Jul 07, 2022

Understanding and Managing Your Presence of Mind

What was the first thing you thought about this morning? That’s definitely a clue to how the rest of your day will go. What you think about plays a big part in how you move through your day.

If you’re a working mum, you most likely have a long list of things to do and remember, and not much time to focus on you.  If everything takes priority over you, how do you decide what to wear, what to have for breakfast, do your makeup and hair, and set yourself up for a busy day at work ? All this determines your frame of mind when you arrive at work.

When I had my fashion studio, I looked after executive and professional women who had very busy jobs and families – they could afford to buy lovely clothes but had no time to shop. I would sit with them and talk about their work and how they needed to present – and only then their purchases were decided. I learnt very quickly that what they wanted was to be confident in how they looked, to gain the executive presence to show up at work. I also learnt that the magic also happened on the inside – when they put something on and liked what they saw in the mirror, their body language changed completely, they grew taller and more confident. Never underestimate what a frock and a bit of a heel can do for your confidence.

Intention Is as Intention Does

Executive women who also have families, have a lot more to think about than just work – the conversations in my fashion studio were not just about the clothes, they were about my clients’ lives. Being a mother, a wife and a busy executive wanting to build their career took its toll. “I don’t have time to do things for myself or look in the mirror – I have kids to get to school” was frequently shared. The consequences were weight gain, broken marriages and illness, some of which I have experienced. Having worked with clients for many years on their outer presence, today I work with women on managing their internal presence and presence of mind.

Executive presence begins in your head, the thoughts you have about yourself, the self-talk and judgement, your potential and the capacity to put yourself first. You know you have what it takes to do your job, or you wouldn’t be there. It’s all the noise happening in your head that is the distraction that prevents you from being present.

Your presence starts with your intention.. We can set our intention unknowingly because what we constantly think about is what we get given – so why not set your intention knowingly for how you want to be perceived – the kind of person who attracts people to them, whose team moves heaven and earth for them, and propels your career forward. Being intentional is about knowing and understanding how you want to be perceived, matching your thoughts, words and actions that will communicate how you want others to perceive you.

When you create the habit of setting clear intentions, it will change your Executive Presence. If you think it – you will see it.

Know Thyself First

The clearer your intentions, the better the reactions from others – Executive Presence comes from knowing yourself – being self-aware. Having the ability to stand outside yourself and examine your thinking, your habits and behaviours, your stories and your tendencies. The more you get to know yourself the more you can inspire and influence the way others react to you. With your presence, your aim is to marry your intention with how others perceive you - in this realm authenticity plays a big part. You will not be able build trust if you don’t find it easy to trust others and you won’t foster listening to connect if you are not present in conversations. As humans, we process information through our emotions, we know within .07 seconds if we can trust someone. The moment we connect we have bio reactions that create feelings and thoughts, and we make up our own meaning of what’s happening based on our experience, we run it through our beliefs and assumptions and conclude whether we fit or not.

Creating your Personal Presence Brand

Your Personal Presence Brand is what you want others to experience overall. It will show up in your beliefs, and what’s important to you – your core values. It reflects your personality – it’s how you aspire to show up at work and life, and is demonstrated in your communication, your words and your actions.

A simple exercise is to think about someone you believe has great presence – what do you admire about them, what attracts you to them? Make a list of the top five qualities.

What do you want your Executive Presence to look like? – set an intention of the five qualities you would like to work on.  You may want to convey credibility, confidence, trust, openness or professionalism and fun. Whatever they are, write them down and set you intention every morning to work on them until they become part of who you are.

Being truly present is to have an open heart and an open mind, because when you do you can’t be anywhere else.Taking time to figure out how your presence is conveyed is a critical and powerful step.

Inspiration by Kristi Hedges - The Power of  Presence

I’m Ondina and I work as an Executive and Transformational Coach with executives and business owners to understand and navigate great conversation that lead others with clarity and confidence.

When I started my first business at 21, I became a natural student of, and passionate advocate for,  personal development. Now, with a varied career, I can see that confidence is the no.1 reason our development is held back.

Many of us are quick to brush off a compliment, dangerously self-criticise and are completely unaware of the presence we have. We can give advice to others, yet don’t act on it ourselves. My belief is, confidence will emerge from clarity, persistence and the courage to hold onto your dream. My approach is to help people see their reality, and provide the awareness, tools and skills they need, to fulfil their dreams. If you bring courage and commitment, I will work with you to get the clarity you need to create change, professionally and personally. 



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