Establishing Credibility, Confidence and Leadership Presence in the Workplace

Earlier this month, MPBF’s Association of Professional Women hosted a packed house for its quarterly event- an evening with renowned author and public speaker, Cara Hale Alter. Relying on 20 years of research, Alter has a deep understanding of how nonverbal communication shapes the perception of leadership presence. Particularly for women in the male dominated legal field, certain skills are critical in order to develop leadership presence, or as Alter refers to it, visible credibility.

According to Alter, there are three pillars that hold up the appearance of credibility and confidence: strong posture, strong voice, and strong eye contact. These skills cannot be underestimated. Eye contact, the skill that takes longest to cultivate, is the number one indicator of trustworthiness. The most effective communicators know how to use all three pillars simultaneously. Misstep on one and the entire trajectory of the conversation can change.

Body language resonates with an audience. Alter highlighted that everything from the position of one’s hands and feet, to voice inflections, to the alignment of one’s eyes and nose toward the listener matter in communication. Speakers often unknowingly send signals of nervousness to listeners, which translates to a lack of confidence. Alter engaged her female audience in exercises to activate the diaphragm, call and response vocal drills, and demonstrated how modifying seemingly minor stances and positions can establish authority in an interaction.

Ebony Koger, a senior litigation associate who co-leads the firm’s Association of Professional Women shared: “Personally, creating women run groups within male-dominated professions is essential to foster balance in the workplace. Women and men are different. It is a good thing. However, this transition calls for a supportive space for women to collaborate and thrive without the worries of fitting into a male-dominated social structure.”

The Association will run its next event after the new year and aims to continue helping advance business and leadership opportunities for women professionals.

Latest News

HOA Defense Verdict in San Diego County Superior Court

Verdict in favor of Defense following one-week bench trial in San Diego. Murphy Pearson attorneys Suzie Tagliere and Tina Li successfully defended a large HOA against claims of unfair election conduct. Through their presentation of evidence and cross-examination of Plaintiffs’ expert and percipient witnesses, Suzie and Tina were able...


2023 Director Elevations

Murphy Pearson is pleased to announce the elevation of Claire E. Bellefleur, Alston L. Lew, and Adrian P. Sacharski to the positions of Directors. Claire‘s primary practice consists of representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in Washington State’s Title 11 rules and California State’s Probate Code, including trust and probate litigation,...


Firm Adds Associates to Begin New Year

Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney begins 2023 with expansion in both their San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. This month, associates Mariah S. Cooks (Golden Gate University School of Law) and Marlin Gramajo Gillespie (University of California, Los Angeles School of Law) joined the firm. An associate practicing out...