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How to Hold Space with a Powerful Presence

Presence is an area of social and interpersonal skills that comes up fairly frequently in my role as a high-performance coach. A current, longstanding client may ask what it is, and a new client may come to me because they already know they need it.

 

While anyone, from school-age children to adults can possess Presence and hold space using that power, the three main areas of concentration for this discipline tends to be Professional Presence, Personal Presence, and Executive Presence.

 

Presence is NOT your image or first impression, nor is it your body language. It is largely your nonverbal persona.

 

I know there’ll be a reader who’ll call me out for being redundant because I said Presence is not body language but it is nonverbal.

 

To be clear, body language and nonverbals are not one and the same. They’re more fraternal twins than identical.

 

Where body language is related to physical movement and what you're doing with your body to...

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How to Increase Social Capital in a World that Lacks Decorum

I am of the opinion that the United States is headed toward a major correction in terms of decorum. Similar to fashion, how we behave in the company of others, and what is deemed to be correct, polite, and proper is cyclical.

 

Political discourse is largely to blame for the daily displays of vitriol, and the smartphone likely is to blame as well. Nothing good can come from humans with their heads buried in their devices for the better part of each day.

 

A decade ago my focus was corporate etiquette. There was never a shortage of blue-chip firms who sought guidance to ensure their people had professional polish.

 

Business was brisk as we swooped in to make sure middle managers and young executives knew how to comport oneself at a cocktail reception, checking to see that forks were held properly, beverages were sipped with eyes downward, and bread is torn and consumed in small pieces.

 

Over the past four years and with displays of poor manners in abundance, the...

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6 Ways to Know How Likable You Are

How often do you think about human relations? Not the textbook definition, but rather the words at face value and their most basic meaning.  

Are you conscious of how you are perceived by the people in your orbit?

If you work a professional job that may be how a colleague or an executive accept or even reject your contributions. For entrepreneurs and business owners, a review of how adept you are at human relations manifests as plum clients, more customers, and coveted contracts.

Human relations encompasses interpersonal skills and how your persona affects the people around you, all day, every day.

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is on the list of the top 100 non-fiction books of all time, and for good reason. It was one of the first, popular books written about not just how one should present themselves, but how to interact with others in the most successful way.

That the information written in this book which was first...

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The Assertiveness Reset – Moving from Meek to Masterful

“Yes” was my favorite word at my first, post-college career job. When you’re young and eager it is in your best interest to be a “yes” person.

I thought it would help me get ahead, so I said yes to every reasonable request from my boss and the absurd ones too.

I was in the high-end, luxury hotel business, so “yes” was expected. That is because the customer is always right. And yes, I did acquiesce to every client request as well.

“The customer is always right” has likely led throngs of “people pleasers” like me to forego the respect and power that one should start to amass in their career and for which you reap the rewards down the road.

It truly does matter how we show up and communicate in competitive situations — and by competitive I’m referring to everyday business life. Let’s look at that through the lens of assertiveness.

If you’ve been working or running a company for any length of time,...

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How Shy, Introverted, and Reserved Professionals Can Win at Small Talk

How to best connect with former and new acquaintances has been a hot topic since we went into quarantine more than half a year ago.

And it remains a popular question as we emerge from our state-sanctioned restrictions and straddle rekindling face-to-face relationships with virtual communications.

Of course, there are extroverts who are bursting at the seams! They want to be back in their normal workplace, which is not a makeshift home office, and interact with people, physically distanced, and face-to-face. They need that energy to thrive!

And on the other hand, there are the shy or introverted professionals who just can’t believe their good fortune!  I should rephrase that —we cannot believe our good fortune. As a quiet, socially reserved person, I’m definitely in the latter camp.

I became Zoom fatigued early on and stopped attending some meetings. Now I’m ready to go back — in moderation and be what my colleagues need me to be; a friendly face...

