How your presence matters?

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Your presence as a leader matters more because you are being observed. Your people watch you because you are the leader.  Your presence is your body language, your facial expression and the stuff that you are not saying.

Wayne Dyer shares that “Our presence instills clarity and confidence.” It certainly can instill those things and on our anxious and stressful moments it can instill anxiety, fear and worry.

If leadership is about leading your team or a group of individuals toward a common goal, then the way you go about it matters greatly.

The best leaders instill confidence and clarity.  This is done through your presence.  That does not mean the presence is inauthentic, it means that you need to be mindful of not only what you are saying, but the way you are saying it.

Consider this quote from Edwin H. Friedman, “For whenever a “family” is driven by anxiety, what will always be present is a failure of nerve among its leaders.”

Here is a short list of items to consider to strengthen your presence:

1.) Posture: When someone leans in it means they are getting serious.  When someone leans back it means they are trying to relax and quiet internal or external anxieties.  When you smile you are saying “I accept you and this is ok.” When you are serious faced you are saying “Pay Attention”

2. Voice Tonality:  A raised voice or not listening increases the intensity and anxiety of the situation.  A quieter voice can be effective depending on the situation.

3. Hand Gestures:  I have this tendency sometimes to put my hands in front of my mouth.  This is different that putting my foot in my mouth.  Be careful with those hands because they can be distracting and take away from your message.

4. Reactivity vs. Clarity:  During times of great organizational change, the leader must remain connected to individuals and the cause vs. staying connected to the anxiety.  This is about staying clear about the direction and who you are vs. becoming entangling in the “drama” or the emotion of the situation.

The greatest influence of your presence is a strong internal monitoring system.  This is not dissimilar from the thermostat in your home.  As the heat increases internally, be mindful of what it is and be careful to try to get rid of it.  Allow the intensity to be there and find out why.

For me, I will often recognize the anxiety, stress or unfavorable thought by acknowledging.  Remember, thoughts are not usually reality they are your friends.

Remember that our business culture wants to push us to a place of safety and security.  In actuality, your job as a leader is not to remove the uncertainty but to embrace this as a part growth and improvement.