The Importance Of How You Show Up


The Importance Of How You Show Up

How you show up has been clearly demonstrated to me lately. There have been a plethora of public events and I have attended many of them. It has given me the opportunity to watch the dynamics of how one shows up and to be more aware of my own actions as well.

I’ve been most impressed with watching our Mayor, Linda Gorton, as she has shown up to several of the events I have attended. One of them was a task force she called on Open Minds, Mental Health Innovation, for Mental Health Awareness week, where I was the speaker, and another was a gala for our 100-year-old theater. She demonstrated all the points I want to make here, making me glad I was on my game for these events as well.

Here are the things I think we all need to pay attention to when we “Show Up”.


I learned the lesson of timeliness the hard way a while back. I looked at the date and time and remembered it was wrong. I was one of the speakers and was getting ready to leave to be there half an hour early when I received a phone call. I was supposed to be there right then, an hour earlier than I thought. Oh nooo. They worked me into the panel discussion at the end and I made it on time but the anxiety I caused myself and everyone else was awful. 

Now I always arrive early – at least half an hour or more, especially if I’m speaking. There always seem to be technical issues that require last-minute attention. The one last week took 40 minutes and 4 IT people to address. You just never know what might happen. I got there early, along with the Mayor.


I wasn’t aware I was the main, keynote speaker at the Mayor’s event until I arrived. Thank heavens I was prepared. She had a proclamation framed and ready to read, along with a lovely speech. She is impeccable in this way. So gracious and easy, making all the pertinent points for the occasion.

Having my talking points and PowerPoint ready is something I know I must prepare ahead of time to be relaxed and confident. Not that winging it doesn’t have its moments, but people of importance are always prepared. I’ve seen Lee kick people out of his band if they don’t know the music thoroughly. A professional is always prepared and that’s the way I always want to be.


Your attitude comes through in so many ways. It is demonstrated in how you look, groomed appropriately for the occasion, with a smile and willingness to be present. It is demonstrated in your choice of words, being positive, welcoming, and gracious toward others – no matter what is going on. Our mayor, while not fancy, is always lovely and gracious, her positivity is her most admirable quality.

A negative attitude can literally ruin a career. Being slovenly in dress, with sullen looks, negative comments, unfriendly, and unresponsive will always bring negative consequences. You have to pull yourself up to put the best attitude forward.


Engagement is the extra step that separates true leaders from others. The more you are willing to step forward, make an introduction, include others, join the discussion and make a contribution, the more you will make a positive impression. This kind of engagement helps you be recognized and remembered.

Watching our Mayor’s quality of engagement was impressive. She remembers people, is happy to see you again, has good eye contact, relaxed good humor, and is gracious with her comments. When someone is lacking in this way, it is always noticeable. A former CEO of a local Mental Health organization stayed alone in his office, had limited and unfriendly engagement, and was consequently uniformly disliked. Thankfully he’s gone. These things make a difference.

This serves as a reminder of the details that make a difference in how you show up. Let timeliness become a routine habit, be prepared for your role so you can be relaxed and confident, show a positive attitude in your appearance, expression, and words, and step forward to be proactive in your engagement.

These are the qualities that make a difference in how you show up. 

Is this something you already know and do, or could you use some support to hone this skill set? If you’d like assistance, reach out, my Transformational Coaching and Therapy can help. Go to and use my Free consultation link. I’d love to hear from you.  




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