4 Questions That Can Help You Build Your Leadership Presence

Many high-potential women can relate to a fuzzy concept in their performance reviews: leadership presence. They’re told that a lack of it is holding them back from being promoted to senior positions. But they’re rarely told what they can do to build it.

In her book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Harvard psychology professor Amy Cuddy defines leadership presence as the ability to showcase both warmth and competence. However, as women rise up the corporate ladder, many of them face the “double bind” of competence and likability. When they are nice, they are seen as not competent enough. When they are competent, they are no longer liked. Is it any surprise, then, that women struggle with leadership presence?

I’ve spent many years doing research on women’s confidence in the workplace, and I’ve found that for women to break through interpersonal barriers and establish themselves as leaders, they need to connect to their authentic expression.

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