What is Presence?
It is a grounding and harmony in this very moment. It is a physical alertness, an emotional acceptance, a spiritual awareness and union with what is in front of us in the here and now.
It is a vital consciousness to who we are and what we are sensing; it is mindfulness to what is meaningful.
As I reflected on this session, I quickly remembered what often happened when I was growing up. My Dad is a disciplinarian and my Mum tends towards the advice-driven approach of discipline.
One of the instances that stand out is that when I hear my Dad’s car horn, when approaching the house, I used to feel a sense of fear. My siblings and I will clean up anything and everything to avoid being scolded.
On the other way round, my Mum’s presence came with warmth and less fear. Her presence created an atmosphere of calm.
The amazing thing about the presence both of them created is that it worked out for my good. I love the fact that I have learned from both of them and defined when, how and where use each type of presence
I want you to pause for a bit and ask these questions about yourself: “What happens when you enter a room?”
Do people instantly keep quiet? Do people’s faces lighten up? Do you bring calm or spice that invokes action? What does your presence create?
What kind of presence are you trying to create? What is taking away from the people, things and activities you are supposed to be present in?
In this Coaching session, about a Coach Needs To Create Presence, there is a starting definition that is worth being mentioned:
“Coaching Presence is the ability to be fully conscious and create spontaneous relationship with the Coachee, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident”.
I stumbled on a post on medium post a few hours before writing this and it was about the 7 habits of Truly Charming People. Interestingly, the first point was that, “Charming people give you their undivided attention”
We are currently in a world where the attention span of people is becoming shorter and shorter, as a result of many reasons – some are fearful, some are constantly looking for the next shiny object and some are bombarded by an overload of information.
As a Coach, you need to go past the ‘discomfort’ that may come with being patient enough to listen in to the Coachee without any sense of judgment.
The Coachee is the hero and you need to find a way to get them to feel open and secured that you are spiritually aware, physically alert and emotionally connect to what they are sharing.
How can you do those important things and still be close to the things you are supposed to be closed to?
One way to cultivate presence in my everyday relationships is to identify what I and the other person want from a relationship. Then, gradually offer it.
Even if I don’t enjoy the activity the other person love, I need to find a way to be a part of it that makes them feel great and excited that I am fully present.
In the coaching world, this is even a must.
The Coach must invest time, invest money, encourage them, ask them more about that activity, be intentional about that hobby or work that they do, make them feel that you are really there and here.
The conversations should be about what the coachee loves by pulling yourself into their presence. Being present with the Coachee give them the opportunity to be open about who they are.
As we grow, our lives become more structured and rational – in a black and white form. The work you do may also make your mind go in a specific way.
It is the task of the Coach to keeping things light-hearted, making it all about the coachee.
In our everyday life, this about this: – mobile Phones – does this help us to be present or absent? Perhaps, we press our phone all day long because we are afraid or not comfortable to share first especially in a networking event.
For the coachee, you need to help them overcome their fear by removing distractions and paying attention.
Many things in coaching may look awkward – asking questions, being silent, asking for clarification, yet these are the things that will give the coachee the opportunity to express themselves, while the coach listens attentively.
To maintain presence, as a Coach, you should bring/do this:
-Wisdom: Unleashing that of the Coachee and mixing yours to it.
Question: Is it possible to be mindfulness in chaos (even when not calm)?
The inside is the key to our presence. You can choose your response, your emotions and the ways to react to things. You can have calm in chaos.
Paying attention to every details and answer of the coachee, will bring tremendous results in the coaching relationship and to the growth of both parties.