Tag Archive for: presence


On Tuesday morning, I was sat with my other co-facilitators at the back of a very large hall, filled with 150 or so teenagers (13 โ€“ 18-year-olds).
Together, we listened attentively to the opening remarks, the first devotional message and the plans for the day.
Unexpectedly, all of the facilitators were asked to come to the stage and introduce themselves and their workshops.
One by one, each facilitator introduced themselves and their workshop topic.
Finally, the announcer looked towards me and my co-facilitators.
I took a breath and slowed down.
I ๐ฉ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐.
There was a polite round of applause.
Then, I made a gesture by raising my arms.
The result, the applause got louder.
I raised my arms a little further and the noise went up another notch or two.
Lowering my arms, the applause subsided.
I hadnโ€™t uttered a word, and yet had already managed to gain the attention of the 150 kids in the room.
Most people find it hard to pause at all.
Itโ€™s fascinating working with young people.
Top Tip – Get their attention with some noise, then freeze and be quiet for a moment, nonverbally signalling that you have something to say.
Pausing is not a moment of โ€œnothingโ€. Rather, it is a tool that can help us to build a connection, to engage with the audience, and grabs attention, whether emotionally or intellectually.
Pausing is not as easy as it sounds.
In my experience, pausing helps to convey a message more effectively.
It also allows you to collect your thoughts and allows your audience to follow what youโ€™re saying.
Never underestimate the power of a pause.
โ€œThe right word may be effective, but nothing is as effective as a well-timed pause.โ€ – Mark Twain
Why not consider using the power of a pause in your next lesson or presentation.

Turn it Off!

โ€œ๐‹๐ž๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ.โ€
In our leadership session on Saturday, that was one of many discussions we shared together.
Thinking about that comment this morning, I asked myself several times over, what does that actually mean for me?
On reflection, itโ€™s actually when your body is here, but your mind is elsewhere.
Do you know that feeling?
In my pre-mission coaching world language, itโ€™s about paying attention and being aware.
As a coach Iโ€™d refer to this as having presence or being present.
However, from time to time, people simply zone out.
Have you seen this?
You probably do it yourself from time to time!
There in body, but your mind is elsewhere.
Frequently we simply turn our thinking to automatic mode, and we donโ€™t pay attention, in other words we hit our autopilot.
For example, routinely, many of us drive in this mode โ€“ we get home and remember little or any part of the journey.
The key to change is every time you notice you are on autopilot, you turn your attention to what you are doing.

Here are some tipsโ€ฆ

– Getting a glass of water, pause and feel your feet, hear the noise of the water as it flows into your glass.
– Walking to your next appointment, stop thinking about your things to do and notice that you are walking. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel? Touch something along the way.
– In your next meeting, after 20 minutes ask yourself if you are bored. If you are, then make a decision to turn your attention back on. What do you hear and see now?
– Stop Multi-tasking! (Exclamation mark). When someone asks to speak to you, then stop what you are doing, put your mobile down, stop typing and listen.
– Go and learn mindfulness.
What can you do to get off autopilot and be more present?

Being heard

Have you ever met someone who not only listened to you but really tried to understand you?
How did you feel about the person?
Have you been heard recently?
I mean, ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’….
You may have to think long and hard about that question.
It may have been quite a while since you feel that you have been heard.
Can you remember what it felt like?
What words come to mind?
We can all seek to be heard beyond simply the words that we are speaking.
As a coach, frequently I find that coachees want me to know and hear the feelings of their heart.
Sometimes that can take a few sessions to achieve.
My experience has taught me that if you have been heard, then you are much more willing to listen.
Real listening canโ€™t happen unless we have a sincere desire to understand what weโ€™re hearing.
Sometimes โ€“ that isnโ€™t easy for many of us, including me too!
Why? Because we also need to suspend our judgement.
You know that voice in your head that says โ€“ I know better.
Or that frustrated impatient feeling in your heart which says โ€“ I already know how.
When actually โ€“ we donโ€™t know better or how at all.
We may think we do, but we donโ€™t!
Listening to someone means getting out of your own head and trying to understand another personโ€™s mind.
Itโ€™s all about empathy.

Here are some tipsโ€ฆ

1. Slow down.
2. Let go of your own thoughts and opinions
3. Listen with your whole body, not just with your ears, eyes, and head, but by mirroring their body movements (without being too obvious.)
4. Be genuinely curious, by focusing all your attention on the other person and being present.
5. Become comfortable with silence, allowing the other person space and time to access their inner wisdom.
6. Donโ€™t interrupt and wait until the other person is ready for you to speak.
Listening is crucial to presence.
Why not take a moment, reflect on the tips above and help someone to be heard today?
#heard #presence #listening #empathy #silence

Be there!

๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž!
Whilst on a video call last night with our three grown children, my mind drifted back to when they were all much smaller.
In my minds eye, I was holding hands with our youngest daughter, walking through our beautiful park in town.
It felt like only yesterday, but 10 years have swiftly passed by.
Those tender moments are one of the sweetest, most enjoyable parts of life.
Suddenly โ€“ growing older, there can come a sense of having been there – and yet knowingly perhaps, I should have enjoyed the journey much, much more.
Iโ€™m sure those old like me, or older even โ€“ will understand my sentiment.
Life is going on all of the time.
Sometimes we are so focused on the next big thing, that we miss much of the beautiful scenery along the way.
Time with loved ones, the holidays, the picnics, the walks, the challenges are all part of ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž.
There is purpose and meaning to all that we experience and undergo in this life.
We should enjoy our children when we have them around us, as I know now, they wonโ€™t always be with us.
Back then when they were young, they not only needed us, they also wanted us too!
We live through each part of our life only once, we donโ€™t go back, so it is vitally important that we ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!
There are few sweeter memories than your childโ€™s hand in yours, walking with you.
Wherever you are, ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž, be present and enjoy the moment, our life after all, is only a nanosecond of time.
How can you focus better, be present and be engaged in the here and now?

Once Upon A Time….

Consider the meaning of โ€œ๐’๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’–๐’‘๐’๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’†โ€….
Its a phrase that starts many of our most beloved fairy tales.
Storytellers use these words to alert their readers to the fact that the story wasnโ€™t for real. It was to be enjoyed and learned from, but it actually didnโ€™t happen.
Every moment in time only happens once.
The implication of that fact is frequently forgotten. Time passes all too quickly, leaving only the memory of it. We can never relive a moment. All we have of the past is the memory that becomes our story.
Unlike the fairy tales of our childhood, our story is real.
The secret to making each moment better is to stop spending too much time concerning ourselves about the past, or worrying about the future.
Neither do us any good.
Commit to live in each moment, to look around and be aware of othersโ€™ needs so you can help. Pay attention to the beauty all around, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that are part of each moment.
As we approach each moment fully aware that time will happen only once, our stories, too, can be different. As we reach out and serve others, we not only help them gain the โ€œhappily ever afterโ€ they desire, but we also come closer to making our very own happy ending.
Stop and consider your own once upon a time.


Familiar regular routine โ€“ thatโ€™s me! Yet, listening to that inner intuition, brought about a little spontaneity, helping me step outside of the norm.

Iโ€™ve been doing a lot of thinking recently on presence and intuition in the coaching world.ย  On Friday morning, I started listening even more to that small little voice, it was telling me to mix things up a bit! Entering into my mind came this spontaneous thought to head off to St. Andrews for the day with my wife. It was beautiful weather after all and I didnโ€™t have a lot to do anyway.

Spontaneity can scare a lot of people; routine is often the preferred (and safer) route for many (me included).

However, I shared the idea with my wife.ย  We both embraced it and off we went for a fantastic day together.ย  We loved it so much that when a similar thought arrived on Saturday morning to climb Alva Glen in the afternoon, we grasped hold of that idea too and off we trotted to go climb some hills.ย  What a wonderful day we had and coincidentally met some good friends along the way too!

โ€œSpontaneous – having an open, natural, and uninhibited mannerโ€

#Spontaneity โ€“ donโ€™t silence those thoughts, relax โ€“ listen to them, value them, embrace them, share them, action them, have some fun and enjoy!

Go on – listen up and give it a go!


Walking recently in our local park, my wife remarked about the beauty of nature – I must confess, I missed it.

In fact, upon reflection however, over these last few weeks as our number of daily walks together has increased, I have a second confession, I believe I am beginning to see, feel and hear.

Interestingly, I am noticing that many more moments are now filled with a sense of connection and peace.

Why is that we miss so many moments in our own life? Is it that there are always more busy or interesting thoughts that preoccupy and entertain our minds?

In my coaching practice I always endeavour to be present, attentive and observe what is happening in the moment, when meeting with clients.

In a like manner, a big learning take away during lockdown has occurred for me in magical woodland walks with my wife. She has taught me so much about being present, being in the moment to enjoy the beauty, see and smell the flowers and to hear the birds.

I am learning to stop and awaken my five senses of listening, touching, looking, smelling and tasting. In slowing down, I recognise that I still have much to learn.

How many moments do you miss?