You at Your Best
Presence stems from believing our own stories. Ann Cuddy, PhD
It’s really too easy to forget our gifts. Laura Camacho, PhD
According to a boatload of studies on the topic, these nine personal traits are associated with Executive Presence:
- Firm decisiveness.
- Emotional Intelligence.
- Data-supported vision.
- Grace under fire
These are the qualities people want to see in you to take the company forward. However, trying to fake these qualities usually backfires. It’s the people who believe their own storiesof value that inspire confidence and trust in others.
When employees engage their authentic best selves, everyone wins. Organizations can offer support in making it safe for their people to do just that.
In one study, participants were encouraged to begin a series of work tasks by first thinking about their individualities (for instance, by describing a time they acted as they were “born to act” or designing a personal logo).
When they did that, the subjects felt more strongly that they could “be who they really are.” With that confidence, they gained more satisfaction from their tasks, performed more efficiently, and made fewer errors.
Your Best Self Story EXERCISE
Here’s an exercise to remind you of how capable you really are, based on true evidence from past experience. Try it with your team!
You don’t need to write a full essay. A story needs only three elements: a conflict/difficulty, a hero and resolution of the problem.
You can effectively tell a story in as few as 2 sentences. Write, recall or share a brief story that shares how you acted as your best self.
To help you remember your Best Self Story, consider these 3 themes:
Theme #1: Agency – people feel they are in control of their lives
Did you ever have an experience that taught you that you have more control or ability or strength than what you thought? That’s one type of Best Self Story.
Theme #2: Communion – people describe their lives as being about relationships
Did you ever have an experience where you realized how important a relationship was to you? That’s another type of Best Self Story.
Theme #3: Redemption – people perceive that challenges have improved their attitudes or conferred wisdom in some way.
What’s story from YOUR life that really taught you something valuable?
photo by Keely Laughlin