Personal impact is important. Are you having the impact you want to have? Are you feeling listened to? Do you influence others in the way you would like to? Are you able to get your point across, in meetings and 1-1 conversations? When delivering a presentation, do you communicate your message effectively?
Some people and situations may make you feel that you are not valued, that you lack confidence to stand up for your point of view. The good news is that you can develop your ability to have personal impact in these different situations.
Different strokes for different folks
Every day we meet and work alongside different people. A key aspect of personal impact is being able to respond in a way that engages these different people. Being flexible in how we think and behave is key to personal impact – this involves how we use our body and our voice, as well as how we think about other folks.
What is personal impact?
We can describe personal impact as the ability to engage and connect with others with confidence and clarity. Being flexible allows us to choose the impact we wish to project. It offers us ways of handling those times when we may feel nervous and lacking in confidence.
The 3 S’s of personal impact
Developing our flexibility involves us working with our inner and outer worlds. The inner world is how we think about ourselves and others; the outer world is the range of behaviours that we have available to us and that we use.
The 3 S’s help us to work on our inner and outer words. Shape up, speak up and step up – let’s take a brief look at each.
By shaping up we are getting our mind and body in good shape for having the impact we wish.
Imagine how you wish to be seen and heard. Give yourself those positive messages to encourage you to adopt behaviours that will support your vision. Get yourself an inner cheerleader to encourage you and support you in those times when doubts may enter your head – we all have them!!
In the outer world key to shaping up is working on how we look physically – the way we stand, hold our heads and the facial expressions we adopt; it’s all about our body language and posture. All these will help us to respond to those different folks we wish to influence and engage with.
How we sound is a vital element of personal impact. Accents are fine, speaking clearly and with confidence is what is needed. You can learn techniques that will help if there are times when you feel your voice is letting you down – too quiet, too soft; all are fine at sometimes, it’s about using your voice in the way that is best to achieve the impact you want in each different situation.
To have the positive impact you wish to have it is vital to have that confidence to step up, engage and connect with folk. In the inner world, this means growing your self-belief and confidence. You need to ensure that your self-judgement is giving your useful feedback and isn’t in overdrive, acting as an inner critic rather than an inner cheerleader.
In the outer world stepping up is about knowing what is important to you and how to say these things at the appropriate time, with confidence and clarity. Stepping up is about how you enter that room, hold yourself as you meet new people and the way you sit while listening as well as when you are speaking – all these things give out lots of messages that others pick up on. The messages will influence how others see us and the impact we have on them.
Let yourself be who you wish to be – have the personal impact you wish to have. By working on the 3 S’s you can grow your personal impact and become flexible in how you respond to different folks.
Here is a picture of me encouraging people to shape up!