An Interview with Phyllis Arceneaux,
What is the difference between someone who is respected as a leader versus someone who may hold the title but garner little respect?
Generally when people talk about someone who is a great leader, they describe them as being decisive, trustworthy, powerful, courageous, authentic, compassionate, and collaborative.
The successful leader learns to embody the leadership skills that best fit them and their leadership style. It’s the difference between being a leader and acting like a leader.
You have heard the expression that “its not what you say but how you say it.” Embodying leadership skills and having a leadership presence is about focusing on your nonverbal communication, which is what people respond to positively or negatively.
Body language is more involved than you may think. For example, what people refer to as body language is really movement. Movement is when you see a person have a thought or emotion that you notice. It is most often the movement that people react to not the underlying thought. The moves you make are what is referred to as your leadership presence and define how people will react to you.
Can you explain this in a situation you frequently encounter as a leadership coach?
A common situation is frustration over an employee’s behavior. Often leaders approach this situation from the perspective of “This is what I want, and this is how I want it.” As you can imagine, the result of these kinds of conversations is a resentful employee that never changes their behavior.
In trying to handle the situation, the leader may also have employed a tactic they read it a leadership book that only makes things worse.
Why do leadership techniques not work?
The reason leadership techniques and tactics generally do not work, is because the employee does not experience that the leader actually cares about their perspective. They do not experience this encounter as a true engagement with their manager but rather with a sort of “leadership robot.”
When a leader employs a leadership technique or tactic that is not genuine, employees know. When the leader actually cares and is curious about the employee’s perspective, they don’t have to be eloquent or use the “right words” because the employee gets it immediately. The words may be the same, but the employee’s experience and the result achieved when a leader is in tune with his or her leadership presence is completely different.
How does one become a better leader and establish a Leadership Presence?
Embodying the characteristics that genuinely fit you requires self-observation, desire and practice. I wish you good luck and invite you to connect with me if you have any questions.
I will be diving deeper into this topic in a highly interactive program hosted by OneAcadiana on Friday, September 16th titled Acadiana Women’s Network:
Establishing a Leadership Presence. You can click here to register.
If you are interested in learning more about coaching or leadership training with Excelerant, click here.