At first glance, this might sound like I’m suggesting you dominate the space when meeting with peers, colleagues, teams, and board members. Not so. Rather, I’m suggesting owning your space. When it comes to your meeting presence, you need to own your confidence, clarity, and communication.
Photo: Courtesy of Wix Media
Confidence isn’t arrogance. It’s bearing. It’s certainty of your abilities and sharing how these gifts will benefit others. When you walk into the boardroom, or any meeting as a leader, you should have one goal in mind—leaving the meeting confident that all parties see you as someone they want to continue to engage with. The only way that outcome can be realized is through confidence. And confidence begins with self-awareness.
It’s an unfortunate fact that we remember negative experiences longer than positive ones. So, of course you always want to make a positive impression and leave others wanting more. But there is also evidence from psychological research suggesting the existence of a broader human tendency to see ourselves through rose-colored glasses. Most of us think that we are better than we actually are—not just physically, but in every way. Therefore, self-awareness is critical. Investing in a 360 assessment, coaching, asking for feedback, and taking time to thoughtfully reflect on successes—and failures—of past interactions are just a few ways to clear your lenses. Even if some of the feedback stings. Learning where you need work and investing time and effort in these areas of growth, builds confidence. Discovering where you excel, and reinforcing what you know to be true, heightens confidence in your abilities.
Clarity allows others to feel assured in your presence. When they understand your expectations and vision, they also feel informed and empowered. Clarity is critical for leadership success; but sometimes clarity is taken for granted. When a leader assumes others understand expectations, that leads to frustration and possible turnover. Board members and colleagues also have little patience for leaders who aren’t clear on their visions and strategic plan to achieve outcomes. Whenever you present and persuade, ensure your message is succinct and clear.
Communication is something you’ve honed since childhood, but it doesn’t mean you excel in the arena. Many leaders believe themselves to be great communicators but fail to provide their team with a vision, constructive feedback, positive reinforcement, and time for dialogue. Great leaders know they can walk out of any boardroom confident about their communication. They not only speak professionally and succinctly, but they take time to listen and ask questions. This is how you build trust.
This is how you own the boardroom.
Renwick Brutus' career has spanned roles as research economist, investment advisor, entrepreneur and consultant. He holds an MBA from Fordham University and has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in sales and business leadership. Today, Renwick applies his unique blend of business strategy and interpersonal skills to help individuals prosper and companies grow. He owns multiple companies and is in great demand to consult with business leaders. Contact him by email and LinkedIn .