Views and clues

Why your Professional Presence matters


I’ve been asked before ‘Isn’t Professional Presence just common sense?  In which case - Isn't that easy?’

Well yes and no.  If it is so easy, why don’t we always get it right?  And why don’t we always come across in the way that we would choose to?

The reason is that we’re human.  We have emotions and feelings which affect our reactions in the moment and quite often these emotions are not helpful.  For instance, at an interview, or in a yearly review you may be nervous - which is understandable - but by showing that nervousness you will come across as less capable than you might otherwise.   Similarly, a new manager chairing their first meeting or presenting to the board for the first time might naturally feel fearful or anxious, but showing it rarely evokes empathy, more often disappointment - A hurdle that will need to be overcome in time.

Alternatively,  you may be  excited about some good news that you’ve had, which of course is great, but is it right to exhibit that in all contexts?  Someone getting promoted whilst those around them are re-interviewing for their jobs for instance. 

It is widely argued that business leaders with strong Emotional Intelligence are more successful in managing growth and problems, leading people, and teaching others.  Daniel Goleman said:

“If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Being able to manage reactions and emotions is a sign of Emotional Intelligence and therefore having a clear understanding of your body language, the impact that it makes and the emotions that it represents can help you manage how you come across and gives you more choice about how people experience you.

Professional Presence coaching can help you when you are leading projects, people, team meetings, dealing with challenging people or developing your self-management skills.   It’s about managing your emotions and reactions in a way that has a more positive impact on the people that you’re with as well as yourself.

We all want people to see the best of us.  When we’re with friends we want them to know that we care, when we’re at work we want people to think we’re capable, and in all situations we want people to know that they can trust us.

Being clear about how you want to be experienced and learning how to manage your presence are the first steps to increased professional impact.

For more information on ‘Impact Coaching’ and creating powerful first impressions, contact: Justine Ballard Tel: 07879 634 289

Sometimes it’s the simplest things
Would you like to build more rapport with people, connect with them more easily and develop trust – all whilst making yourself feel better? 

If the answer to that is yes, then the great news is that often, it’s the simplest things that can have the biggest impact.

Smiling is universally recognised as a sign of friendship, openness and joy at meeting someone.

Research has shown that people form certain impressions of others within a few seconds.  In that time frame, people pick up and respond to expressions of emotion, such as anger or pleasantness that are conveyed to them through body movement, facial expressions and eye contact.

Smiling sends a quick non-verbal message that you’re happy, safe and friendly and can be trusted.  Negative emotions travel faster than positive ones as they could be considered as a threat, therefore a serious face can be taken in different ways.

The other good news for you is that smiling is a mood booster.

You smile when you feel good – but if you smile when you don’t, you get what’s called, ‘facial feedback’. 

When your mouth goes into the smile position, the changes in facial expression can alter the temperature of the blood flowing to the brain and change the way you feel.  Just curling up your lips can do it.  Researchers had people put a pen between their lips (like a frown) and then between their teeth (like a smile) and then had them rate cartoons for funniness.  People found the cartoons funnier when they were stimulating a smile than when they were stimulating a frown.

So why not make a more concerted effort to smile more.  Not only will you appear charming and friendly and someone who is pleasant to work with, but you’ll also feel happier.


For more information on ‘Impact Coaching’ and creating powerful first impressions, contact: Justine Ballard  Tel: 07879 634 289