Senior Marketing Manager, Pharmaceutials Industry
There was a time years ago when I struggled with what might be holding me back from the next job and promotion. I was unaware of what "changes" I needed to make to be seriously considered for promotions that regularly passed me by. My performance and results at work were consistently outstanding, and I was routinely invited to work on key projects, and provided innovative solutions to client challenges. However, there was still something getting in the way of that next promotion, but I was not really sure what it was. I was not really clear on why I was not asked to interview, or if I did, why I was unsuccessful in landing the next promotion.
Not until I began working with my coach did I begin to identify what might be holding me back. After working with a coach over a period of 8 months and gaining some stakeholder feedback, which was coach facilitated, it was determined that my "executive presence” was something that the leadership team had some reservations about and especially at my ability to operate, lead, and behave at the next level.
My coach and I worked over a course of a few weeks on identifying when my "Executive Presence " was low, less effective or distracting, and what exactly I was doing or not doing, that could possibly detract from my efforts . This involved taking notes in a journal over those weeks and catching myself when I might be operating with lesser than optimum “Executive Presence”. Once my coach trained me to recognize this and learn to read the audience for signals, after gaining feedback from my peers, and observations from my coach, I began to see dramatic changes. I was able to get to a point where I could fully recognize for myself when I was falling short and recognize what I was doing or not doing, that detracted from my overall executive presence in small group, large group and 1:1s meetings.
Together with my coach, I then developed a plan for myself that enabled me to communicate and present more appropriately. I learned to hold my humor to more appropriate times , to be more serious throughout presentations, and to be conscious of demonstrating that I was always taking the "high road " on all decision making and to read the audience . Most importantly I learned to notice and coach myself. I learned to be aware of knowing the right thing to do and noticing when I may be off. That was a game changing step for me because I now catch myself and course correct.
There was a lot of continued practice, journaling and feedback for months afterwards on my behaviors. Eventually my presentations and interactions had the highest level of professional "executive presence" and finally became the way I did things with little thought. I entered a new phase of professionalism which turned into promotions and opportunities to do more and take on more impactful positions and responsibilities. To this day I am still practicing what my coach instilled in me and forever grateful for what my coach helped me do for myself!