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Make Your Presence Known at Work

Sep 4, 2023

Presence is the capacity to have your attention simultaneously on yourself and another (or others). Deep presence requires feeling all of your own sensations whilst also actively tuning into people around you.” – Amanda Blake

Presence is perhaps the most intangible part of a coaching approach- and yet the most powerful.

When we feel the presence of another person we feel held and whole. And at work that can be incredibly powerful.

Presence is about being fully with another person. It is an extension of listening. 

When we are fully present with another person – they often feel that presence deeply. They know they are safe. And, silent exploration is possible.

When we are fully present we are aware of the energy of the person we are with. We notice subtle changes in the person and we become aware. Our own judgements and ideas slip away as we become fully aware of the other. We see ourselves as in relationship to each other. 

10 components of a thinking environment

Nancy Kline can help us to identify how to become better at presence through her 10 components of a thinking environment. 

  • Giving the others our full attention, 
  • See ourselves as equal 
  • Generating ease and not rushing 
  • Appreciating and encouraging the other
  • Supporting expression of feeling
  • Being aware of when to share information – and when not to
  • Holding ourselves back even if we feel the urge to speak
  • Seeing our similarities and our differences and valuing our diversity
  • Asking incisive questions – which build on what the coachee is sharing
  • Finally, creating a sense of place that generates a sense of belonging and safety. A safe space to have the conversation. 

Creating presence in this way, enables a wonderful space for a person to explore their thinking, to feel trusted and supported and to find a way through whatever is challenging. 

One of the most powerful aspects of presence is silence.

I’ve learnt that sitting in silence with someone is a gift. I see the other person thinking and moving their thinking along. Silence together is powerful. 

An easy trick with silence is to notice where the other person is looking. If they are looking directly at you – they are probably ready for you to talk, but if they are looking away, they are thinking, and we can sit in silence and presence, whilst they think. 

Even silence in meetings is okay- allowing people to think silently together. 

Have a go this week and see how you get on.

You can also check our our previous blog on the power of curiosity – read more here.  

If you have any positive outcomes from trying these techniques, we also invite you to share how these skills have helped you in your conversations in our comment section of our LinkedIn and Instagram pages.

Want to coach well? Unlock tips on how you can exercise coaching skills
in this week’s toolkit. Download our Free Leadership Reset Toolkit here.  

Jean Balfour ICF Accredited Professional Coach and Managing Director of Bailey Balfour

Jean Balfour

Founder & Programmes Director


About the Author

Jean Balfour is Managing Director of Bailey Balfour and Programme Director of our ICF Accredited Coach Training Programmes. Jean is passionate about helping people to have good conversations both at work and at home. She believes that coaching is a life skill and that you never regret learning to coach.

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