If you want to be a good connected leader, you must be present to both the situation and the people around you. Practicing “presence” sounds simple, but in today’s world of constant distractions and high-speed action, it can prove to be one of the most challenging aspects of leadership. Our research shows that it is as important to an organization’s vitality as oxygen is to fire.

Three important questions that help you measure your own “presence” in any situation:

  • Are you completely aware rationally? Are you getting the point?
  • Are you aware emotionally? Are you present to your own emotions and to those of other people?
  • Are you present physically? Is your body actually lined up with your emotions and your intellect?

When you can answer “yes” to those three important questions, you are fully present.

“For people to be present, to be able to connect in the here and now and not actually disappear through technology, or through what’s happened in the past, what’s happened in the future, but to be fully present, is the real key towards vitality. You’ve got to actually be there first in order for everything else to actually happen,” states Colin Oliver, former Asia Pacific Leadership and Development Director for Hewlett Packard.

Connected leaders begin with what is present, and end up more informed, trusted, and productive. Being present, interested, and curious is what really matters in leadership, because this will allow you to create important space and awareness for what is the next critical step in any situation or relationship.

We all get off track at times. But in order to regain your real “presence” in any situation, take these important steps:

  • Notice tension
  • Breathe consciously
  • Relax
  • Give your attention rather than having it taken

It’s something that is so simple, but it is so powerful in actually developing anything that’s going to be sustainable into the future. Be present, be curious, and be ready for surprise…

If you are interested in learning more about practicing presence as an important part of leadership communication, please check out The Vitality Imperative and our presence practices.

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