November Tip 2010: Sharpen Your Image to Stay Competitive

What is “professional presence”? It’s everything about how you present yourself from day one through the duration of every business relationship you have – formal and informal. It starts with the social etiquette that your mother taught you and continues to knowing how to present yourself in multiple diverse workplace environments. It’s not easy and we make mistakes but it’s critical to advancing in our personal and professional lives.

Professional presence is like a Norwegian glacier. There are the elements that we see on the surface – how we dress, shake hands, make conversation etc., and then there is so much more underneath the surface.

Beyond the surface presentation are those soft skills of how we inspire trust, establish our credibility, express our confidence and how we connect, communicate and collaborate with others. That’s “professional presence” and that’s the cutting edge if you want to stay at the top of your game.

5 Questions to Evaluate and Improve Your Professional Presence

  1. How do I enter a room? Like a bull in a china shop or with quiet confidence?
  2. How do others perceive me? In person? In my electronic communication?
  3. What is my reputation at work? Am I easy to work with or am I “high maintenance”?
  4. Do I know and practice basic business etiquette?
  5. Am I skilled at handling sticky situations wisely and with grace?


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