My husband and I usually discuss different topics on leadership and what it takes to make an impact and receive results in an organization. One of our weekly discussions that came up was the topic of “presence”. What does this mean? We both had similar answers, which both summarized how presence is more than just being present, it is how you make your presence add the most value to the people around you.
In order to add the value factor it takes: courage, commitment, knowledge, passion, and most important confidence. Many people lack confidence, whether it is due to the lack of knowledge or personal barriers they are overcoming. For many women it has a lot to do with personal barriers and belief in their abilities. Like one of my favorite books, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, she explains how even when we are the most critical of ourselves or when we are not feeling very confident it helps to sometimes fake it. By this, I dissected it to mean that we must first plant the seed of self-confidence in order to build true confidence within ourselves and our abilities to succeed. Additionally, research suggested that the “fake it till you make it” strategy was supported “when people would a assume a high-powered pose (for example, taking space by spreading their limbs) for just two minutes” to increase their dominance hormones (testosterone) and decrease their stress hormones (cortisol). This strategy is also mentioned in the TED talk by Amy Cuddy who elaborates on how an individual’s body language shapes who they are. As some women may struggle with personal barriers, it is that with confidence that establishes our presence in any organization. We need to be able to put our self-doubt/self-criticism aside and take risks to create opportunities for ourselves and to add value to people we interact with daily, even if we need to fake it at first.
So, the next time you enter a room or a meeting think about the energy you want to produce. Be cognizant of how you want to be recognized; walk in with a confident smile, assertiveness, your head lifted high (not too high where you seem overly confident), and the attitude that you can succeed at anything. Please comment or leave feedback on my post as it is always welcomed. Lead with love.
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