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Entries from May 2017

Can you learn to have greater personal impact and presence?

17th May 2017

Personal Impact and presence


Can you learn to have greater personal impact and presence?


I’ve had years of practice.

As I reflect on my life and career developing a greater personal impact and presence has been a bit of a life long project and I’m still learning!!

I was one of those kids who would be at the back of the group and not say much. The last thing I wanted to do was bring attention to myself and be seen. I wasn’t very confident. That all began to change when I got my first full time job at 16 where my role was to interview people for work. It was one of the defining moments in my career. I had to present myself confidently and look as though I knew what I was doing…

Fast forward 20+ years, to the end of my corporate career where I was leading teams of people through change. I was really just beginning to understand what personal impact and presence was all about. Whilst I may have looked and been more confident I wasn’t always aware of the impact I was having.

I’ve learned even more since then and what I know now is it’s about how you physically show up and the emotional qualities that underpin this.

You my be sitting there wondering ‘so what’ or why is it important?

You are judged by the impact you have on others, so you set the tone and standards for those around you.

It’s not good enough to just ‘show up’ and hope for the best.

Here is a simple framework to help you develop and fine-tune your own personal impact. There are four elements and I’ve provided a summary below.


How are you physically showing up as a leader?

Most of what we communicate (53%) is through our physiology. Think about how you hold yourself when you are walking, sitting or standing. What are you doing with your hands? How are you breathing? What facial expressions are you displaying?

How you actually present yourself really matters and it’s the quality of how you show up that counts.

This is the foundation piece for presence and impact.

It’s reflected in the quality of the relationships you build, the levels of safety and trust that people feel when they are with you, and in the working environment that you create.


Purpose is all about your intention in any situation.

How often do you go into a meeting with a very clear intention of what you want to achieve from it?

How often are you clear about what you want (your intention) from others?

To be an effective leader your actions have got to match your intentions.

If you are thinking one thing and saying another people pick up on this.

When you are clear about your intention how you act and what you say will be completely congruent.

Leadership is about connection, so ensure you connect in some way with everyone you meet. You have to take the other person into consideration when thinking about your impact.

When you’re thinking about your intention for a one to one meeting think about these four things:

  1. What is your current relationship with them?
  2. How do you want this relationship to develop?
  3. What is the purpose of your meeting?
  4. How do you need to be (physically and emotionally) in this meeting?


Think of being present as where you put your attention.

I am sure you have been with someone and thought that they were not really with you their mind was somewhere else.

And, when someone seems distracted in a meeting, you notice that too.

So here are some questions to consider:

How often are you really present with the person in front of you?

Are you waiting to speak rather than actually listening with an intention to understand what the other person is saying?

Do you find you are thinking about something else rather than what someone is actually saying in a meeting.

Being really present gives you presence and the other person will feel it.


How ever you show up as a leader it’s taken you years of practice. And, as humans, it’s very easy for us all to stick with our normal pattern of behaviour and forget to do something new.

The way we respond to situations is often habitual. The patterns we all have of reacting to the external world have become ingrained and automatic to us. To build mastery as a leader, we need to be more than just our automatic self.

It’s only through conscious practice we can change this.

Think about how you learned to ride a bike, drive a car, learned to swim or any other activity that requires your co-ordination. It took practice; you made adjustments and kept practicing.

Learning to have a greater impact and leadership presence is no different.

What are you going to practice?

If you are interested in finding out more about this model download my free mini coaching series here.

‘We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their impact.’


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