Dinner. Love-heart chocolates. Flowers. A card maybe. A bottle of something fizzy. A whole load of stuff, sometimes expensive stuff. A weekend abroad. All, for the most part, say I love you. However, is this external expression of love, truthful connection? Is this really the best way to show “the love”? This kind of expression of love is the complete antithesis of "Unlocking the truth about love" in today's Metro.
In my opinion this Valentine’s Day regalia constitutes momentous spending. Is it all necessary? It may well be. However, I wonder if the manner in which you connect (showing “the love”) with your Valentine could come from a different perspective; one that may not need all the regalia? Valentine’s love for your clients... I liken Valentines love to “the love” we want to show our clients, colleagues, and our team. If what we show is mere material extrinsic rewards or favours, we may not be connecting with their hearts and minds. Is there a meaningful relationship? And if there isn’t a genuine relationship, can we expect more business from our client?
In my opinion the best way to build a sustainable relationship with others (your Valentine, your clients, colleagues and team) is to have their hearts and minds directed to some common goal. I believe your PRESENCE is the fundamental way to achieve this. Many think of presence as the ability to command the attention of others. But “commanding attention” is only one outcome of presence, not its essence or even its most valuable outcome.
What is presence?
I prefer to think of presence in a different and deeper way. For me, presence is the ability to connect authentically with the thoughts and feelings of others. Most people think you are born with presence, or without it, or that circumstances lead you, if you’re lucky, to develop it at an early age. And if the right circumstance never quite align? Well, too bad. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Presence is the result of certain ongoing choices you make, actions you take or fail to take. In fact, presence is a set of skills, both internal and external, that virtually anyone can develop and improve.
More than skin deep...
For me, as I said, presence comes from within. It begins with an inner state, which leads to a series of external behaviours. In the case of your Valentine these external behaviours may well be the chocolates, the flowers I mentioned before. However, your intention (the internal bit) behind sending the flowers etc. is crucial. Equally your intention when meeting you client to discuss, for example this year’s budget will impact on your external behaviours – the things you say and do. Sure, you can put on the behaviours. Buy all the followers and fancy holidays. Do a wonderfully brilliant presentation. But by themselves they’ll lack something essential. They’ll be hollow noises and nothing else.
So it’s all about making a better impression?
Yes being impressive is part of it. But to be truthfully impressive you need to embrace presence entirely. In my experience people pay too much attention to impressions, but true presence goes far beyond such superficialities. Just because you have won the lead in a play or a leadership title at work doesn’t mean you automatically hold any more sway over your audience or your team. It is your “performance” in both the theatrical sense and the organisational sense that will grant you the authority the title or role implies. The presence you bring to your role – how you show up, how you connect, how you speak, listen, act – every move you make on the corporate or real stage, combine to create the impact you have.
Developing your presence?
I suggest trying out these few simple tips:
Get clear on your intention for every Valentine/Client-facing interaction. Keep it simple, short and sweet. And most of all truthful to you and the relationship.
Observe yourself in Valentine/Client-facing scenarios. Ask yourself, is what I am doing and saying useful to me, to them and/or our relationship?
Listen to how others respond to you, and crucially how you react to their responses. Note these down afterwards. Use this as a sense-check for future interactions.
Enjoy yourself, and the time you spend with your Valentine, clients or colleagues and have fun.
Truthfully showing “the love” will connect you to your Valentine...your client.
Confidence - Rebuilding After A Fall , 27th March 2013
Renewing ourselves, our perspective is learning. Changing the way we think and feel has an impact on us, our business. Join us on Wednesday 27th March 2013 to discover how to regain your confidence. (Full details can be found here)
Next Taster Workshop - 21st February 2013 - LAST FEW SPACES LEFT
Would you like to learn more about how Pitch Perfect Club can work for you? Come along to our next 2-hour taster workshop on 21st February, only a few places are still available so BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment. The workshops will give you a flavour of the Club and how you can best develop and improve your presence in public speaking and pitching.