It’s Not About Attendance: Do You Have Presence in the Office?

As a CEO I sit in all kinds of meetings within and outside the company. It is interesting to observe the concepts of being “present” and having “presence.”

In the Character Triangle, and also in my June 18 blog,  I talk about the importance of being “present” as fundamental to Respect.   At the same time I’ve noticed that having “presence” is also important for rapidly developing respect from others. This is what I look for from myself and others at meetings relative to the attribute of “presence”:

Who enters the room making eye contact? Do they firmly shake hands while looking  directly at participants?

Are they great listeners by asking great questions that contribute to the group?

Do they listen by taking great notes?

Do they make eye contact with the entire room when they talk AND listen?

Do they sum up key points that the group values and builds upon?

Do they have great command of language and use words with precision?

Do they generously share and contribute without dominating and becoming overbearing? Or do people tune them out?

 If we are capable and skilled at the above we will have presence at those meetings.

Being present and having presence are foundation elements for having and giving respect. How do you and I score ourselves on these factors? Here’s homework for you and me:  at your next meeting consciously work on applying the elements described above. See if it makes a difference to how you and others felt about our contribution.

Live in the Triangle,


One Comment
  1. Kathleen says:

    I’d like to have this blog with me at times when I hear people talking to their elderly parents. Whether one is dealing with a CEO or the common man/woman, respect is critical. It seems to me that it is easier if you “have to”, rather than being respectful as a habit. Means you have to be present all the time, not just when your job/position/ circumstance warrant that behavior.
    When did we become so busy that we have time to be rude to anyone but can’t take the time to be respectful to everyone?

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