When I’m speaking for a business or organization, I often say:
“The greatest present we can give someone is our presence.”
It might sound a bit corny but it’s the absolute truth.
My earliest exposure to presence was playing golf growing up and my Mom telling me to “take it one shot at a time.” I didn’t appreciate the future life lesson in those words but it certainly did help my golf game 🙂
In the business world, being present looks different but is no less important. When you’re present, you’re 100% engaged in what you’re doing and with others. People trust you, believe in you and follow you. Your ease and poise rubs off on others.
So, how do you generate more presence? Try these three things:
1 – Continual Check-Ins
“The greatest skill any of us can possess is self-awareness.”
The first step to presence is to check-in with yourself at multiple points throughout the day and simply ask, “On a scale of 1-10, how present am I RIGHT NOW?” Without self-awareness of where you currently are, there’s absolutely no way to change the behavior.
It’s a good idea to do this at all stages of your workday, from the minute you step into the office, through your meetings, calls, presentations and other tasks. You’ll probably notice that it’s more difficult to stay present at certain times in the day, which is completely normal. That’s when you employ the next two steps…
2 – Breathe!
Yes, it really is that simple.
Even if you’re not the sports-junkie I am, what’s the one thing you see every Outperforming athlete doing in the most intense, pressure-packed moments?
Taking long, slow, deep breaths (I call these “LSD breaths”).
There’s a scientific reason for it. When we’re really stressed, it spikes our sympathetic nervous system, causing our heart rate and cortisol (stress hormone) to go up and our mental alertness and cognitive function to go down.
When you do your continual check-ins, also pair it with at least 10 LSD breaths. As much as possible, try to do these through your nose: You’ll extract more oxygen and have greater mental clarity this way.
3 – Remove Unnecessary Emotions
What are the two most useless emotions we experience each day?
Guilt and Worry.
Guilt refers to a past event that you cannot change and worry refers to a future event that may or may not happen. If these things are causing your presence to suffer, what can you do to lessen these emotions?
Two good rules of thumb in lessening guilt and worry:
Guilt often involves another person. Do you need to make amends, apologize or have a conversation with someone because of something that happened?
Worry is usually related to an outcome (making a sale/presentation, getting a promotion, giving a good speech) and we only have indirect control over these outcomes. Ask yourself if there’s anything you can do in your preparation, process or actions to help alleviate this worry?
Another good way to look at it:
Use these three things and I promise you’ll generate greater presence. Others will feel it and it will benefit you in every single thing that you do.
NEW Program for Youth Outperformers Seeking World-Class Achievement Athletically and Academically