Is Your Signature Coaching Presence Your Ally? (Or a hindrance to your success?)

This week is dedicated to the subject of the many faces of presence, depending on what aspect of life or what profession we are engaged in. Yesterday we spoke to the basic nature of presence. Today I am posting a blog that was first published on the Georgetown University Institute For Transformational Leadership (ITL) website several weeks ago. It was very well received and so I thought it worth repeating here for all the coaches in my audience who are not Georgetown Leadership Coaching graduates.

As I have worked in the Georgetown leadership coaching community in the last few years, it has become apparent that most who are successful have a clear, congruent sense of their own authentic presence as a coach. What is also apparent is that each person has what I call his or her own unique signature presence.

Presence is a powerful concept with many facets in the coaching world. It involves conceptual knowledge and how you connect with the leaders and clients you work with. It is reflected in how you physically present yourself. Are you aware of how you come across on this level?

At a slightly deeper level it is defined by posture and stance. While this is often initially outside of our awareness, it is now recognized as an integral part of how one’s presence comes across and how energized you feel. Are you aware of your general posture and how that comes across to the clients? Are you aware of how posture can change the dynamic in an interaction?

An even deeper level of presence is the one I want to mainly address today. I call this your signature energy presence. It has to do with where you are most present in the navigational system of your own body. There is innate, profound wisdom in every cell of who we are as human beings. Unlocking the doors of your inner awareness, so that this wisdom can translate from an unconscious aspect of who you are, to a more conscious ally in your signature presence is a powerful tool to add to your coaching skill set.

The curious thing about this level of presence is that while each of us has our own signature energy presence that we have developed across our lives and careers, many people are not conscious of what makes theirs work for them, and what is working against them. I’d love to start a bit of a conversation with the following questions:

•  Who is currently “driving the bus” of your awareness at this deep level?
•  Is it your inner critic who causes you to shrink and withdraw, perhaps unconsciously, when under stress?
•  Is your driver that part of you that becomes more grandiose under pressure with the hollow, false sense of presence that this brings?
•  Or is it an authentic, grounded sense of who you are, able to have resilience as stress comes up in a coaching situation?
•  What areas would you like to increase awareness in for a more authentic coaching presence? (If you do not know what these areas are, that is a valid answer.)

I see this process of growing one’s unique signature presence as a lifelong journey. In my experience, as I deepen this awareness, life becomes richer, I develop professionally, and there is more grace and ease all around.


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