What does it mean to have a presence? How do women achieve their goals when working with others in the workplace and at home? Having a classy presence is about your style of being — your demeanor— through your body language, tone, and attitude.
Your presence is unique to you. It’s your individual brand and a significant factor in how you’re perceived. Your presence directly influences your ability to get what you want and succeed. Consider your goals and aspirations, and how you want others to see you in a light that will distinguish you.
Observe any leader you’ve admired. You can see the impact of their presence through the approaches they take, through the way they behave, through the quality of how they connect with people, and through their demeanor. Here is a formula that you can easily recall by thinking: A+B+C+D. These four essential elements will provide the means through which you can impact people through your presence. They are your APPROACHES, BEHAVIORS, the quality of CONNECTION with others, and DEMEANOR, (the constructive energy you bring).
Let’s look more closely at each one:
- Your Approaches convey your attitude and frame of mind; how you are feeling about what you are addressing. This can include the position you take when facing and addressing people and situations. What can you observe about the approaches you take?
- Your Behaviors are the actions you take. Your actions reflect your intentions and your values; for instance when you act with integrity. What are your behaviors reflecting on you?
- The Quality of your Connection with People helps you convey how you want those around you to feel. Do you want them to feel considered and respected? People interpret what they are feeling in the way someone has connected with them.
- Your Demeanor reflects and broadcasts your state of mind and attitude. It expresses positive or negative energy in the way you conduct yourself in general. It is visible whenever you enter a room, have a conversation or participate in a meeting. Your attitudes will be evident in your facial expressions, your voice, and your body language. It will be visible to others whether you are attentive or distracted, agitated or relaxed, tired or ready, impatient, or calm.
The impact of your presence is well within your control at every moment. Becoming aware of these four elements is the key to getting what you want.
Think for a moment about your presence. What does your demeanor reflect about you? What happens when you walk into a room, participate in a meeting, or deliver a challenging message? How does your presence strike others? What impact are you actually having? Is it the impact you want?
As your awareness increases, you will notice that people feel your presence. As you integrate A, B, C, and D into your daily way of being, you will get more of what you want from others. People will see your classiness, other’s cooperation with you will increase, problems will be solved more efficiently, and your reputation will rise. Your presence is the essence of who you are that comes through how you treat people. Maya Angelou shared words of wisdom when she said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
The insights of this article are the opinions of the writer.
Stay tuned for the release of our new book! Grit, Grace and Gravitas: The Three Keys to Transforming Leadership, Presence, and Impact, by Jane Firth, MSOD and Andrea Zintz, Ph.D.