Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Do you have command presence? Command presence is how you represent yourself to your followers. Ultimately, your command presence should embolden your followers. There are several aspects to command presence that are situationally dependent. There are, however, three things you can pay attention to in every circumstance that will help you maintain and build your command presence. They are confidence, body language, and composure.
1. Confidence – In everything you do, you should portray confidence. Confidence is the portal to trust, reliability, and credibility. Your confidence will manifest itself in your followers and throughout the team. Your confidence will contribute to the leadership climate of the team. Note that confidence does not mean that you know everything, but it does mean you are not afraid to not know everything, you are not afraid to be humble, and you are not afraid to unify the team to find solutions. There is a big difference between being confident and feigning the appearance of confidence. Show that you are ready for the challenge and that you are confident in the team to handle the challenges that arise.
2. Body language – Your body speaks louder than you do. Actions are louder than words, and your body language will reveal that “tell” you try to hide at the poker table. Your followers will pick up on your body language. They will know you are tired, scared, dis-interested, distracted, or disingenuous. You will need to be mindful of your body language and ensure it exhibits and communicates the right emotion for the right circumstance. Most of all, do not let your body language communicate toxic feelings. Make sure you maintain your bearings and do not let narcissistic, selfish, disingenuous, or hurtful body language affect your team. Display calm, confident, and capable emotions through your body.
3. Composure – The textbook definition of composure is serene, self-controlled state of mind; calmness; tranquility. These are important, but you also need to be mindful of two key psychological terms, displacement and projection. You must be mindful to not take part in these actions, as they will be detrimental to your command presence. Displacement is the transfer of feelings or behavior from their original object to another person or thing. When you are upset about circumstances and displace your frustrated feelings onto your followers, it sabotages your command presence. Projection is the process by which one attributes one’s own individual positive or negative characteristics, affects, or impulses to another person or group. When you project your own concerns onto your followers, it can have devastating effects on your relationship with your followers.
In difficult times your command presence can be the vital attribute that makes or breaks your team.As a leader, your job is to inspire, to exude confidence, to unify efforts, and to demonstrate a proper command presence by being mindful of your confidence, body language, and composure.