What is Executive Presence? Do you need Executive Presence Training?

Executive presence training

A note by Mariela Dabbah

Following the conversations held during one of our RSM events, several participants emailed us wondering what is executive presence and if there is any executive presence training available.

The answer is yes! In the context of their leadership development programs the Red Shoe Movement offers executive presence training for women interested in continuing to grow in their careers. But what is most important is that you can start training yourself by observing leaders you admire. Observe both men and women. Zero in on the following

  • How do they speak when they address a large group? (Focus on how they end their sentences.)
  • How do they react when faced by an emergency or at a critical juncture? (Focus on how they manage the people around them, the media, etc.)
  • How do they present their ideas to persuade others of their value? (Focus on the way they organize their thoughts, words, slides…)
  • How do they dress in various situations?
  • Are they good listeners or do they tend to speak more than everyone else?

Just by polishing your observation skills, you’ll be on your way to incorporating those traits needed to exude the executive presence needed to grow into leadership positions.

What is Executive Presence? Do you need Executive Presence Training?

by Abigail Kuhn

“Executive Presence: Overcoming the Stigma that Women and Youth Don’t Have It” was an exceptionally popular topic at a recent Red Shoe Movement event in NYC.  Women and men from a wide range of professional levels and a diversity of companies held a lively discussion around the definition of executive presence, what women and younger people should take into consideration when looking to project executive presence and regarding executive presence training. Here is a recap of the session.

So, What is executive presence?

What is Executive Presence? Got Executive Presence? or do you need Executive Presence Training? All your answers are here! Click and Find out!

What is Executive Presence? Got Executive Presence? or do you need Executive Presence Training?

Danielle – It’s hard to define, but a person who can command the room has executive presence, and it is not just based on gender.

Karina – Executive presence is a total package. It is having knowledge about a topic, expressing yourself effectively, maintaining eye-contact with the room, and dressing appropriately for the setting.

The Stigma: What are some of the reasons behind the stigma that women and youth don’t have executive presence?

Several experts agreed that there is a general perception that women are emotional and young people just don’t have enough experience to project executive presence.

Barbara – In a group of people, women will stay quiet, while men will be aggressive.

Jen – Women will think about all of the things that they don’t know (they overanalyze), whereas men just go for it.

Overcoming the Stigma: How can women and youth overcome the stigma?

Yolanda – Dress for the job that is two levels above you.

Janice – Preparation is key, especially if you want to be noticed in a positive way.

Lily – You need to be confident in your own skin and not feel intimidated. Don’t dress for the job that you have, but dress for the job that you want.

Clementine – You need to exude confidence. You also have to dress the part to be recognized before you even open your mouth. Your presence won’t even be noticed if you don’t dress the part.

Karina – Be confident.

What advice would you give to a young woman?

Angela – It is crucial to have mentors.

Jen – Learn how to ask questions.

Kyle – An amazing resource to use is Lavoleague.org (Especially for someone leaving college).

What is Executive Presence? Do you want to find out what are some the qualities that women with executive presence have? Click here!

What is Executive Presence? What are some the qualities that women with executive presence have?

How do you make a point without sounding aggressive?

Amy – Be knowledgeable about what you are talking about.

Karina – Maintaining eye-contact with your audience is very important.

Yolanda- You need to know your part in a meeting. We go back to how important preparation is.

Danielle – We need to treat everybody as equals. After all, at the end of the day, everybody is human.

What are some the qualities that women with executive presence have?

  • Confidence
  • Knowledge
  • Knowing that they might not hold all the answers
  • High self-esteem
  • The ability to listen
  • Calm under pressure
  • The ability to make decisions on the spot (In these situations, over analyzing becomes a handicap.)
  • A firm tone of voice
  • The ability to give directions with clarity


Gen Y in the Workplace: Leveraging Its Tech-Savvy

What are the concerns with Gen Y in the Workplace? How can these generational differences be leveraged? Experts shared with us their experiences and perspectives.

by Rachelle Dragani

Generational Differences

The crowd that gathered to discuss Gen Y in the Workplace: Leveraging Its Tech-Savvy to Achieve Efficiencies in Your Company at a recent Red Shoe Movement Signature event could be divided into two categories:

Gen Y in the Workplace: Leveraging Its Tech-Savvy

Gen Y in the Workplace: Leveraging Its Tech-Savvy

1) The Gen Y-ers, those born after 1980, eager to use social media and the latest digital technology to promote their companies, build loyal clients and foster worldwide connections, all from their phones or computers.

2) The Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers, those born between early 1960s to the early 1980s and between 1946 and 1964, respectively, with more years of work experience under their belts and an understanding of the power that technology can have in making or breaking a company.

Regardless of the generational differences between these two groups, their shared primary challenge was keeping up with the rapidly evolving tech scene. Generation X and Baby Boomers were eager to leverage the increasing size of Generation Y in the workplace as a conduit to improve efficiencies in their companies.

The concerns with Gen Y in the Wokplace

“I understand that’s the way everything is moving, and I know there is a lot to learn from Gen Y in the workplace,” said Kendra Bradley from Siempre Mujer. “But we weren’t brought up with iPhones and this much technology, and it is really frustrating to try desperately to keep up with this whole other world.”

Some Generation X/Baby Boomers were also frustrated that there were no universal laws for using social media. They felt it was tough for them to learn more about the positive benefits of new technology when protocols differed so greatly between industries.

Samantha Heron, who works in finance at MetLife, pointed out that in an industry as private as finance, almost all information needs to be kept under wraps. Even a seemingly innocent Tweet such as “Got takeout in the office cuz I’m working super late tonight on a big project!!!” could tip off competitors or reporters that something big – an acquisition, executive turnover, a new account – could be in the works.  Once information slips, a possible deal could go south.

Gen Y in the Workplace: Helping them to see value of face-to-face connection

Gen Y in the Workplace - Understanding Generational Differences

Gen Y in the Workplace – Understanding Generational Differences

Kary Takach spoke up about her experiences in the hospitality industry at Andaz Wall Street. She understood the importance of embracing technology in her industry, especially to help foster loyalty among guests and ensure they choose her hotel again when they come back into town. She noted, though, that in a business like hospitality, sometimes nothing can replace the comfort that comes with face-to-face interaction. It’s a reminder that she has had to give to some of her younger, iPhone-addicted employees.

The Gen Y-ers in the room were receptive to Gen X /Baby Boomers’ concerns. As a matter of fact. a few even acknowledged how overwhelmed they often feel with the daily appearance of new tech apps, even though they’ve grown up embracing the latest gadgets, platforms and ways to connect.

What Gen Y in the workplace can learn: Appropriate use of social media

The Gen Y-ers present also agreed that for every brilliant Tweet or Facebook post, there are probably ten more useless ones, and sorting through the sludge of the Internet can be exhausting.   A few admitted that they and their colleagues had some harsh reality checks when one of their seemingly innocent social media posts spun out of their control, garnering unwanted attention.

Despite any generational differences, both groups at the event agreed that each generation had plenty to learn from the other. The more experienced professionals could help the Gen Y-ers (especially the ones that thought Tweeting out a picture of their morning coffee was a productive use of time) determine what belonged on public social media accounts, and what information needed to be kept private. It’s a lesson that too many young workers have had to learn the hard way. They agreed that older colleagues shouldn’t be afraid to create very specific rules about what can and can’t be shared publicly, and then enforce punishments if certain info is still leaked.

What Gen X/Baby Boomers can learn from Gen Y-ers

It was generally accepted that Gen Y-ers now had a chance to become the experts in their places of work. They could help their colleagues understand the ins and outs of managing a social media account, discover compelling and informational online contacts and dream up new ways to reach out to clients via the web— All invaluable strategies that should be enough to set generational differences aside as they could greatly benefit the bottom line of the organization.

Most importantly, “neither side can profess to know it all,” said one of the Experts who asked to remain anonymous.  “I know I’m on top of my game for what I do, but someone can easily come up behind me representing the new pinnacle of talent and achievement,” she pointed out. “I know I need to take a step back and see how Gen Y-ers can help me in my long-term growth, just as I am teaching them. One of the hardest parts is making your own standards and rules for what gets put out there, and sometimes you just have to step away from the computer and figure it all out.”

Negotiating Salary: Proven negotiation strategies

by Cindy Cabral

From Negotiating Salary basics to how to negotiate with your peers to the impact of stereotypes and how to come across strong without sounding aggressive, this article covers it all. A must read!

Negotiating Salary, the proven negotiating strategies you don't want to miss!

Negotiating Salary, the proven negotiating strategies you don’t want to miss!

Proven negotiation strategies was one of the most popular topics in the recent Red Shoe Movement event in NYC. Among the many questions asked during two rounds of this topic, negotiating salary was the one we spent most time on.

Negotiating salary

Participants were concerned about how to have a conversation about salary and benefits.

Experts shared the following:

– Do your due diligence by researching websites such as glassdoor.com and salary.com to get a feel for what other companies are offering within their packages.

– Keep a running list of your accomplishments.

– Research salaries for positions below and above your own.

