Presence is a key skill in coaching and is the ability to bring your attention to the present moment in time.
When we’re present we notice more, and gather more information that we can work with.
As a coach it’s important to gather all the information you can so you can best help the person in front of you.
If you’re talking to someone and you’re ‘there’ with them you can really start to understand them and their situation.
Often, our minds drift and we find ourselves moving out of the present and into our heads, thinking about things that happened, things that we want or often things we don’t want to happen.
Becoming More Present
So how do we become more present?
Well, we can start by slowing down and paying attention to what we see and hear.
Here’s a quick exercise:
- Look around you; what can you see? What colours can you see?
- What can you hear right now; can you hear one thing or multiple things?
Now you may notice that seeing or hearing something can remind you of something else, and it this point, you’re no longer present!
If this happens, bring yourself back and notice what’s around you.
Developing the skill of attention and being present can help us in all areas of life and really help us to become more effective in our work, our relationships and our life.
When you’re talking to someone, presence precedes empathy, and from being present we can gain empathy.
Empathy is identifying with or vicariously experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of someone.
We can’t begin to understand someone if we’re not there ‘present’ with them, but if we are, we can become much more effective in our communication.
Next time you have a conversation with someone that you want to understand better, consciously bring attention to that conversation.
Listen to the words that are being used. Look for the meaning behind the words. Try to get out of your head and into theirs and put yourself in their position.
If you ask good questions, listen, and look beyond the words, you’ll find yourself with a better understanding of the person you’re talking to and give yourself the opportunity to be much more influential.