If you want to be an influential adviser, you must first have presence.

Presence is that non-negotiable prerequisite for influence. What do I mean by that?

So, I was out on the weekend and I was riding with a mate and we were discussing this whole journey of influence that I’ve been on and he challenged me and what he said really got me thinking.

He said, Andrew, I can see you doing all this stuff online, see you pop up there in the LinkedIn feed, and he said, it’s great, but it’s not quite the same as you being in the room. He said, when you walk into a room, you have a presence about you and your presence enables you to influence outcome.

Now, it’s funny, ’cause you never kind of see yourself the way other people see you. But that was his take on it and so it really got me thinking and I came up with two elements to this and they are by no means the full story of influence but it is the beginning.

The first thing was this, you have to be present. If you want to influence those around you, you have to be 100% in the moment. You can’t have distractions. They can’t perceive that you’re off in another world. You’ve got to be there 100% engaged in the conversation. That’s the first element of influence.

The second element is your presence and this is a little bit harder and this is a learned skill but the ability to establish presence so that when you speak, people listen. When you ask a question, people answer. When you’re silent, people actually look to you and seek you out for your input.

So, that’s just my thoughts on the start of the journey of influence. If you want to be an influential adviser, you must first be present and then establish presence, after which you can impact for good.

I’m Andrew Abel, bye for now.

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