How Can I Improve My Personal Impact?
Nobody wants to be the proverbial wallflower in any set of circumstances, where our views are ignored, trashed or not sought in the first place! This is true whether the context is a social gathering, a family setting and certainly in any work-related meeting or interaction.
Being ignored is soul-destroying, frustrating, de-motivating and leads to marginalisation and a progressive sense of isolation – once this process begins it is very hard to break out of that downward spiral.
The solution to this debilitating problem however lies in your own hands and can be easily challenged and resolved by putting your focus into three different areas:
Energy: where you focus your attention when you are with a group of people. Look around you and see which of the group are driving the conversation and interaction and then focus in upon what they are saying with the intention of adding a comment or view that will chime with the thrust of the conversation. This does NOT mean just repeating what has been said but thinking quickly, and carefully, about the topic and adding is a relevant perspective. This takes energy and patience but by practising strong listening skills you can relatively easily break into the conversation and become visible in the process.
Empathy: how you respect the other people in your life and work. People will always be able to spot fake respect and admiration from a mile away but by showing that your respect is genuine and well-placed will greatly enhance your impact.
Emotional connection: how you understand and show your feelings. Feeling and opinions are always communicated through your body language and behavioural styles so take time to reflect upon how you use them currently, research the subject and then make sure that you have the knowledge to better control and master them.
Let’s put this into practice at the weekly Team Meeting. You have the Agenda and Minutes from the previous Meeting so you know what will be discussed and who is likely to be driving the content and putting their points across on each of the topics. In terms of Energy, do your research, prepare well and have something positive to contribute to the communication and influence patterns that will be featured in the gathering. Be polite, respectful and show others Empathy in the meeting, especially if your views are counter to theirs: this will raise your profile significantly, something that you can progressively build upon as time goes by. Show your passion and enthusiasm, both in a verbal and non-verbal manner so that your Emotional connection can be seen, rather than just saying something for the sake of it, almost to prove yourself that you are actually in the room.
Keep your focus upon Energy, Empathy and Emotional connection in any arena that you find yourself in, having carefully considered your strategy first.
Improving your personal impact will ALWAYS be a work-in-progress as even the most successful and popular people that you know are continually working to sharpen and refine their skills and knowledge in this area.
Keep your focus and keep practicing!
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