There are people who walk into a room and are naturally recognized as leaders. They seem to gain followers without even trying. They have a presence about them. Who do you know like that? Is it you?
Presence (both professionally and personally) takes more than showing up, although that’s a first step. It’s felt. People gravitate towards people with presence. They instantly gain an audience.
People with presence…
- Demonstrate confidence in a room
- Don’t need a title to be seen as a leader with various groups
- Communicate with clarity
- Listen actively
- Have influence (when they speak and when they don’t)
Presence has always been a defining characteristic in leadership. The best leaders have it and it can set you up for a promotion, no matter where you’re at in your career. Leaders and those aspiring to be need to develop it and use it. Everyone has an opportunity to grow in this area. When you increase your presence, you increase your impact.
You expand your presence when you…
- Leverage tools to communicate.
We leverage presence better when we can see each other. While face-to-face is the preferred way to communicate, another good alternative is video. At Marco, video conferencing is an important part of keeping our remote offices connected. We also use video to deliver more personalized messages within our workplace. Other ways to expand your presence is by using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media tools.
- Share your competency.
This isn’t about flexing your muscles to show how smart you are. People with presence have talent and expertise and know how to humbly and confidently present it to others.
- Be consistent.
Maintaining and increasing presence takes a commitment with every interaction. Establish a schedule to connect with your circle and hold yourself accountable to follow through. This can be done in person, over the phone or on video. It’s also important to have a consistent personal image. How you dress and groom, how punctual and organized you are and how prepared you are when presenting can establish your presence. The key is consistency.
- Broaden your view.
When you see the bigger picture, you gain a bigger presence. Look beyond yourself and expand your thinking to understand other people’s perspectives. It will help you formulate better ideas and plans. The broader your knowledge, the wider your presence.
- Mind your body language.
Your body is speaking all the time. It sends a clear message, even when you are not saying anything. People with presence are intently aware of their non-verbals and use them to communicate more effectively. This is the hardest skill to refine and takes mindfulness.
People often think they have a greater presence than they do. Ask a trusted advisor to assess yours and provide input on areas for improvement. Most people benefit from coaching on this. Having presence requires a blend of personal, interpersonal and professional skills that when combined draw people in and set you apart.