A Coaching Power Tool Created by Sripriya Vedula, Life Coach, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The Relationship Between Presence vs. Interference
“The state or fact of being present, as with others or in a place.”
“The ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, especially the quality or manner of a person’s bearing before an audience.”
Impact of Presence:
What feeling do you leave a person with when you are in a conversation? What do you feel when you are part of a conversation? What is your intention?
The power of presence can happen when the person you are with experiences an impact, positive or negative. Your presence demonstrates your intentions, and how you assess a person. They either feel ‘left out or ‘uplifted’ by your presence.
Consciously choosing to have a positive presence means what your role is in the moment, being more aware of your perceptions, and first understanding the emotions you are experiencing, and what is going on around you.
The true meaning of being present is to pay attention to others without judging them or invalidating what they feel. You purely observe every gesture, movement, and words they choose to use during the conversation. Noticing such energy shifts will help you learn much more about that person than what they say they are. Curious questioning merely to help them define themselves or their situation is the best possible presence you can offer to someone who needs your support at the moment.
Roots of Presence:
- growth mindset
- cognitive awareness
Being present with oneself is also called self-care. What does this mean? It is a powerful stage where we sit with ourselves to introspect, learn & unlearn, and be. Observing our thoughts can help us recognize our beliefs and values, and how they are serving us in the current situation. Self-awareness, acceptance, and mindfulness take charge and help us build potential structures to move forward in life.
“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
A meaningful presence to others is adding value to the present moment with them. This powerful positive impact we can offer others is called presence. It is a concoction of verbal and non-verbal expressions we demonstrate that can project the presence we want to hold for them.
Being a positive presence subconsciously implies trust, respect, and agreement between people. It is a powerful medium for letting others know that they matter, what they say matters, and that they are not judged. This in turn focuses on forwarding movement and making a strong foundation of a healthy relationship.
“to come into opposition, as one thing with another, especially with the effect of hampering action or procedure.”
“to involve yourself in a situation when your involvement is not wanted or is not helpful.”
Impact of Interference:
Humans, in general, are curious beings. What we superficially call generosity & kindness, is truly the urge to interfere to showcase our superiority over the ones we perceive naïve.
So what makes us do that? What kind of pleasure do we derive from being the ‘unwanted guest’? And how ironic is it to not want to welcome such a guest in our lives?
You may or may not want to get involved in someone else’s business. But sometimes, it so happens, that involuntarily we get caught up in our own emotions and interfere with others. This can cause resentment and push a person and ourselves in the wrong direction.
Before you could jump into the role of ‘superhero’, define your relationship with that person – a friend, a family member, an acquaintance, or simply a stranger you ‘assume’ needs you. There are no size fits. If ‘A’ is helpful for one, the same ‘A’ may prove to be painful to the other. Remember, they are different personalities with different perceptions & beliefs.
When you involve yourself in another’s business, it is unfair to expect reactions that you think are acceptable. This is about them, not you. Get your intentions aligned. Define your purpose to be a part of the current situation. Is it to prove something you assume you are better at or downplay their emotions by invalidating them? Think again.
Roots of Interference:
- feeling of superiority
- fixed mindset
- unhealthy competition
This happens when we interfere with our thoughts or ideas. These inner interferences are not always negative. They might show us a realistic approach to a situation. They can help us seek clarity on the intent and purpose of the originating thought and hence provides us with being more mindful and gives a reality check.
However, when we want to move forward and achieve a goal, and inner interference occurs, this may lead us or take us back to the darkness of fear – of judgment, of failure, of self-doubt, of past life behavioral patterns, and of being imperfect.
At some point in our lives, we have all been an ‘unwanted guest’ in a situation. As easy as it seems to show off our expertise to the people, we often end up taking a backlash. Unintentionally, we project ourselves as judgmental & negative. As much as we expect appreciation for our ‘wisdom’, we are served with doubts, embarrassment or shame, disruption of emotions, and negative reflections.
Presence vs. Interference in a Coaching Process:
The International Coach Federation holds a Coaching Presence as one of the core competencies in the coaching process.
Coaching presence is conveyed in many ways, including word choice, phrasing, pace, body language, facial expressions, and intonation. A variety of factors combine in different ways for each person to make coaching effective. Silence, too, is an important part of coaching presence. It conveys comfort, respect, and spaciousness for the client experience. Feelings, needs, and desires can take a while to surface and become clear. When coaches are comfortable with silence, their presence becomes more evocative.
With coaching presence, a coach transcends from “doing” coaching to “being” coaching. It allows the client to connect with a deeper self (being) from the superficial one (doing). Coaching presence also contributes to higher-order trust between the coach and the client and leads to superior and lasting outcomes. Finally, coaching presence helps develop a presence in the client too. Research into clients’ behavior establishes that they start to unconsciously develop their presence, thereby moving from quick fixes to permanent solutions.
Coaching presence is always a dance between intention and attention performed at the moment. It takes clear intention and lots of practice. The more coaching we have under our belt, the stronger our conveyance will be.
None of this works unless coaches are readily willing, and hold the ability to engage with their clients. The self-management of a coach also plays a bigger role to serve the client right.
Exhibiting coaching presence as a process is essential because it:
- Helps create a space where the client can go deep inside to dig out their innermost gifts and resources. This is critical to creating a different frame of reference where solutions emerge.
- Supports co-creation of the relationship. Master Coaches follow the client’s agenda and are ready to experiment and explore vulnerabilities. The coach cares little about the process and smoothly glides through with agility, innovation, and mutual learning
- Helps establish authenticity in the coaching process and relationship. The coach moves to a state of unconscious competence in learning and coaching.
The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best – Epictetus