At my newest gig teaching workplace violence prevention I have been reminded of a very interesting concept, which is Command Presence. Command presence is a term that was developed in the
military to describe a person who had the quality of a leader, especially those who would be leading soldiers into battle. The term has since been generalized to business and other settings.
As part of my new role, I met with the Sheriff who brought up the subject of Command Presence saying that he believes this is what employees need to develop to reduce and prevent violent incidents. When I asked how we might go
about teaching it, he said the only way he has been able to teach it is through experience.
What exactly is Command Presence? Basically it is an attitude which starts with a perception you have of yourself being strong, competent and capable of handling whatever happens. It results in verbal and non-verbal behaviors that
translate to those around you indicating that you are positively utilizing your personal power, you are in charge of yourself and you know what to do should a situation arise.
I became familiar with the concept of command presence as a trainer. To effectively teach in front of a group of people, you must be viewed as someone who knows what they're talking about, that you can be trusted to
put the needs of the group before the needs of the individual and you create an environment for learning that is safe for all participants.
I believe we can all work on developing Command Presence by doing a few things. First, working on Assertive Communication skills starting with the belief that 1) we are all equal; 2) each person has a legitimate perspective;
3) each person has the right to their feelings and; 4) how we express ourselves is much more important than what we actually say.
Second, take care of yourself, body, mind and spirit. When you exercise regularly you are building strength and a foundation of health that your mind/body perceives as powerful and therefore brings confidence.
Third, continuously educating yourself, expanding your experience and knowledge so that when you do speak you really do know what you're talking about. And finally, mindfulness which cultivates present moment awareness.
The main reason it may be beneficial to do all of this is that with Command Presence you are perceived as a powerful person and not an easy target. When people are choosing someone to harm or steal from, it is less likely to be you. Not
only that but you also feel good about yourself.