You know her.
Maybe you are her.
The woman who walks into a room and commands attention and respect without saying a thing. What is it about her that demands so much reverence? Crafting such a presence can come so naturally to some, but for others, it comes only when carefully thought through. Physical presence, verbal language, and what you wear can play a huge role in the message you send yourself and ultimately broadcast to the world. Therefore, here are a couple thoughts that can help you craft your presence:
First, take your space.
As women we can be quite good at physically making ourselves small. We sit with our legs crossed, elbows tucked in, and when standing, we may keep our arms crossed or straight down at our sides. This sends a message internally and externally that we may be more submissive.
It's important to think big.
Physically taking up more space, practicing power poses before big meetings, and mirroring others body language can all give outward confidence cues. Even if some of these actions feel silly, the act of doing them can change our mindset, and even our body chemistry, to produce different results.
Second, speak your truth.
Speak the truth to yourself and others.
I have lost count of how many successful women referenced that they have a daily mantra they say out loud to themselves. How we speak in meetings, to mentors, and employees is important, but I think we often forget how we talk to ourselves. We lift others up and forgive their mistakes while sabotaging ourselves with negative self-talk. Don’t forget to give yourself a little grace as well.
When speaking to others, be mindful of upspeak. Women tend to raise their voice in tone at the end of sentences suggesting their statement is more of a question, something they are unsure of. It can unintentionally let others (including yourself) dismiss your ideas and contributions.
Also, don’t forget to be transparent about your needs and wants as a professional who may also be balancing family life. “You have a right to ask for whatever you need, but you need to be darn sure you can follow through” Courtney Jones, founder of Mom Source Network said in our recent podcast episode.
Finally, wear it on your sleeve.
No seriously, please do.
Find that killer outfit that makes you feel boss. That outfit should look polished but also make you feel comfortable. Sabrina Cowden, CEO of Milepost Consulting, knows that feeling well, sharing that: “When you’re in that place that you feel comfortable that builds your confidence and that gives you the ability to try new things and to grow and expand.”
One example of a comfortable, confident fashion piece is the Leather Jacket. Fortune Magazine sites leather jackets as the new power blazer, the structure giving the clean look we desire while the leather showing our assertiveness. Business is becoming more casual, which is important as we explore the ever-elusive work-life balance. The adoptive casual style will make it easy to transition from the office to Friday night drinks.
Having the kind of confidence that commands the attention of the room can make you comfortable to share your ideas, make the sale, earn the promotion, and achieve your potential. Don’t forget to take your space, speak your truth, and wear it on your sleeve, and as always, the key to remember that we our in charge of our own success.
“Taking the responsibility for your growth is huge!” – Sabrina Cowden
*Our Fashion Friday’s Instagram series recently featured such a style, be sure to follow us there to see more tips on confident business style.