Three Blind Spots That Can Derail your Promotion!

In today’s highly competitive business environment, every inch of credibility that your project matters to help you gain that advantage over your colleagues and competitors. Research has proven that higher the credibility quotient an executive displays more are his chances of getting a promotion. However, there are number of things about you that you are totally unaware of which is contributing to your bad credibility! Many of them are what executive coaches call as blind spots- areas that you don’t even know you have them. If that is the case, how do you identify them and get rid of them? Many of them could be totally unintentional and you could be oblivious about them but the point is, if others notice them and if they are contributing to being detrimental to your credibility, you need to identify them and get rid of or change them.

So how do you go about identifying these business blind spots? The best way is to ask a colleague or a junior to video record you during a staff briefing or a business presentation. As an executive coach, I video record my business clients using a smartphone that captures a video effortlessly. Then I playback the same and do a post-mortem analysis of every bit of what the client did with a figurative magnifying glass. Let’s now look at what to look for and how to correct them. There are 3 most common blind spots that many business executives have in a professional setting.

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Typical gestures that a credible leader avoids is moving his weight from one foot to the other, scratching his hair or chin, smoothing back of his hair or fiddling with the pen or any other form of fidgeting. Similarly, try not to cross your arms or play with any jewellery or attire. This takes the attention away from your face and people get easily distracted. When you are composed and your actions are only used to emphasis a point, you come across as a credible leader. Similarly when you stand behind the lectern, cross your legs, put your face down, constantly look at your notes- you unconsciously present a picture of feeling threatened, afraid, and someone who lacks credibility. You need to pull yourself together and adopt a posture that says you are confident. Hold your head high, plant your feet slightly apart, and address the stake holders confidently.

Using superfluous words and movements seem to head the list especially among business leaders. If you are continuously interjecting words in the middle of your sentences like ‘er’, ‘uh’,  ‘well’, ‘hmmm’, ‘like I said’, ‘really’ or ‘you know’, then your communication is not flowing smoothly. You need to let your sentences be crisp and flow without any fillers. This is important if you want to get your audience’s attention and influence them. Remember that when you stuff your presentation or business pitch with fillers, it’s hard for the content to come through and dampens the passion that should be a part of every presentation you believe in.

MISTAKESexecutive coaching, pune and mumbai
If you make a mistake or a slip of tongue, take it as a blessing! Surprisingly, your stakeholders would love to see the human touch in you. In fact, many global leaders intentionally make mistakes or bloopers to appear more vulnerable and in the bargain become more likeable among their teams or audiences. Either apologize and move on to the next point or make a self-deprecating joke about yourself to bring an element of humor in your business presentation or meeting. The trouble is, we tend to be harder on ourselves and the mistakes we make instead placing more attention on our audience’s need. This undue attention on ourselves makes us over-react to a mistake which could be totally unwarranted.

Vikram Kalloo
Executive Coaching, Mumbai-London


  1. Mandekar, Mumbai January 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Coach Vikram, incredibly practical and powerful information, even for veterans of the corporate world. Thanks for sharing a fresh perspective on leadership and performance.

  2. Lauren January 24, 2016 at 1:59 am

    I agree with your Vikram that executive presence has had a huge impact on my leadership and performance at the work place.

  3. Long champ January 23, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Vikram i agree with you. Executive presence is a huge asset while applying for a job, a raise, promotion. This article show how to become more influential and inspiring using one’s presence.

  4. Jacob Lewsi January 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Was reading your blog. Pleasant? Definitely not. Effective? Absolutely. I NOW understood the link between the leader’s executive presence and growth. I was deluded all this while that growth, performance is based on merit. But with passing years in corporate world, I have realized that it’s got to do a lot with the leader’s presence. A great read Vikram. Thanks for sharing. Will be contacting you soon.

  5. Morris January 11, 2016 at 5:41 am

    I always admire those successful people who seem to have it all- style, confidence,gravitas, charisma. Read your blog in detail and now I realized that it’s their bloody executive presence and it can worked on!!!! I would love to work on presence. Gonna read more stuff online about executive presence. Any book that you suggest?

  6. Elle January 10, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    No matter what you area of work, your presence is going to involve your success in any dealing

  7. Kaylene January 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Professional relationships in business can become stronger and more personal, if one party has good amount of presence. I personally have seen it with my boss. Everyone wants to work for him. I even have seen women staff literally falling in love with him because of his presence. I give the entire credit to his charisma and presence. Vikram your blog hit the nail right on the head. Probably share tips on how to work on one’s presence.

  8. Jennifer January 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I have to look at a person and just shake hands with him/her and I know if the person has presence or not.It’s only then that I accordingly do business with them based on my this little credibility test.

  9. Anna Smith September 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Age has its advantages, of course. It’s best to learn these skills of executive presence and derailing behaviors much earlier in life, so your career graph is more smooth. As a high potential talent these are the critical areas of leadership that I ought to be working on. Any more spots that we need to highlight on?


  10. Arun Kumar September 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Interesting article. It is very important for high potential talent to avoid such kind of mistakes if they are really serious about giving presentations to senior management.

  11. Winnie the pooh July 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I stumbled over here and must admit i liked these 3 simple yet effective ways to overcome professional credibility at the workplace. do share more tips for future reading.

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