There was a study of 4,000 industry leaders on the subject of why some people get ahead in their jobs and some people do not. It was found that it was not a question of how hard they worked, how smart they were or how many hours they put in. The study revealed there was a “secret sauce,” which they termed “Executive Presence” that accounted for part of their success. I do not call it executive presence because I think it can be for everyone, not just executives, so I call it “polish.”
This study is just one more piece of supportive evidence that validates what I have been teaching for years. There really is a silent skill set that you cannot put on the resume, but you really need to have to get ahead in your professional life.
One of the elements of this “secret sauce” is being present.
Being present is not limited to just showing up, which has always been required, but today it is easier to show up and not be present. Although not the only reason, but certainly a great influence may be due to technology. It has become commonly accepted that many of us have a cell phone attached to our bodies that we have become addicted to and we cannot seem to put down.
Technology for many has become such a part of their lives that they are often not aware that in an effort to stay connected, they may be disconnecting from the people around them.
Checking your cell phone during a meeting may cause the person right in front of you to feel he/she is not of value. This is because through the use of technology people who may be calling, emailing or texting, (the entire world actually), are the people you have invited to the meeting as well. Allowing yourself to be distracted by your phone may quietly be seen as a very loud statement about your lack of consideration for that person by disrespecting their time, privacy and value.
One of the ways to be present is to put the cell phone away in a meeting or conversation. Face time in business is so important. If you are present, it is a chance for the person you are meeting with to feel completely heard, understood and valued.
This element of the “secret sauce” will allow those you meet with to be glad they invested the time with you, thus enabling you to build relationships and your career.
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