Both career professionals and entrepreneurs experience moments of uncertainty when it comes to our presence or executive presence. We participate in networking, meetings, sales conversations, or interviews where we may have wished to be more [fill in the blank] or less [fill in the blank]. At times, we wish we would have shared more or shared less or exuded something different.
And even in our personal lives, sometimes we show up differently than we'd like. For some of us, we'd like to be more assertive, or confident, or compassionate, or gracious.
For some of us, exuding more of the best version of ourselves personally or professionally can be transformative or life-changing, opening the doors to more opportunities, or shifting the dynamic of our personal or professional relationships.
I want to share with you three tips to exude more of what you'd like to personally and professionally, so that you more frequently present the best version of yourself in your interactions. These same strategies have worked for my career coaching, executive coaching, and business coaching clients, producing significant results in their lives, careers, and businesses.
1) Define what three words embody who you are at your best
If you have had people compliment you about who you are when you're at your best, then you might notice a trend in what they're saying. Or maybe there are times when you are a certain way and it feels exhilarating to be yourself. Maybe you at your best is thoughtful, or analytical, or focused. Me at my best self might be compassionate, energetic, and knowledgeable. Define what those three words are for you so that you can easily remind yourself to be more of that during your morning routine or right before interactions with certain individuals or even right before an important event.
For some of you, those three words might shift whether we're referring to your personal or professional life. This could be the case if you're in a major leadership role at work that requires you to be more assertive, however you hope to exude a more laid back approach at home. In such cases, feel free to define the three words that embody you at your best for different circumstances that mean the most to you.
One popular aspect of an employee engagement training that I created and facilitated a number of times this year provides staff with the opportunity to identify who they are at their best. We can all do this and should do this for ourselves.
2) Identify what triggers you to not be at your best
In life, there are certain kinds of interactions, certain personalities of people, and certain circumstances that might trigger you to not be at your best. Maybe dealing with disappointment puts you in a place where you're not your best. For you, maybe it's dealing with bullies that causes you to not show up as the fullest version of yourself. For others, interacting with someone who is very talkative might actually cause you to shrink back.
Our triggers are different for all of us and often relate to interactions we have had in our youth or within our family dynamic.
Take some time and reflect on what triggers you to not be at your best, then put in work to push past that trigger through reading, journaling, meditation, webinars, therapy, coaching, or whatever resource would be most helpful for you. Pushing past those triggers could take a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or might even be an ongoing process, but I believe the most successful and most happy people make a conscious decision to recognize those triggers and work towards pushing past them.
3) Have a trusted colleague, friend, or family member to lovingly hold you accountable
There may be people who unknowingly interact with you in a way that prevents you from being your best self. And there are others who you might be around that help you to exude more of the best version of yourself. In some cases, we need to help the people who love us support us to be our best. In other cases, we need to find new colleagues (including mentors or other support systems) and even new members of our friend circle who specifically help us to be better versions of ourselves. That doesn't mean you have to leave your old colleagues or friends behind. I'm recommending you expand your circle of support to include people who help you hone in on the skillsets you'll need to exude those things you aspire to exude more of. Having people you regularly interact with who want the best for you and help you to get there can feel amazing and be amazing. For me, this has been critical to my own growth. And every leader, manager, or executive, should have this kind of support.
I'm hoping that these tips might have a significant impact on you personally and professionally moving forward, and especially as we move into a new year of unlimited possibilities for you!
As always, feel free to share this post with friends, family, or colleagues who you feel could benefit from it, and certainly, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you found it to be helpful or if you'd like some additional support for you or your team to operate at your best professionally.
Photo credit: Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash