How To Project Warmth And Power

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how to project warmth and power

How To Project Warmth And Power

The way others perceive you can have a significant impact on your leadership.   If you are respected and trusted, your team will feel comfortable and inspired to do their jobs.  However, if you come across as aloof and harsh, your team may not perform at their highest level.

When you project warmth and power, you show authority with authenticity.  This means your team trusts your leadership and knows you care about them and their work.

Part of projecting warmth and power is maintaining your executive presence.  In our #1 LinkedIn Learning e-course, Executive Presence On Video Calls, you will learn how to maintain your executive presence and exude confidence during virtual meetings and presentations.

Below are three strategies to help you project warmth and power.


1    Lead By Example

If you want your team to perform at their highest level, you must do the same.   You actively demonstrate how you want your team to perform when you lead by example. 

Leading by example means being clear in your messaging, following through, and listing to your team. 

  • Clear Communication – Clear communication means your team understands what you say.    Your team doesn’t get confused by your messages or misinterprets your direction. For example, let’s say you are sending an important message to your team about an upcoming project.  There are several details you need to emphasize. To make sure your team understands this, you will need to be clear in your messaging.   A clear message looks like this: “Next Friday, we will need to have the first round of tests done for our prototype.   I will need the results of the hardware tests reported by Thursday at 5 pm.” An unclear message would like something like this: “Sometime next week, we will have to have our prototype tests done.  The results need to be reported soon.”  In the first example, there are clear deadlines, and deliverables.   In the second example, there isn’t a real sense of when and at what time anything needs to be done.  The clearer you are, the more trust and authority you build.
  • Follow Through – It is important you do what you say you will do.   This means following through.  Consistent follow-through will build trustworthiness.  For example, if you say you will email your team an update on Friday, make sure you do.  The more consistent you can be, the more your team will feel like you care about them and their performance. how to project warmth and power
  • Listen To The Team – If you want your team to listen to you, you first need to make sure you listen to them.  This means practicing active listening.  There are several ways to do this.  For example, you can dedicate a few minutes before each meeting to get feedback from your team.  Or you can have an open-door policy on certain days to hear from team members.  When you listen to your team, you show them that their voice matters.  This will build your authority as a leader who leads by example.

Leading by example builds trust between you and your team.  The more confidence you build, the more your team will follow your leadership.


2   Body Language + Tone Of Voice

Your body language and tone of voice say a lot about you, and how your project yourself.  This is because your body language and tone communicate whether you care or not.  Using positive body language will help you project warmth and power.

Consider how the following can help you as a leader. 

  • Tone of Voice – As a leader, it is important you find the right tone of voice.  The way you say something, your tone, has a significant impact on how it is received.  Your tone of voice will help your project warmth and authenticity to your team. For example, let’s say someone on your team is speaking to you about a few problems they’ve discovered.  When you respond, if your tone comes across as sarcastic, or flippant, your team member may feel like you don’t care.   This may lead them to not come to you with issues.  And that is not good for your team, or you as a leader.  Be sure your tone of voice projects warmth.
  • Gestures – The way you use your gestures can showcase power or intimidation.  You want your team to feel inspired by you, not afraid.  For example, pointing at someone can come across as accusatory.  No one wants to feel this way.  Instead, you can keep your hands relaxed, use an open palm when referring to someone in the room, and match your gestures with your level of excitement.  This means not over exaggerating your gestures when your message doesn’t match. how to project warmth and power
  • Posture – Your posture is the way you stand, sit, and hold yourself.  You want your posture to show you are confident, but not overbearing.  For example, sitting up straight, standing with your shoulders back, and holding your head up are all ways to have a confident posture.  Hovering or crowding someone projects intimidation, which you do not want to be as a leader.  Focus on positive posture so your team will see you as the confident leader they need.

In our e-course, Mastering Non-Verbal Communications, you will learn how to command attention and establish your presence without speaking at all. 

Practicing positive body language and tone of voice will help you project authority and authenticity.


3   Invest In Your Team

Investing in your team will help you build authentic relationships between you and your team members.  This is important because when your team feels like you support them, they will be more likely to do their work at their highest level.

kim kaupe

There are several ways you can invest in your team.

  • Get To Know Your Team – Getting to know your team is one of the easiest ways to invest in them.  When you build relationships, you show you genuinely care about each person.  This will boost their trust and confidence in you.  There are many ways you can get to know your team.  For example, you can ask about their weekend or spend a few minutes talking to team members about their interests after a meeting.  The more you invest in your team, the more they will trust your leadership.
  • Recognize Accomplishments – Almost everyone wants to know they’ve done a good job.  When you publicly praise your team, it makes them feel appreciated.  This will foster trust and build your authority.  There are many ways you can recognize team members.  For example, you can celebrate your team members at a monthly meeting, or send a team email.  The more praise you can give your team the more they will want to do a good job for you.
  • Support Them – It is important your team feels supported by you.  This is because when you support your team, they will feel empowered to do their job, knowing you will be there to help them.  For example, if your team feels supported, they won’t hesitate to reach out to you when a crisis arises.  But if your team doesn’t feel supported, they may not reach out to you until it is too late to fix the problem.  Feeling supported is critical. 

💡We recommend the e-course “Communication Within Teams” to help you learn how to invest in your team with solid communication.

When you invest in your team, you build strong relationships.  Your team will see you as a leader who cares about them and the work they do.

Projecting warmth and power is all about showing up authentically.  When you lead by example, use positive body language and tone of voice, and invest in your team, you will empower your team to work at their highest level and follow your leadership.


Do you want to learn more about how you can project warmth and power as a leader?  Join our private communications group and level up with our expert guidance.

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