Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
LEADERSHIP / AUG. 10, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Building Blocks of Leadership: Poise

Poise is one of the most misunderstood and underrepresented skills in leadership and management. The idea of poise harkens back to visions of movies from the 40s with the leading ladies wearing amazing dresses and walking with incredible grace. Poise can also bring up ideas of someone that is rather rigid and aloof. Poise in reality is much more about simply being comfortable with yourself. How does this translate to great leadership?

Poise Lets You Adapt

Being yourself gives your leadership style an approachability that you may not otherwise bring to your team. You are comfortable being yourself and you are able to show this to your team. Those issues that may shake others to their core have little impact on you. You rarely fight yourself in the sense that you know what your plans and goals are and you never get in your own way.

Poise makes it much easier to adapt to situations as you will handle them with ease. This is almost a zen-like aspect of your personality. When stress starts to build for you and your team you are able to overcome those issues by being the relaxed and, for lack of a better term, individual showing poise in the face of adversity.

By definition, poise means a graceful and elegant bearing in a person. The most important aspect is to ensure you are also approachable by your team. You want them to understand you will overcome issues with grace and elegance and your feathers will not be ruffled. As the shield bearer for your team, it is important that they know when the going gets rough, you will handle such things without issue at all.

Poise is Infectious

Poise is not something you need to train. Your team will see how you handle issues as they arise. They will see that you do not let the bad times get you down. They will be motivated, even empowered, by your actions. You are leading by example more than anything else in this way.

The long and short of it is there are going to be bad days. How you handle those bad days is key to how your team views you. If you have an issue that arises and you decide to discuss the issue with the team, sounding stressed and frazzled will raise alarms and concerns with your team members. Explaining the issues, handling things with grace, in a way that shows that it is not an issue to be upset about will keep your team calm. Even if you are stressed about the issue, your outward actions are going to be the most important thing that you show to your team.

When you show your team that even the most difficult tasks are simply another hurdle to overcome it inspires them to work harder. They will not feel overwhelmed and they will not fear what is to come. They know that their leader is there to guide them through murky waters and they are emboldened by your ability to handle any level of stress without issue at all.

Image Via: WallwallHD

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