New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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What is Presence?

Presence is a State of Awareness” (Doug Silsbee)  

When you think about our everyday interactions, the importance of presence can not be overlooked. It does not matter if you are discussing social or professional interactions, presence is everything. So, what is presence? Presence is being in the moment with the person you are speaking and interacting with. It shows caring and attention. Why is this important? The lack of personal presence can derail you as you progress in your career. Individual presence – you know it when you see and experience it. A good listener is someone with presence, but its more than just listening. It is also showing some warmth and genuineness, not being distracted when interacting with someone. Have you ever had the experience of your manager taking a phone call during your annual performance review? That is not being present!

How do you acquire presence? Just like any learned skill, you need to develop presence through practice. Most of us have either worked for someone or observed a business leader we admired because of their ability to be present, authentic and attentive. Think about a recent interaction you had on the job with a colleague.  Where you demonstrating presence? Where you paying attention, listening and mentally in the moment? If not, try it next time. You will find it can improve your work performance in terms of your interpersonal interactions.

Until next time…


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