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Using Virtual Networking Groups as a Social Strategy for Introverts

Are you working from home right now, or is your office or workplace just business as usual with everyone in their normal place? Because so many working adults are in some way affected by the pandemic, are you feeling more connected to people than before the coronavirus came to your neck of the woods or less so?

What I know for sure is that statistics and polls pretty much say that few if any of the lives of professionals are remotely similar to what they were pre-pandemic.

Chances are that if you are working remotely, even that has lost some of its luster.

At first, it was like a dream. You didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn just to beat traffic or catch the train. And you felt like you could get more done from home because there were far fewer distractions.

The perks and benefits of working from home definitely outweighed the aggravation of needing to always be in the immediate vicinity of annoying co-workers or employees.   

But, months on, and...

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How Introverts Can Avoid Talking Politics at Work

I’m offended. In fact, I’ve been offended a lot lately. Most often the offender is on social media. It likely won’t surprise you the topic of the offensive dialogue is political, and some of it is simply vile.

 

Being a quiet person sometimes means choosing my battles wisely. In other words, I do my introverted best to think about how I’ll respond and then go to sleep with the offensive comments still at the forefront of my mind. Then I start a new day, still stewing and overthinking whether to respond.

 

I’ll give myself and all the quiet introverts a pass on this one because we’ll soon want to retreat, and if we are in the midst of a heated discussion it can be difficult to do so.

 

It is true that certain topics are best avoided in business and social settings. They’re the topics that we tend to be overly passionate about, both positively and negatively.

 

Money, religion, and politics, also referred to as the big...

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7 Tips to Sway People to Your Way of Thinking (Even While WFH)

These days it seems like your voice cannot be heard because other people speak so loudly.

It has nothing to do with you in particular, but rather the environment in general. When you are over-tasked and trying to keep your head above water at home and at work — and these days home and work may be one in the same, all you want from a business associate or a friend is a little compassionate understanding.

 

And the noise in their head is trying to fend off danger and annoyances and what may be trivial conversation.  So how do you make your presence known and your voice heard when connecting from a remote, home office?

 

Here is some food for thought. We are living manifestations of our environment. And the experiences in that environment informs our paradigms and how well whatever it is you want to present is received.

 

Those we work with, albeit at a distance are not familiar with our home environment. They’re not privy to our set up or our...

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7 Best Introvert Strategies for Speaking up in Meetings

Learn how to command the room with my step by step guide. I teach you how to be proactive, muster your courage and the best way to register on your superior's radars.

 Yikes! You were just called on to speak in front of your colleagues and you'd rather disappear - but that's not an option. If you're among the 71-percent of adults who identify as introverts, being called upon to speak up is akin to painful dental surgery.

But fear not, my friend, I've got some fool-proof tips to help you prepare for your moment in the spotlight.  

First, it's necessary to have a mindset shift. You can speak in front of a group if you truly want to conquer that fear. You have the ability to share a compelling story, share images that elicit emotions and make them laugh and lean in with anticipation - if you want to.

There are of course other options to speaking up in meetings. They include not moving up in your company, receiving the bare minimum in raises and not being viewed as a...

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Case Study: Do Table Manners Matter?

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Do table manners really matter? Ken was considered a rising star at the office and was hoping to be offered a promotion to lead one of the firm's European offices.

In the final days before a decision was to be made Ken was thrilled to be invited to lunch with his boss. After several minutes of small talk, his boss glanced at the menu and closed it, while Ken continued to consider the selections and drool over the dishes being delivered to other tables. When the waiter took their order, Ken hemmed and hawed before coming to a decision. After the food arrived, he tossed his necktie over his shoulder then tossed back his meal as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

Did this matter? Absolutely. Ken would have been smarter to consider this rare lunch invitation as a test to determine whether he could handle himself professionally and hold his own when representing the firm. Instead, manners and courtesies were not even a consideration as he prepared for the meeting.

Ken did not receive the...

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