How You Show Up Matters – Creating Leadership Presence
One of the things I have struggled with my whole life (well, almost my whole life) has been showing up in a way that allows what I have to say to be heard. It isn’t something that is really taught – you have it or you don’t and for those of us who don’t have it, well, sorry for you. Then one day my boss asked me a question that got me curious, what impact do you think you are having ? I had no idea how to answer that, how would I even know ? She then mentioned a story about a monk who was speaking at one of the big halls in America. He walked onto the stage to a noisy space and sat down and did nothing. Slowly the space quietened and settled. That, she said, is the power of presence. That is influence. I was hooked!
How could I generate that kind of presence ? And even more importantly, how could I overcome the chronic shyness I had when engaging with groups of strangers (not exactly useful when your job is observing and engaging in stand up’s).
I was pointed to Wendy Palmer and her book, Leadership Embodiment and started to practice the basic centering. Boy was I blown away by how it was able to get me out of extreme shyness and panic. Then I did the two day workshop and if I hadn’t been hooked before, I was then. I just didn’t realise how much of who I was and how I was showing up was out of my control – my body just showed up like that. I also wasn’t aware of how much information I would get about myself. How do I lead ? How do I follow ? How do I handle attack ? How to receive unpleasant feedback ?
It has been over a year and looking back, practicing centering and really becoming conscious about my body language and the message it is conveying has shifted so much for me I couldn’t imagine a day without it. So if you are looking for something different, something to add that ‘edge’ maybe investigate this and try it out. The book has much of the information needed although I found that I needed a coach to really understand and practice what I was reading. There is also a workshop in Johannesburg coming up in August.
Oh, and let me know if you do start to use it please ? I would love to hear how it worked for you (or didn’t work).