils down to your ability to project mature self-confidence,  a sense that you can take control of difficult, unpredictable  situations; make tough decisions in a timely way and hold your own with  other talented and strong-willed members of the executive team.”

No matter how you define “executive presence,” if you want to develop  greater influence and in turn, greater personal and professional  success, consider mastering the following key attributes:


  1. Competence and Credibility 

If you seek to wield influence, take a hard look at the man or woman  in the mirror and get clear on the value you bring to the table. Do you  dabble or have you developed unqualified competence in area of  expertise? Are you actively leveraging your skill set and knowledge base  for the benefit of others? If so, is that benefit recognized, respected  and touted by your peers? It isn’t enough to reside in your own head;  your contributions must be palpable and held in high regard by others.

When American business magnate, investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett enters a room, there is zero question about his ability to  deliver on the promise of results. He knows his stuff and prides himself  on being a consummate learner. His track record? Exemplary. Well-known  for an unmatched ability to advise on and disrupt complex market trends,  his competence and credibility each speak volumes.

  1. Confidence 

Even if you are competent and credible, when you don’t believe in  yourself, it will always be difficult to convince anyone else that they  should. But do not confuse arrogance with confidence. Confidence is an  innate beacon of light that draws others to you, inspired by your  competence and credibility.  Arrogance, on the other hand, is  distinguished by blatant pretense and quickly turns people off. When you  are certain of the value that you bring, there is no need to  overcompensate.

When former President Barack Obama enters a room, he embodies  unmistakable, unshakable confidence.  His compelling demeanor, marked by  a powerful sense of certainty, is magnetic. Widely acknowledged for his  standout ability to influence others by leveraging the perfect trifecta  of competence, credibility and confidence, he has become an  irresistible icon the world over.

  1. Compassion

Having all of the above qualities does not exempt you from being  compassionate. To effectively influence anyone, they must also know that  you care. We’ve all heard the familiar adage coined by Theodore  Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they how much you  care.” This sentiment especially rings true when it comes to influence.

It’s one of the main reasons that Oprah Winfrey, for example, has  become such a beloved celebrity. While she has contributed a great deal  of thought leadership over the years, people have come to love and  admire her even more because of her compassion for others, vividly  demonstrated through philanthropy. She really cares about people, and  her compassion has made raving fans of the masses as a result.

  1. Charisma

Charismatic leaders are often the most influential. Rapport is a  powerful tool that can be leveraged to connect with virtually anyone. As  humans, we have an innate, almost primal desire to connect with one  another. That desire, however, does not always translate in everyday  interactions. Sometimes we’re successful. Other times not so much.  Developing charisma requires being intentional and focusing on others  rather than yourself. When people feel connected to you and your vision,  they are far more likely to get on board and offer their support.

Lee Iacocca used his charisma to work many a room and influence  others through the gift of gab. One famous instance was his ability to  persuade Congress to guarantee a sizable loan to Chrysler that saved it  from a crippling bankruptcy.

  1. Consistency

If you are spotty in how you show up, your personal brand will lack  credibility and you will lack the ability to garner influence.  Consistency is key to building executive presence because it provides  the best “evidence” of your deliverables. If you bring your A game every  now and again but your C game most of the time, you’ll be known as an  average player. People need to know they can count on you to do what you  say you will, at a level that reflects excellence. If not, your efforts  will all be for naught.

Floyd Mayweather has developed an impeccable reputation for  excellence in the boxing world, not only because of his remarkable  skill, but also because of his consistency. He trains consistently with  an enviable work ethic and expends tremendous mental and physical effort  to capture every win. His opponents, as well as his fans, have come to  know this truth quite well.

Are you ready to wield influence? If so, work to master these  critical attributes to maximize your personal and professional success. 


Original Article published by Success Magazine / Karima Mariama-Arthur/ 2018        

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