Presence?

 

Yesterday was talking with a business owner who was talking about how good his 2IC was. So had to ask – What are her best qualities? Why is she so good?

Here’s what was said.

Apart from the fact that she really knows her stuff. She’s very capable at her job. She has this presence. She commands attention.

Some people were born with it, they are mesmerising and they have this incredible aura about them, don’t they…

Some of us have to work at it.

Firstly, though why does presence even matter in the workplace.

Do you reckon a little more presence would help you be seen and heard?

Communicate better, get the team working together more productively?

Presence isn’t to do with title.

Presence is an intangible quality that is about the impact you make when you walk into a room? When you start and finish conversations? When you’re there, it’s there?

Could you be taken more seriously with a good dose of presence?

Have more impact in the conversations you’re having?

Could it help you walk taller or talk more articulately, even when what’s going on inside might feel like a bundle of nerves?

Let’s take a look around you. Who do you think has incredible presence?

What is it about them?

Often people say their Look. Ok, so they’re dressed well, they look good.

We have this awesome dad in our local sports team, he wears bordies all weekend, a suit during the week to go with his MD title, so nope – clothes, do not make the person. He has incredible presence regardless on the weekend. Another guy I know presents barefoot, so nope, presence isn’t about what you wear or not.

It’s actually so much more.

Again, look around…

They stand well. Yep, they hold their body well. TURN THOSE MUSCLES ON PEOPLE.

Your core does matter (a lot).

They sit well too. Yes, even sitting they command attention.

They’re making eye contact, listening with their eyes.

Their voice is one of their greatest assets.

They’re not a mouse and they’re not a bull frog. They have this ability to use their tone and pitch working with their voice dynamics to create interest and influence.

They tend to tend to the point rather than waffling and boring you… articulate and succinct.

Anything else that jumps out at you?

The ones that really have your attention and that you want to go and talk to, engage with, be around?

They’re smiling. They have this warmth. An energy that oozes out of them too.

So here’s how you can have a little more presence too:

1. Stand & Sit Tall not so you look like you have a carrot up your butt. However turn on your core. Suck in your belly, boobs out, shoulders back and walk tall. You’d be amazed the difference it can make.

I once worked with a golfer (he was tall), but slouched… and when he was in a bad mood and bodged a shot, his shoulders would drop and he’d walk head down (feeling rather pissed off) down the fairway. Guess what his competitors would realise, yep, he’s hurting, bad mood and so that would gee up their confidence. They’d stand taller.

So think about it, what are you telling people around you with your physiology (the whole crossed arms/blocking energy, is still important I reckon – whether you’re cold or not). No more wilting violet waiting to be asked to dance on the side of the dance floor. Own it.

2. Be open, be present and be proud – Take up space in a room rather than feeling like you don’t matter. You do and what you have to say, do and the value /expertise / experience you can add to your working environment matters too. Value yourself.

But I do, you might say. Here’s the thing….How do you not value yourself? This is done at a really unconscious level? Most people do not even realise it…

By not speaking up, not saying no, when they need to, a muffled, soft voice, rather than speaking clearly, some people speak too fast. It’s all done without awareness remember. So perhaps you could slow down, remember to breath, value your knowledge and experience. Even if brand new, you come with fresh eyes and can add value to a conversation, meeting or situation.

3. Smile and Connect – look people in the eye. Whether it’s a cultural thing or not. People matter. And if you smile and connect with them, on handshake, or during discussions, that will automatically bring a warmth to your conversation that may not have been there before.

Even if there is no talking involved. Years ago, I met a group of incredible women in Fiji, from very different lifestyles and cultures to me. In fact, when I ran the workshop, I quickly discovered we didn’t even have the English language in common, and as my Hindi skills are atrocious, I soon realised, I needed to teach differently, in order to help these women with confidence. They were not going to get it listening to my content. So we used all of these 3 tips above and the difference in their presence of how they left the workshop, compared to how they arrived was like chalk and cheese.

Always remember that a nod and smile sends off a vibe that you care about someone else. Humans no matter their environment, whether yours customers, your team, want to feel valued and appreciated. Recognised, cared for and like they belong. If you share your presence, give of your presence to another human being that is the best present you can give.

And ultimately that CARE FACTOR is what will build your presence.

Genevieve

 

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