Speed kills. That’s true on the road and it’s true at work. Many leaders are going so fast that they end up being distracted and superficial. They miss cues about what’s happening in others. Maybe even worse, they miss cues about what’s happening inside themselves.
Presence is the antidote to hurry. Yes, it involves slowing down. But you can move slowly and still be distracted. We all know that because we’ve all faked engagement on a Zoom call while looking calm.
Presence is a matter of attention. It’s tuning in to what’s happening around you, in others, and in yourself, in the moment. Presence is an act of courage and compassion because you may have to deal with difficult reactions and *gasp* feelings in you and those around you.
But you’re not going to make your best contribution if you’re covering up your squeamishness with hurry.
Presence tells those around you that they matter to you. In a distracted world, it’s a differentiator because most of us have become accustomed to being deprived of anyone’s full attention.
You can start a habit of presence by doing a simple 2-minute version of a practice I call the Action Replay (described here). Try that each day for a week. You may be surprised at what you notice.