What comes to mind when you think about being present in business? Is it having razor-sharp focus, paying attention to every detail, anticipating every possible flaw or problem, looking people in the eye when they talk to you?
We are taught that focusing on one aim or purpose in life or business to the exclusion of everything else is how to be present. What if that actually keeps you from being present and therefore being able to authentically and powerfully engage and communicate with others? Being present doesn’t mean being single-minded. Being present doesn’t mean putting blinders on. In fact, focusing on one thing or person requires you to cut off everything else around you.
What if you could be aware of everything that is going on, being said and happening around you? That is being present.
So why would you do that?
Abraham Maslow said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” The quality of your life depends on your presence in the moment and that is the key to gain greater power in communication as well.
Being in the moment does not require effort if you allow yourself to expand and give up being single-minded. You lose focus is because you’ve learned to hone in on one thing and if something else is getting your attention, you don’t know how to be present with everything.
Rather than being caught up in conclusions or decisions of what is required right now – trust your knowing, your inner voice, your intuition, which often leads you in a direction throughout the day that you might not have thought of or been able to plan. Would you be willing to have that trust in yourself?
What prevents a lot of people from following their knowing or their inner voice is their reluctance to be open to the unknown, which is sometimes uncomfortable but can stretch your life to greater possibilities. Get comfortable being uncomfortable – that is where change happens, and you become greater. Your presence will increase, and you will become unstoppable.
Here are five tips to total presence and gaining influence:
1. Asking questions
A question always opens up new possibilities. Ask to be present as then it becomes something you be and not something you do.
Another question: what requires my attention right now? If I allow myself to be present with everything what do I know here? What action could I take next?
2. Be interested not interesting
To gain greater power in communication a vital element is to listen and be interested in the other person. This is a way to make the other person feel worthy and helps them open up to you.
Be aware and get present with three points of your body. This is a great way to bring you back to yourself. Whenever you have the feeling you are everywhere and nowhere, and therefore you are not able to be present with what is going on in the moment, recall this exercise. You’ll experience for yourself how easy it is to get centered. Just try!
4. Lower your barriers
The next time you start getting defensive or feel like you need to forcefully put forward your side of the argument, stop, breathe and just imagine pushing your walls or defenses down.
How does it work? Ask for your barriers to lower in any moment of your life. Practice it in your daily life so that you get a sense for what occurs.
Barriers separate us from each other, and true presence is not possible with them. You always will be hiding behind walls, which does not allow you to fully engage with the moment.
What creates the ability for other people to judge you or oppose you is when you resist and react or when there is something to bounce off.
Whatever people throw at you it is not real, it’s just their point of view.
The other person will be stuck with their judgment, not you, when you have your barriers down. Lowering your barriers will free you.
Being totally present and pulling down all of your barriers and having no point of view of what they may or may not think of you disarms every person and changes the situation. This is the space of allowance that is possible when you are without barriers and walls.
5. The key to being neutral
Choosing to function from what some would call a neutral or open-minded perspective, so as not to hold on to any point of view, gives you more choices and flexibility. Holding on to a point of view keeps you from having power as it limits you within right and wrong/good and bad parameters. A key element of gaining power in communication is not holding on to any point of view, but to have the freedom of all choices in the moment and the willingness to receive any information.
How many thoughts about you and being present do you have that are filled with judgments? By living them over and over again, you continue to attract more of them. This way of thinking takes you away from the presence that is possible and fuels the fight against you.
These points of view can really lock up and limit your life, your business and your reality. So, the key to freedom is, “Everything is just an interesting point of view,” as this starts to unlock the limitations defined by the point of view.
Here’s how it works: every time you get into a mind spin where you are circling around a point of view you can say to yourself, “Interesting point of view, I have this point of view.” Repeat this ten times and sense the freedom that opens up. You will gain more clarity and create ease in your world.
You can feel fully alive or miserable in any moment. It is the choice you make that creates your influence and impact with every conversation you have. Stop resisting the present. Instead engage with every moment and make your choices towards being present and gaining greater power in communication by using these tools and never give up.
About the Author
After completing her social work studies in Vienna, Doris Schachenhofer worked with children, homeless people, delinquent teenagers and prisoners transitioning back into the real world. Today she travels the world teaching and supporting people to be more of themselves. Follow Doris here and on Instagram.
The opinions and views expressed by guest contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of theglasshammer.com