– Know your strengths and assets within the company.

Expert Xiomara Wallace shared that when it comes to negotiating salary “you must know how to sell yourself, what you have to offer to employers and it begins with answering the following questions: What do you bring to the table? What is your experience?  What is your worth?” She also added: “When you’re looking for new employment never tell a new employer what you already make. Do not reveal your salary but if you do, never lie because some employers may ask for pay stubs. The best way to find out what a company may or may not be offering is to ask for a salary range.”

Expert Sandra Plaza suggested that when negotiating salary you must “highlight the cost effectiveness of your abilities.” For example being bilingual represents an extra asset you bring to any company you interview with.

Negotiating salary when you’ve been in the company for a long time

Expert Chris Castillo shared the following: “Go for it! Do it before your mid-year review. Know your market value, show that you are a top performer. Show the data for where you need to be. Ask for the raise and have a candid conversation which includes a time frame for your salary increase.”

She explained that  “role playing is a great way to prepare for these conversations. Negotiate with your husband and family. Practice outside of work in an environment where you’re comfortable and then move the strategy to the workplace.”

Turning a negotiation into an opportunity

How do you turn a negotiation from a challenge to an opportunity?— Asked Christina Saenz- Alcantara.

Expert Lily Benjamin said: “You need to know what you want to ask for. Your goal is to take the person where you want to go. Practice active listening, which means, listen for emotions and feelings. Really inquire about the person you are talking to and about the company.”

Expert Chris Castillo shared: “Women seldom negotiate. They settle for 5 to 10 % salary increase while men settle for 10 to 20 %. Express to your employer what you currently make and what your expectation is based on what you know and the research you have done. Be explicit, but also ask if there is room for negotiation. The worse they can say is that there is no budget for a salary increase. But know your worth! Prove your competency! Be confident about what you are asking for!”

Impact of stereotypes

The room was filled with a majority of women from different cultures and backgrounds. Participants wondered how they could internalize confidence with the kind of stereotyping and discrimination they often experience in the work place.

Experts shared the following insights:

-Be confident in your abilities.

-When you deliver a product and the product is good, you’re recognized for it. That is America!

-Ambition goes a long way and employers love it as it helps you move up the ladder.

– Having a strong drive is important.

-Be patient and don’t jump to conclusions about others’ opinions of you.

-Experience will speak for itself.

Negotiating with peers

Some participants expressed their frustration when communicating with their peers because they felt they didn’t know how to adequately share responsibilities, delegate, or even build consensus to reach a common goal.  Experts gave great advice:

-Try to influence without being authoritative. Build a relationship with each team member to make them feel they are being heard.

-Establish rapport with everyone on your team so people want to work with you.

-Change the setting where you meet with your team. Have team gatherings and outings to get to know one another.

-Figure out individuals’ weaknesses and strengths.

-Practice kindness. The more kindness you practice the more kindness you get back.

-Don’t take responsibility for what others are not doing.

-Have conversations that don’t involve work.

Negotiating when you’re younger 

Participants asked about negotiating within a team which  includes younger and older people than themselves.

-Create a track record of success, so it speaks for you.

-Find your allies before you begin negotiations.

-This generation feels they are entitled so meet them half way.  Ask questions to have them meet you where you’re at. – Keeping an open dialogue is the best way.

Proven salary negotiation strategies

Proven salary negotiation strategies

How to come across strong without sounding aggressive

Expert Lily Benjamin addressed this issue with the following: “Emotions will come across in negative ways when negotiating because you are trying to sell something you are passionate about. This causes you to forget to listen. State your intentions and be logical. People respond to logic not emotions. Redirect your emotions during negotiation.

Other experts shared the following:

-Show objective data.

-Emotions and passion can hijack objectivity and your negotiation techniques.

-Find your allies before you begin your negotiations.

-Refine your tools.

Salary Negotiation Strategies and Techniques

Salary Negotiation Strategies and techniques

Salary Negotiation Strategies and techniques

By Abigail Kuhn

Salary Negotiation Strategies and Techniques was one of the most popular topics at the Red Shoe Tuesday event at the New York Times. It attracted a large group of participants looking to learn strategies to put into practice immediately.

These are some of the highlights of the questions asked by the Explorers regarding salary negotiation strategies in the group and the suggestions provided by the Experts.


Salary Negotiation Strategies: How do I negotiate a salary?

Deborah Radcliffe
– Preparation is key, you need to research and understand your value in the market place.
– Be clear about your contributions to the company with your manager and if you don’t get a response, ask why.
– You are your best PR agent, advocate for yourself.

