Cultivating the Art of Presence: How to Engage and Connect with Others | by Viktor Bezdek | Mar, 2024

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At its core, presence is the act of being fully engaged and attentive in the moment. It involves setting aside our own preoccupations and distractions and giving the person in front of us our complete focus. When we are truly present, we are not merely waiting for our turn to speak, but actively listening and attuning to the subtle nuances of the interaction.

The benefits of cultivating presence are well-documented. Research has shown that individuals who are more present and mindful in their interactions report higher levels of relationship satisfaction and overall well-being (Brown & Ryan, 2003). In the workplace, presence has been linked to increased productivity, creativity, and leadership effectiveness (Hougaard, Carter, & Coutts, 2016).

Developing presence does not require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Here are a few practical strategies you can start implementing today:

  1. Practice active listening: When someone is speaking to you, give them your full attention. Put away distractions, maintain eye contact, and resist the urge to interrupt or formulate your response prematurely.
  2. Engage in mindfulness: Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath and observe your thoughts without judgment. This practice can help you become more aware of when your mind is wandering and gently guide it back to the present moment.
  3. Minimize distractions: Create an environment that supports your ability to be…

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