Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been exploring Personal Presence.
Presence) ‘Reveals itself as the magnetic, radiating effect you have on others when you’re being the authentic you, giving them your full respect and attention, speaking honestly and letting your unique character traits flow. As leaders, we must be technically competent to gain others’ respect, but it’s our unique genuine presence that inspires people and prompts them to trust us’ James Scouller, The Three Levels of Leadership
This week I want to share 10 simple ways in which we can ALL develop and improve our personal presence on a daily basis.
Here are some suggestions:
- Slow down! Our 24/7 ‘always on’ culture destroys presence. Having presence means ‘being present’ in the ‘here and now’. Which in plain English means focusing on what you are doing now, (and on the person you are with!) giving it and them your full attention and not getting distracted. (Research indicates that multi-tasking makes us less effective and reduces our IQ).
- Put strategies in place to manage your health and wellbeing. It’s hard to be present when you’re exhausted.
- Manage your internal ‘state’. Something as simple as some deep breathing can help to calm us down and to feel more focused.
- Become aware of your limiting thoughts and beliefs – the ‘I can’t, the ‘I shoulds’ and other things you say to sabotage yourself. Learn to understand these and to let them go. (I know that sounds simple and it’s not. That’s where working with a coach, mentor or colleague can really help you to re-write those old scripts about yourself!)
- Next time you walk into a room, think about how you can do so with ‘leadership presence’.
- Do you look leader-like? You might argue that ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ but the truth is that people do just that! This is not only about what you wear but how you carry yourself and your body language generally.
- Learn to communicate your message. If you know you struggle to be succinct when you are under pressure ask for a moment to reflect before responding. And remember, less is generally more (in other words, no waffling!) Practise getting to the point quickly!
- Identify a great role-model and find a way to work with them.
- Experiment with doing something different. Just one thing.
- Be clear what you want to be known for – and why. That’s your leadership brand.
How do you know if you’ve got Personal Presence? People will seek you out; you’ll mobilise others’ energy; you’ll be ‘heard’, you’ll influence positively and you’ll probably be described as a great listener and a champion for others’ growth. In short people will want to work with you and for you because they trust you, like what you stand for and know where they stand with you – and they know that you’ll challenge and support them to do their greatest work.
Not sure if that’s you? Find someone who will tell you the truth! (Probably someone with Presence!)