Marcelo Silbert
– As a business owner, the less I see you in my office, the more money I’m willing to pay you
– Instead of bringing only problems to the table, bring not only problems, but also solutions.

Effective communication in the workplace

Effective communication in the workplace

Salary Negotiation Strategies: If you work for a non-profit organization, how do you approach a boss to negotiate a salary?

–Asked by Explorer Margali Lopez

Vanessa Smith-Your work speaks for yourself. Work your hardest and make sure you stand out in a group.

Deborah Radcliffe- Sometimes the best time to ask for a raise in salary is right after an employee has left.

Salary Negotiation Strategies: What if you really want to stay where you are, how do you not play the charade of looking at other companies?

– Asked by Explorer Meghan Gourley

Eric di Monte- Know the person you are negotiating with. If you have seen reactions in the past when other people have asked, keep them in mind.

Marcelo Silbert- Know as much as you can and understand priorities in the company and always approach the salary negotiation strategies in an unthreatening way.

Vanessa Smith- I know the best time to come to me is when we’ve had a good Q1 or Q2

Katherine Salazar- Always negotiate.

Salary Negotiation Strategies: Is the salary that is being offered, truly what is being offered?

– Asked by Explorer Megan Siemers Livingston

Eric Di Monte- One of the things of salary negotiation strategies is to know the company. In most companies there is room to negotiate, but it is all about expectations.- Don’t ever show your hand first.

Tiffany McFarquhar- It all depends on the position you apply for.

Angelita Roman – Not everything is about money or salary; it’s about the quality of life too.

Marcelo Silbert- Show that you care about the business.

Salary Negotiation Strategies: How do I negotiate for my boss to let me go to a conference?

How do I negotiate for my boss to let me go to a conference?

Effective communication in the workplace: How do I negotiate for my boss to let me go to a conference?

Yvette Sanchez- Let your boss know what is in it for them to let you go to a conference.

Salary Negotiation Strategies:  How do I approach women bosses?

– Asked by Explorer Mariana Pena Cater

Vanessa Smith- Be assertive. It sometimes seems that we are too aggressive if we are trying to negotiate, but we aren’t.

Deborah Radcliffe- Aggressive, like being in someone’s face is different, being assertive is what you want. You can talk about your accomplishments without being aggressive.

Additional salary negotiation strategies and effective communication in the workplace suggestions:

Deborah Radcliffe
– If you can’t negotiate, sometimes you just have to walk away.
– Find others to advocate for you.

Marcelo Silbert
– Find out what metrics your company uses and understand what people expect from you.

Patricia Pedraza
– Keep a really good track of your accomplishments, it can help you get a raise.

Vanessa Smith
– When interviewing, know the company top to bottom.
– We are all our own ambassadors.

Generational differences: Gen Y in the workplace

By Cheress García
While addressing generational differences, participants of the Mutual Mentoring Circle “Attracting Younger Workers to Your Team” wanted to understand the dynamics of recruiting, managing and retaining Millennials or Gen Y in the workplace.

Generational differences

Generational differences

How Do You Get Gen Y in the workplace?

Our top answer among our experts was “Give them an opportunity to provide meaningful work and show them where and how they are adding value.” In addition, Marisol Bravo said that providing exposure to senior management to present their work and share their ideas is a key detail that attracts them and keeps them engaged. These Gen Yers want to see opportunity!

Generational Differences: How Do You Retain & Manage Millennials?

Kyle Horan: “Set reasonable expectations early. This ‘generation me’ should have clear understanding of his or her role within the organization.”

Lucida Plummer: “Find out what their agenda is, this will guide the relationship.”

Erie Stith: “Have them understand that moving ahead doesn’t necessarily mean upward mobility. Gaining cross-functional skills to increase your value is also crucial to advancement.”

Adalfri Cuevas:”Appreciate and recognize them.”

Gen y in the workplace

Gen y in the workplace

Generational Differences: What about the interns?

Explorer Dawn Diaz explains that she runs a non-profit organization and she has difficulty retaining young workers although they don’t have experience.

An Expert’s response: Create a one- year internship program; build relationships with the best schools so that they can get college credit for their work.

How do you address generational differences between older generations and Gen Y in the workplace?

Kyle Horan: “It’s a two way street, both parties have to work to understand each other.”

Megan Siemers :”There is opportunity to have some reverse mentoring and not just have the older generations mentor the Gen Yers.”

Additional advice on generational differences and Gen Y in the workplace:

Provide flexibility, let them work “how” they want to work, whether it’s working from home or another space. Sitting at their desk is just not for them!

Beware of the fact that younger workers dislike being micromanaged and want the freedom to innovate.