The Gift Of Presence And Connection

Will Corley
BetterManager Executive Coach

April 7, 2018

At BetterManager, we understand the influence of connection and presence that best managers/leaders bring to their role. However, we have often seen managers who lack this ability to connect. They are so busy in their heads, thinking of the next meeting, project or thought, that they are not there. These managers are there physically but not mentally, they’ve left the team behind at the station waiting to jump on board the leader’s train of thought and vision. The truth is, others see it, experience their absence in a visceral way. This lack of presence in the moment has a powerful impact on their role and the work of others on their team.

And simply, managers who are truly present, keep their attention and focus on the team, authentically connect and create an environment of “WE CAN achieve our goals together” we’ll flourish.

A high senior executive leader spoke of the challenge she faced in the executive meetings she attended weekly unable to engage in meaningful connection with anyone beyond the wall of opened laptops. This had become the norm for the executive team. The water they came to swim in.  Their attention was split between the people talking and their screens. Sadly, the screens won another missed connection, and everyone walks away asking why do we have these meetings?

She contrasted this with her own team meetings, where she started each meeting taking the first ten minutes with the simple exercise of having each person share something personal about what was happening in their lives. This created both connection and presence.  She described the high level of engagement with her team members in her meetings contrasted with the alienating wall of laptop executive meetings. Her team meeting was productive, lively and satisfying.

Better managers and leaders reflect on their behavior, needs, and emotions as well as others, and allow this to inform their decision making process. They understand managers can’t hide in the corner behind screens of technology for their job requires presence and the ability to truly connect with their fellow workers, to not just say we’re in it together, but to sincerely feel the team effort of WE. Their role, we believe, is to be a conductor, whose presence is their most valuable asset. They understand how they must connect with themselves and stay connected by being present on the stage they play on, if not, it will be noticed, their audience will pan their performance. And the lack of leadership presence will have a negative impact on their team and team members. The power of connection, of presence, is a gift that managers can keep on giving, it is contagious, and has a tremendous return on investment for them and their team.  


Episode Transcript

Posted on

April 7, 2018