How to Hold Space with a Powerful Presence

Presence is an area of social and interpersonal skills that comes up fairly frequently in my role as a high-performance coach. A current, longstanding client may ask what it is, and a new client may come to me because they already know they need it.


While anyone, from school-age children to adults can possess Presence and hold space using that power, the three main areas of concentration for this discipline tends to be Professional Presence, Personal Presence, and Executive Presence.


Presence is NOT your image or first impression, nor is it your body language. It is largely your nonverbal persona.


I know there’ll be a reader who’ll call me out for being redundant because I said Presence is not body language but it is nonverbal.


To be clear, body language and nonverbals are not one and the same. They’re more fraternal twins than identical.


Where body language is related to physical movement and what you're doing with your body to...

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How to Increase Social Capital in a World that Lacks Decorum

I am of the opinion that the United States is headed toward a major correction in terms of decorum. Similar to fashion, how we behave in the company of others, and what is deemed to be correct, polite, and proper is cyclical.


Political discourse is largely to blame for the daily displays of vitriol, and the smartphone likely is to blame as well. Nothing good can come from humans with their heads buried in their devices for the better part of each day.


A decade ago my focus was corporate etiquette. There was never a shortage of blue-chip firms who sought guidance to ensure their people had professional polish.


Business was brisk as we swooped in to make sure middle managers and young executives knew how to comport oneself at a cocktail reception, checking to see that forks were held properly, beverages were sipped with eyes downward, and bread is torn and consumed in small pieces.


Over the past four years and with displays of poor manners in abundance, the...

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The Assertiveness Reset – Moving from Meek to Masterful

“Yes” was my favorite word at my first, post-college career job. When you’re young and eager it is in your best interest to be a “yes” person.

I thought it would help me get ahead, so I said yes to every reasonable request from my boss and the absurd ones too.

I was in the high-end, luxury hotel business, so “yes” was expected. That is because the customer is always right. And yes, I did acquiesce to every client request as well.

“The customer is always right” has likely led throngs of “people pleasers” like me to forego the respect and power that one should start to amass in their career and for which you reap the rewards down the road.

It truly does matter how we show up and communicate in competitive situations — and by competitive I’m referring to everyday business life. Let’s look at that through the lens of assertiveness.

If you’ve been working or running a company for any length of time,...

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