- For the last several weeks, we have been studying the impact of professional presence. What are you learning about your own professional presence? What aspects of your own professional presence do you consider strengths? What aspects of your professional presence are developing through your course of study? What are your desired outcomes for further development of your professional presence?
Through what I have learned in the course, I am fairly convinced that professional presence is very important. The way a worker carries himself in the work environment can reflect on his utility, efficiency and professionalism. In my case, I would consider my dressing sense as one of the attributing factors to my professional presence. I would always wear formal clothes to work with sober yet pleasant color combinations. The reason I am motivated to dress professionally is to send across an implicit message to my colleagues and clients that I am serious and dedicated to my work. This has a reflective effect, in that their communication toward me also becomes more professional.
I have also attuned my workplace behavior to enhance my professional presence. Replying to emails and telephone calls at the earliest possible time is a habit I have tried hard to inculcate. I also pay a lot of attention to detail so that my competence is reflected in my work. By working to enhance my professional presence, I am set to achieve both personal and team goals. While the image I create of myself have ramifications for my career prospects and growth, they also help improve the image of the organization at large. Hence there is a symbiotic benefit to be exploited thus.
- Albrecht discusses the importance of authenticity in Social Intelligence. Summarize the key points that he makes in our text concerning authenticity. In your opinion, why do you believe that authenticity is important to SI and in particular, with leadership.
Albrecht explains ‘authenticity’ as the opposite of being phony. The implication being that an employee will have to be honest to himself and his behavior should reflect the personal value system he has adopted. Authenticity is a particularly important quality for a business leader, for those working under him look up to him as a role model. A leader will also function as a wise counselor to those employees who are in need of guidance. In such scenarios, the role of a business leader turns into one of a mentor. It is imperative that in order for mentoring to be effective, the leader should display an aura of authenticity. The body language, dressing sense and the tone of communication should all speak about the honesty and integrity of the leader – both to himself and to others.
It is interesting to note that authenticity can only be achieved through the mastery of social intelligence. Since authenticity is manifest in the leader’s interactions with his staff and clients, without acquiring social intelligence, the authentic self of the leader will never come through. For example, a leader might have the right ideas and plans for developing the business and expanding the clientele. But if he lacks in the necessary social skills to communicate his vision for the company, his projections will never materialize. Hence, possessing social intelligence is vital for a leader to express his authenticity – in both personal and professional domains.