Being present 1

Maya Angelou said, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

I neglect this message sometimes because I love doing things with and for people.

What this message says and what I know though, is what is important for people is for me to ‘turn up’ for them.

‘Turning up’ is not just about being in the same room with a person but being fully present. People feel it when we are not present; our eyes wander, we fidget and give a vibe that we have better places to be as we check our phone for a message from someone else!

‘Turning up’ for people begins with a decision to be engaged and where possible, preparing ourselves ahead of time.

If I’m caught on the hop by someone, I’ve learnt to be honest and say, “I’ve got to be somewhere in 15 minutes, but right now you have my attention.”  “What can I help you with?”

We are saying, “I see you” and when we are tempted by thoughts that take us away from being present; perhaps wandering back to the past, or venturing to the future, let’s choose to bring them back to the person before us right now.

People will never forget how you made them feel.

No Regrets. 


About Penny

Penny was born in England, raised in New Zealand, lived in America and settled in Perth, Australia. Together with her husband Mark, she is raising a teenage daughter and has twin twenty-something sons. "Coming home at the end of a solid working day to family and friends is my delight" says Penny, Co-author of the book – She’s Not Your Competition. She is a heart-felt communicator who believes in the power of a person’s story. Penny has over 25 years experience as a high level leader and spokesperson in both the private and non-profit sectors with significant public relations experience. She is currently the CEO of South Coastal Women's Health Services, and prior on the Leadership Teams of Rise Network and Riverview supporting people in areas of mental health, domestic and family violence, and children overseas at risk of exploitation. She holds an MBA and MBL, and is a Board Director for the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. For the past 15 years she has provided pro-bono support as a mentor for leaders and consultant to not for profits. Penny’s personal life endeavour is a determination to "make life better not bitter".

One thought on “Being present

  • JULIE Smilkovic

    Love this Pen. So true. Nothing worse than feeling as if person you’re with isn’t engaged. Something I also need to be constantly aware of and always trying to improve my “ listening” skills.
    That 10 mins you give to the other person can be so important and absolutely a positive or negative experience for them. ?

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