3 Tips on How to be Present as a Leader: November 2018

David Graham October 30, 2018

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In a recent coaching session, I was working with a leader on how to coach his team more effectively. He proudly shared that he had been setting up regular one-to-one sessions with his team, but one direct report just didn’t seem to be getting it.

I asked him to tell me more about the sessions with her: what seemed to be working and where was he hitting a wall? He shared how he was asking open-ended questions, listening more deeply and tapping into his curiosity. I was thrilled to hear that he was nailing some of the core coaching competencies that we had been working on. “Tell me more,” I said. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks with a dazed look of realization.

“I have my eye on the clock, more than an eye on the conversation”

This was a humbling yet powerful “aha moment” for this leader. Most leaders exist in a “I am way too busy,” highly distracted work culture. Sometimes this means that we go through the motions, but fail to give the person in front of us our full and total presence.

If this is one of your challenges, fear not; thankfully, there are many ways to cultivate your leadership presence. Start by merely observing yourself with your team.

• How distracted do you feel in the moment?
• What are the things that steal your focus?
• What would have to shift in order for you to be more present?

Once you have made some observations, here are 3 strategies to expand your leadership presence.

1. Manage your calendar rather than having it manage you
2. Lean away from habitual multi-tasking
3. Practice techniques to be more “in the moment”

We’ve got some great blogs to deepen your understanding (see below) and we always welcome a call if you would like to further explore your leadership presence; it’s the greatest gift that you can give your team.

Stand tall and be present!

As leaders, we need to stand with those who inspire us to be a greater version of ourselves

David Graham

Dave coaches good leaders who want to be great leaders and he works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams. For transformational experiences, he takes teams out of the boardroom and into nature.