How To Own A Room
Ah, December! The season of mid-year financial reports, a flurry of last minute meetings and yes, goal-setting for the year ahead.
For many entrepreneurs wanting to take business to the next level or corporates looking to set up, leadership goals are almost a surety on that list.
One of the first steps in that direction is getting people to view and accept you as a leader. And like most other things, it starts with the first impression or the first five minutes of you walking into a room.
Whether you are a new leader or one who will be speaking to people of influence for the first time next year, here are four ways to own a room.
1. Make an entrance
Having a sense of purpose and stature when you walk into any room is incredibly important, and at this point in your career you probably have that mastered. Equally as important, though, is being mindful about the energy you bring into the room.
“Mirroring” is one of the most natural human habits when in a crowd, and most of the time people do not even realise they are doing it. Which means, as the leader, your team, clients and colleagues will subconsciously mirror your actions and phrases.
So with your shoulders back, a big smile and a bit of gusto announce, “Good morning! What goals are we going to kick today?” The mood for the day is instantly set!
2. Look the part
Famous American businessman, Anthony Robbins, says that when building rapport and connection, people are instinctually drawn to others who look good and smell good.
Even before you open your mouth, the people around you have already made an assessment about your mood, capability and influence.
While it is tempting to treat every day like casual Friday as the year winds down, it is important to remember that every leader needs to present herself purposefully. And as shallow as it sounds, that includes what you wear.
3. Remember it is not (always) about you
Once you are seen as a leader in your business or community, your role automatically becomes one of servitude. In other words, you are answerable to the financial, emotional and strategic needs of the people around you. So how can you be powerful and accountable? Easy.
There is power in silence, in thoughtful consideration, and most importantly in listening. Spend a meeting – or even a social event – carefully listening and exploring the thoughts, concerns, goals and ideas of others.
When it is time for you to speak, your impact on the conversation will be much more powerful. Many respected leaders are those of few words but the words they speak are truly powerful.
4. Be Yourself
The fourth and final tip is to be yourself. It sounds simple enough yet our professional progression can sometimes lead us to believe that we should behave a certain way. But nothing says power like authenticity.
By all means, avoid the genuinely sensitive and controversial topics but if you have a naturally playful attitude, let that shine. True leaders bring out the best in people so lead by example and consistently put forward your best, happiest and most authentic self.
Kate Middleton is the CEO of Censeo and the founder of online career development company, Career Oracle. She is the youngest and only female CEO of an engineering company in Australia and is known for turning bricks and mortar businesses into high-volume, technology-driven profit machines.
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