Presence, which we define as awareness without prejudice, 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. In our current COVID-19 environment, where we can’t physically be present and uncertainty and fear are pervasive, practicing purposeful presence is even more critical.
We think of presence as the triad of our cognitive, emotional, and physical experience. All three are connected and playing out in our lives. In leadership, presence means noticing where we’re starting from in each of these spheres as we go to lead.
When we connect first with ourselves, we are more available to be with what is present for others. We also have more choice in how we react and make decisions, giving us an opportunity to shift from emotions like fear and anxiety back to our individual and collective purpose.
Right now we’re not just dealing with the virus – we’re also facing a virus of fear. It’s important for leaders to be honest, to put people in connection with the truth of what’s happening, and then create a response that is more purposeful and proactive.
Making these shifts can be challenging. Here are just a few practical things we think can help:
We will host a longer conversation next week on the value of being purposefully present as a leader along with some more tools and techniques for how to practice it. We will also soon be offering an opportunity for us to practice presence together virtually, so stay tuned via our newsletter.