Extracted from WOBI magazine
The power of presence is the key to inspiring people to bring forward any business venture
40% of leaders fail because of their incapacity to build relationships of trust and a favorable environment for their team. At least that is what we can assume from a survey done in 2011 by the consultancy Chally Group Worldwide with 1,400 executives, including global CEOs and human resource directors. Leadership expert Kristi Hedges maintains that those leaders have problems achieving success because they aren’t inspirational. “To excite others you must be authentic, feel passion for what you do and have ‘presence’.” In her latest book The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others (Amacom, 2011,) Hedges explains that “we all have an inspirational force inside us to undertake whatever project or influence and motivate the rest.” This force is “the power of presence,” an amorphous concept that has a great impact on all that we do.
Don’t confuse presence with charisma. The power of presence is the ability to connect and inspire others. “Anyone can develop this skill,” assures Hedges. Read on for some points from her book!
You are who you think you are, even when you aren’t paying attention.
We all have internal conversations; a mental and unconscious narrative that is repeated, says Hedges. Those frequent thoughts have a great impact in presence because they generate behavior, and as a result generate patterns of behavior. Many people have destructive thoughts about their own presence “I am incapable of speaking in public;” “I’m introverted and I don’t do well in meetings;” “I am never going to obtain the respect and credit I deserve”— which is then demonstrated through body language. “In order to have an irresistible presence, first you must take control of your mental narratives. Decide what values you want to emit and repeat them constantly. Create a mantra, for example, ‘I am the Steve Jobs of the kitchen.’ Each time negative thoughts enter into your mind, repeat the phrase.”
Your actions speak so loud your voice isn’t heard.
Facial expressions, the majority being subconscious, reveal who we are. In high-pressure situations they can contradict the message we are trying to communicate. Therefore, we must give “intention” to our behavior. What emotions do you wish to evoke from your audience? Answering this question is the first step to dominating body language.
We tend to struggle due to our own perfectionism.
We lose too much time trying to demonstrate we are competent. However, perfectionism is actually alienating and distances people. And if we don’t have a connection with our people, we lose our power of presence. “You must balance competence with vulnerability. Demonstrate that you are human. Listen to others and generate empathy.”
Turn yourself into the center of attention.
In order to inspire others you have to be interesting. “You must be visible. Look for opportunities to engage the attention of everyone. Visibility will make your message heard.”
Audit the power of your presence.
Ask for feedback. Investigate how people perceive you. “It is the fastest way to discover how you affect others”.