The Gift of Presence

Dr. Matthew Arau • December 2023Leadership Tips • December 11, 2023

When I was a young kid, I remember how excited I felt the morning of Christmas, waking up early and running into the living room to see what my stocking was stuffed with and to begin unwrapping my gifts. As I got older, I still enjoyed receiving but I also enjoyed giving gifts and seeing the reaction of the person I gave a gift to. There is a special gift you can give and share that is free and you can present any day, not just for holidays and special occasions. And its value is priceless. 

I am talking about the gift of your presence — not just being present as in simply showing up but being fully engaged, aware, and all in. Being fully present while teaching, learning, leading, discussing, and listening is an important habit and attribute to develop. Your presence sends the message to everyone else around you that their time, energy, thoughts, and contributions matter to you. 

Here are five leadership tips to share the gift of your presence.

1. Put away all distractions that can get in the way of being present, such as your cell phone or laptop, and give the person or people you are around your full attention.

2. Be curious about what someone shares with you. Ask questions and try to learn something new.

3. Face the person speaking, look them in the eye, and listen to understand rather than just to respond. 

4. Savor the present moment. Be in the now rather than ruminating over the past or worrying about the future.

5. Be fully you and share your energy, thoughts, and contributions freely.

The wonderful thing about exchanging gifts is it feels great to give and it feels great to receive. The same principle applies when we give the gift of our presence. Our own life is richer and more meaningful and fulfilling when we are fully present, and our presence is often the best present we can give someone else.

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!