Saturday, September 01, 2007

presence is power

My training partner, Chris Keeler, often used to end a training session with a story he had heard told by his teacher and mentor, Derek Balmer. The story involves a young man who follows St. Francis of Assissi as he makes his rounds one day. The young man discovers that the teaching of St. Francis is not in his words, but in his presence.

I once worked with a sales professional in financial services. Several clients had entrusted him with their entire portfolios to invest. When the markets took one of their unpredictable downturns, the clients would call. He sometimes complained about the need for "handholding" in this situation. I wondered what it took to turn holding hands into a bad thing, something to be endured rather than welcomed.

We all need to have someone hold our hand from time to time. We need the reassurance that comes from presence. Words are optional. Often, they are not even helpful. The people we crave are not the ones who will give us the right answers; they are the ones who can simply walk with us, reminding us that we are not alone.

Today is the first day of the long weekend. You may be gathering with friends or family. You may be part of a crew that is working while others play. Wherever you are, you will probably be with people you know. Take some of the weekend to be present with them, to listen and, when appropriate, to reach out with your hand.

1 comment:

Shreddd said...

Prescence IS power. I teach a lot of guys how to present their body in a way that demands prescence. Suck in your gut, put your shoulders back, stand taller, use dominant thumbs, use large controlled movements, stand wider, use assymetry, etc. Suit coats are amazing modifications to display a visual prescence. The more space you can take up in the lines of sight, the more attention you will have, and the more you can suggest where that attention goes.