The Impact of Presence in Coaching

The Impact of Presence in Coaching

The Essence of Presence

To be present in conversation with someone is to be fully engaged and attentive in the moment. Being open, receptive and non-judgmental allows for authentic communication and meaningful relationships to flourish.

As we listen with our whole self, use our senses, and trust our intuition in conversation, we build genuine connection and engage with heart, mind and body.

Presence with another involves:

  • Watching for body language
  • Listening to what is and isn’t being said
  • Listening for the change in tone and pitch of voice
  • Noticing shifts in energy
  • Hearing the emotions that are being experienced, and
  • Listening out for beliefs and perspectives being expressed.

When we are present we are listening deeply, and nothing can distract us from being with the other person and seeking to understand them. We bring our whole self to the conversation including our values, our purpose, our emotion, and our compassion for the other person.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

The Impact of Our Presence on Others

Our body language is a powerful indicator of our personality, confidence, and attitude. It conveys volumes about our presence in a conversation. Whether face-to-face or via online video platforms or phone calls, our posture and body language significantly shape how others perceive us.

The depth of our presence is often felt by others through subtle cues in our posture and body language, such as the tilt of our head, how we sit, and our facial expressions. Additionally, our tone, pitch, and pace of voice play a crucial role in conveying our level of engagement and attentiveness.

Any type of evaluation, whether positive or negative, is a judgement. Facial expressions such as raised eyebrows, pursed lips, frowning, smiling...all these expressions send a message.

Embracing silence by refraining from rushing to fill conversational gaps creates an opportunity for reflection and the exploration of new perspectives. There's immense value in the quiet moments, where we listen intently and give the other person the space they need to process and respond thoughtfully.

When we allow silence, we are creating a space for learning and growth.

How Presence Impacts Coaching Relationships

Presence is a fundamental aspect of the coaching relationship, serving as the foundation for trust, communication, support, authenticity, and growth. Coaches who develop presence enhance the quality and impact of their coaching practice and empower their clients to realise their full potential.

When the coach is present:

  • The client feels heard and understood leading to increased trust and rapport.
  • Engagement is stronger as deep listening keeps the client more focused.
  • The client's self-awareness is enhanced as they reflect more deeply on their experiences and gain insights into themselves.
  • The client feels validated and supported and more confident to explore challenging topics.
  • New perspectives and possibilities emerge for the client as the coach 'holds the space' for them.
  • The client is more likely to commit to taking action steps as the importance of the coaching process is reinforced by the presence of the coach.

Presence Reflection

Questions to Consider Your Presence:

  • How do you typically feel when you enter a room or engage in a conversation?
  • Are you aware of how your body language and facial expressions may influence others' perceptions of you?
  • What internal thoughts or feelings tend to arise when you are interacting with others?
  • Do you find yourself fully engaged and attentive during conversations, or are you often distracted?
  • How present have you been recently with your colleagues, friends and family?
  • What would support you to be more present?


As an experienced coach educator, mentor and supervisor I support coaches to hone their coaching skills and develop a coaching identity and style that incorporates presence, resilience, and fulfilment.

Get in touch for a chat if you would like to bring the best of yourself to your coaching clients.


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