Standing out is a function of your presence. The best definition I ever found for that word came from a book about the ancient and universal wisdoms of our world’s indigenous peoples. Ancient tribal beliefs recognized three universal powers essential to a “leader”:
The Power of Communication
The Power of Position
The Power of Presence
In this context, “presence” is defined as:
- choosing to be present and visible
- showing up energetically
- bringing all four intelligences forward: mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional
I can’t do anything about your mental intelligence, and your spiritual intelligence is your own personal journey. But your physical and emotional intelligence are definitely improvable. And improving them will help you stand out among the crowd, making it more likely you’ll get that job, earn that promotion, grow your business-that you’ll be more successful in both your professional and personal life.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Physical presence is everything about your appearance: your posture, facial expressions, hairstyle and grooming, clothing choices, gestures, physique, and vocal qualities.
Emotional presence is how you handle yourself and others. It includes everything from your social graces, presentation power, and people skills and to your teamwork, dining manners, and tech etiquette.
These are the kinds of things I cover in my monthly newsletter Stand Out Strategies (sign up for the newsletter on this web site). In this inaugural article, I’ve chosen something from the definition of presence above: “showing up energetically.” Energy, or enthusiasm, is a powerful attribute of presence. We generally don’t look to shy, reserved, “wallflower” types for leadership and guidance. People’s enthusiasm about their company, their products, their service, and themselves is contagious. Their presence is powerful, motivating, inspiring.
It’s worthwhile to note that credibility—or believability—includes three elements:
Competence—your knowledge, experience, expertise
Trustworthiness—your honesty and reliability
Dynamism—your enthusiasm and passion.
Keep in mind that you may possess the knowledge and be scrupulously honest, but if you don’t possess that third element, dynamism, people may not perceive you as credible.
So showing enthusiasm is crucial. It reflects on your credibility and impacts your presence. There are countless ways to convey energy—how you speak, how you move, how you carry yourself. Those are some of the topics I’ll cover in SOS. For now, just recognize its importance. Monitor yourself in all your interactions to see if you project “good energy.”