Sales Tip: Executive Presence - Comportment

Sales Tip: Executive Presence - Comportment

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Mark Shonka

Mark Shonka Mark Shonka

In our recent Tips, we have been focused on the topic of Executive Presence. Each month we are looking at four key elements that contribute to executive presence, and this month’s focus is Comportment. What is comportment? According to the Britannica Dictionary, Comportment is, “The way in which someone behaves”.

When considering executive presence, comportment – or behavior – is crucial because of the immediate impression it makes on observers. Here are factors to consider regarding comportment, as well as some best practices. As you consider these ideas, picture an executive you feel has a powerful executive presence:

  • Movement (Pace)
    • The way in which you move matters. Executives with effective EP do not rush or move frantically, but act in a calm and measured manner. They can be intense, without showing panic.
  • Manners/Etiquette
    • Manners and etiquette are important, and not just at mealtime. Someone with strong executive presence would never be described as a “slob”. Common courtesies go a long way.
  • Consideration
    • When an executive is considerate of the people they are interacting with (many of whom are often of lower stature than they are), it makes a powerful impression on others. Rather than coming across as weak, they come across as confident and gracious.
  • Greetings/Shaking Hands
    • One of the marks of strong executive presence is being aware of the culturally appropriate way to greet others (often shaking hands in the U.S.). 
  • Time Management
    • Honoring your time commitments and expecting others to do the same is critical. You rarely see a person with strong executive presence routinely show up late for meetings, or let meetings spin out of control and exceed their allotted time. Consistently setting expectations is important. 

This element of executive presence is important because of the impact it makes on others. It makes people feel appreciated and valuable. In return, their respect for the executive increases.

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