Episode 8

Published on:

26th May 2020

True Presence

True Presence: A Game Changing Soft Skill

The lack of true presence impacts those who need it the most. 

Question #1: How do I define true presence in a leader?

Key elements to the idea of a leader’s true presence:

·        True presence in a leader is a moment by moment experience. An experience that can never be fully replicated again.

·        True presence is a subjective experience that often begins with a conversation where the leader asks the right question.

·        True presence is the property of each individual. 

Definition of  true presence: AN INTENTIONAL WAY OF BEING by Dr Rosemary Parse

Question #2: What is the value of true presence in a leader’s life?

Considering the soft skill of true presence nudges us to consider:

•      Deeper, healthier relationships with those you work with or those you serve

•      True presence has a positive impact has on successful outcomes

•      On uncovering what really matters.

The value is not in what you do but the difference you make.

Question #3: What are some practical ways I can choose to embrace true presence? In other words what can I practice to put the human connection at the center of my work as a leader.

In the 1990’s Researchers identified five components of the concept of being intentional. We can use these components to put true presence into practice as “an intentional way of being”.

STEP ONE: You have a desire for an outcome

STEP TWO: You believe that what you are planning will lead to your desired

STEP THREE. You intend to perform the actions within your plan

STEP FOUR: You have the skill exists to perform the action. 

STEP FIVE: You actually perform that action and in that moment of awareness you discover true presence.


Siegel, D. (August 21, 2018). Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence. The Gottman Institute. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/aware-the-science-and-practice-of-presence/

Mitchell, G.J. & Bournes, D.A. (2017).Human Becoming. Nurse Key. posted February 9, 2017. Retrieved 7.10.2019 https://nursekey.com/humanbecoming/#bib37

(n.d.) The Nurse Theorists, Portraits of Excellence. Retrieved from https://a1050-77093406.cluster52.canvas-user-content.com/courses/1050~1775536/files/1050~77093406/course%20files/COURSE%20FILES/Transcripts%20of%20videos/HTML/Early%20Nurse%20Theorists%20-%20Rosemarie%20Parse.html?download=1&inline=1

Malle, B. F., & Knobe, J. (2001). The desire between desire and intention: A folk-conceptual analysis. In B. F. Malle, L. J. Moses, & D. A. Baldwin (Eds.), Intentions and intentionality: Foundations of social cognition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

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About the Podcast

The Art of Leadership
The Art of Leadership focuses on soft skills... some of the hardest skills a leader will ever learn.
The Art of Leadership with Dr. Niña Ellison focuses on the soft skills of leadership, their value and the power of their influence. As a leader, if you are interested in moving from success to significance then balancing both hard and soft skills is essential!

Hard skills are demonstrated through technical expertise that results in clearly measured goals being reached. They are vital to the success of any initiative or program. On the other hand, soft skills emphasize the transformation of people. They highlight behavioral changes and making a difference in people’s lives.

This podcast is for leaders who are seeking a fresh perspective into some of the hardest soft skills a leader will ever learn. You can connect with Niña at https://www.ninaellison.com

About your host

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Niña Ellison

In 2019, after years of leading teams varying from international disaster relief and healthcare to the US Corporate world, Niña founded Healthy Leadership to focus on her passion for partnering with leaders in their growth and sustainability. Her own journey into soft skill development has convinced her that while her technical skills helped her get her foot in the door, her soft skills moved the influence of her leadership from success to significance.

As a soft skill specialist Niña takes monthly deep dives in her podcast series, The Art of Leadership, to explore the underlying dimensions of soft skills. She knows that soft skill development is not so much about WHAT but HOW a leader leads.
• From a 10,000 foot view a leader pursuing soft skills asks, “How do I problem solve; How do I manage time and energy?”
• From a 1,000-foot view that same leader, as they dig deeper into soft skills, begins asking questions like, “How do I listen; or How do gain self-control?”
• From Ground Zero the leader recognizes that there are underlying dimensions of soft skills as they ask, “How do I model respect for all; How do I sustain hope; How do I demonstrate appropriate love in the workplace; How do I maintain the right attitude?” How do I lead by serving?

Nina believes that behind every wildly effective and sustainable system and process are leaders and teams who have interwoven soft skills into every phase of their work.