Welcome to Rubi’s First Guest Blog. Today, we are featuring Kathy Gingrich Lubbers, a highly talented and insightful Certified SAOL™ Consultant with The Rubi Ho Group. Enjoy!
The best present you can give is your presence.” – Anonymous
Hmmm. Now that’s a thought-provoker. Whether you’re a parent challenged in finding more time with your kids or a manager spread thin amongst too many direct reports; the concept of presence is a powerful one.
In fact, by many accounts, your presence is the most important aspect you bring to the table – any table. Because your presence is what makes the difference.
For the C-Suite leader and beyond, presence actually surpasses IQ, job performance and a plentiful skill set. Instead, it’s the number one skill to lead. That’s right, this “soft skill” – Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) – is the major contributing factor to ongoing success at top leadership positions.
Why is Presence Such a Big Deal?
There are many reasons. But the most telling is “presence” cannot be handed off or delegated. Each individual “owns” their own “presence” and chooses to be in the moment, or not, with the operative word being “chooses.” Think about it . . . how many times have you “gone through the motions” in meetings, listening to others or just plain doing your job.
Even more so, being present is emblematic of one’s values. Do you value the individual or individuals with whom you are present? Are they important enough to you to spend the energy – and exercise the discipline – to be present? Truth be known – we ALL can tell the difference.
Who hasn’t experienced the impressive waiter or waitress, who by simply focusing on you and your needs, made your dining experience both pleasant and memorable? For that matter, who hasn’t experienced just the opposite? The preoccupied server who mangles your order, ignores your table and generally ruins the dining experience for you. Yep, presence matters.
Or, better yet the visible leader who inspired loyalty simply by walking the halls and made the effort to call employees by name. This “presence” in our everyday work world made us feel like we were more than a number, motivated us to work harder, and just, generally, validated that we’re working for the right company.
But perhaps, the biggest reason “presence” is such a big deal is because so few give it to others. That’s what makes it – and the person – so memorable. I’m thinking of the old adage – people don’t remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel.
Through your “presence,” if you made them feel valued and “heard;” then you as a leader, manager, parent, friend, co-worker or peer has just made a difference in someone’s life.
That’s the power of presence.
6 TIPS to Become More “Present With Your Presence”
The great thing about “presence” is it’s a learned skill that can be practiced and honed. Here’s a few tips.
- Focus on others versus yourself. How many times are you distracted by your next point versus listening to others’ points? Let’s be honest, we all do this. Instead, focus on what the person is saying and THEN formulate your response. Then, and only then, are you “in the moment” and really listening.
- Ask questions appropriately. Ask open-ended questions and reflective questions. Leave questions laden with judgments and hidden agendas behind; and, practice staying away from questions that are easily answered with a simple yes or no. Be engaged but not controlling.
- We have 2 eyes, 2 ears and only 1 mouth… observe and listen 4 times more than you speak. All of our senses are involved in being in the moment. Use them to each of their full advantage. Note when you begin to speak more than the individual with whom you are present
- Acknowledge your biases and keep them in perspective. We all have biases. It is important to realize what they are and keep them in “check” in order to remain present rather than become distracted by a bias and taken out of the moment.
- Electronics have no place in a situation where your presence is the goal. Having cell phones even within sight has proven to undermine the import of a conversation. And, just as relevant, have you ever watched someone’s eyes drift over as the little message box floats down a computer screen?
- Lastly, and this is a stretch, but meditate. The research is compelling – meditation has a world of benefits and just one is mindfulness. Being more mindful will help you become more focused and eventually that focus can be brought to your presence with others. Enjoy!
Presence Surpasses Talent
Bottom-line, your presence is more memorable than what you accomplish.
Kathy Lubbers is a certified SAOL™ Consultant with The Rubi Ho Group. Kathy is a master at balancing leadership development, strategic planning and goal alignment with immediate, tangible results. As an entrepreneur and business owner, she knows what it takes to build and blend a team of professionals for optimum growth and performance.
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