In a world of virtual meetings and remote work, it can be hard for employees to truly feel seen in the workplace. And, for those coming into the office regularly, it’s easy for them to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and lose touch with leadership. Both scenarios bring to light the importance of being a present leader, which is vital to the health of a company’s culture and to the overall happiness of team members.

Pay attention

One way to practice present leadership is to pay attention to the person in front of you. While it may seem obvious, giving undivided attention is becoming increasingly difficult due to technology and fast-paced work environments. The fact that 35% of professionals in the United States work remotely, according to the Pew Research Center, plays a role, too. Now more than ever, it’s important we all remember a personal connection which can only be achieved during face-to-face conversations still has a place in business.


“The individual sitting in front of you is the most important subject at that moment. Not the call, text or email that may be vying for your attention.” -Stacy McCall, Stratos CEO

At Stratos, we want each individual to feel valued, so leadership and management team members are dedicated to being intentional when interacting with those they shepherd. You could replicate this approach in your place of work by doing things like putting away your phone or stepping away from your email inbox to ensure you are not distracted. 

Provide validation

The gift of your utmost attention to the individual you are face-to-face with provides validation. It lets them know they are worth your time and energy. You are investing in the person by making a conscious effort to focus on them and their needs during the interaction. This attentiveness builds relationships, deepens trust and creates open communication channels  necessary for a strong company culture.

What being a present leader comes down to is realizing that we all want to be seen. Simply saying, “I see you,” in addition to paying attention and providing validation to the person you’re interacting with can make a world of difference. What steps can you take to become a more present leader in your place of business?

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