7 Ways to Expand Your Presence as a CEO
The people who feel they work with you will produce better results than the people who feel they work for you.
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Are you looking for a way to inspire your team? About leadership tactics that will boost morale? Of course you are. But, as you should personally know, that's no easy feat to accomplish those tasks. You can, however, get one step closer to becoming a top notch leader by having a greater presence through these seven ways.
1. Work on your conversational skills.
Communication skills are one of the most important traits that an executive should possess. Without these skills, you won't be able to express your ideas, display your confidence, and hear the suggestions or concerns coming from your team.
To improve your communication skills, practice the following communication skills;
- Being aware of your body language and how to read the body language of others.
- Avoid using conversation fillers like "um.'
- Prepare a small talk script so that there aren't any awkward silences.
- Tell a great story.
- Ask questions and repeat the last few words of the other person.
- Remove any distractions, such as you mobile device.
- Keep the perspective of your audience in mind.
- Be brief, but also specific.
- Develop empathy so that you can understand others.
- Listen to others without interrupting them.
Once you've perfected these skills, you'll be able to put your team at ease, as well inspire and motivate them when morale is low.
Related: What's the No. 1 Thing Employees Would Change If They Were the Boss?
2. Have lunch with employees.
Some of the most powerful executives and leaders are known for having lunch with their employees. Tim Cook, for example, has been enjoying lunch with random team members for years. Paul Brough explains on LinkedIn that executives like Cook have realized that eating with co-workers have the following benefits;
- Opens new opportunities within the organization.
- Employees gain new insights regarding the organization.
- New ideas are formed and shared.
- It reduces stress, which is beneficial for the health of your employees.
- Boosts morale.
- It creates a stronger company culture.
- Can improve profits.
3. Get down in the trenches.
The best executives don't hide in their office or at meetings all day. Besides having lunch with employees, they get their hands dirty sharing some of the workload with their team. Amancio Ortega, the founder of of Zara and currently the second richest person in the world, is admired, according to the Telegraph, for "sharing a table on the factory floor, with some of the designers, fabric experts and buyers."
When I know what's going on in the trenches I have a much better understanding of what's really going on with my company.
Related: 6 Steps to Strengthening Company Culture (Infographic)
4. Be active online.
As a CEO you already have a full plate. But, if there is one more task that you should add to workload it's being more active online, specifically social media. According to a study conducted by the public relations firm Weber Shandwick, 76 percent of executives believe that it's a good idea for CEOs to participate on social media networks.
The advantages of being active on social media is that it proves that you have an innovative company, humanizes your brand, builds relationships with the media and customers, and gives you a competitive edge. Being active on social media is also an excellent way for you and your team to connect both outside of the office and directly if there is ever a question or concern since there may be times when you can't meet face-to-face.
5. Hold yourself accountable.
I've had bosses in the past who only showed up to point fingers when there was a problem. Don't be that person. It's not productive, and it will turn your team against you. Instead, hold yourself accountable and look for ways to prevent the problem from happening again.
That doesn't mean that you have to be in charge of everything -- that's impossible. You can delegate tasks to the best team members possible and establish specific goals that you and your entire team can support. This way, if something does go wrong, it still rests on your shoulders.
Related: 10 Inspirational Leaders Who Turned Around Their Companies
6. Make certain your team knows you have their back.
Having your team's back is more than just being supportive and understanding. Having your team's back means that you give them credit and recognition for their hard work, as well as reward them to show your appreciation.
Furthermore, it means that you should get to know your team so that you can understand their strengths, weaknesses, and how they think so that you can properly inspire them on a daily basis.
7. Encourage feedback.
It can be difficult to ask for feedback, either because you don't want to hear any criticism or employees are fearful in upsetting you, but honest feedback can help your business grow. Instead of avoiding feedback, welcome suggestions and ideas from your team by giving the following techniques a try;
- Replace the tired suggestion box with something like a flow chart where everyone can add their opinions.
- Ask you team insightful questions like what they would change, what are customer saying, and how you can help them become more successful.
- Assign feedback coaches so that employees can share ideas with someone they trust.
- Follow up with employees after you've taken their suggestions into consideration.
Here's to becoming a better CEO!