Why Being Present Is Better Than Being Prepared | Blog

Let Go & Trust Your Presence

Have you ever needed to have an important conversation and found yourself thinking it over and over in your mind – a lot? Me too.

It seems like the smart thing, or a necessary thing, to do if we want that conversation to go as well as possible.

When it involves saying things that might be tough for us or we're worried about the other person's reactions, we want to get it right. Often, we want to avoid someone getting upset or reactive.

What if this is a misunderstanding and the real source of a successful conversation is the connection, rapport, and feelings of goodwill? What if influence is not coming from what we say but from our presence?

When I was getting ready to tell my boss that I was resigning from my executive role, I can't tell you how many of those inner conversations I played out in my mind. Once I knew I was leaving, my mind went into overdrive about how I would tell him. I wanted it to go well. I cared about him, the company, and the people, so getting this right was important to me. I didn't want to ruin our relationship.

I was in a conversation with my coach at the time, Michael Neill, and giving him a few different versions of what I might say to my boss and how I would say it. I expected him to pick one of my options and give me a few tweaks on my words, etc.

Here's what he said instead, “What strikes me is you don't believe that your care, respect, and rapport with him will be enough to carry the conversation.”

Here was my response…”Um, what?” I was stopped in my tracks.

It might sound crazy, but this was new for me. I had spent most of my life believing that finding the right words mattered, especially in difficult conversations. I thought that getting the words right would prevent upset and could control the outcome of the conversation.

I was leaning on and trusting the words in the conversation versus relying on and trusting the feeling of the conversation.

That moment was an awakening for me and has influenced how I have tried to show up for important conversations ever since.

Going into the conversation with my boss, present, and consciously connecting to the feelings of respect and goodwill I had for him helped us find common ground. The conversation went a bit tipsy at points, but by staying connected and present, I was able to reassure him when necessary, respond to the options he offered, and help him understand why this choice was best for me. In the end, our relationship strengthened.

Being present over being rehearsed continues to offer me opportunities for more depth, intimacy, and meaningful conversations in all my relationships.

Of course, at times, I may show up overthinking things and feeling the need to control the conversation. We all can. However, once we remember where the natural source of meaningful conversations comes from, we can adjust in the moment.

The feeling of the conversation shapes the outcome of the conversation.

When we are present, neutral, and listening in real-time, versus listening to our inner scripts, we naturally hear where to go and what to say and often get to a resolution much sooner. We find our way, and if things go a bit south, we can stabilize and stay present rather than letting reactions take over.

Rather than letting our thoughts and scripts inform where we go in a conversation, we can let the feeling of connection, rapport, and goodwill carry and guide us.

When we show up present, connected, and in a feeling of goodwill, we create a climate for trust and set the conversation up for the highest possible outcome.

Where could you let your feelings of rapport, care, and perhaps even love carry a conversation versus your perfect script?

“Rather than letting our thoughts and scripts inform where we go in a conversation, we can let the feeling of connection, rapport, and goodwill carry and guide us.

Trusting our presence allows us to show up fully to the conversation.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at barbarapatterson.com 



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