Developing impact is something that we focus on with many clients at all levels through our career coaching programmes. It’s a fascinating area to look at and so gratifying to develop, spanning all aspects of life with far-reaching benefits for those who master it. How to develop impact is something that seems quite intangible, but in fact, is more of a strategic process using self-awareness and developing softer skills.

What is professional impact?

Making an impact, being impactful, is less about ‘what’ we do and more about ‘how’ we do it, whether that’s how we communicate, present or deliver. Your tone of voice, your posture, you image, your non-verbal cues, how you hold yourself, are all contributing to the impact you have on the people around you. How much people value your opinion, your work or are influenced by you all come down to the impact, or not, that you make.

Non-verbal communication is 79% of your communication, so your impact is in fact and ironically, determined by your internal dialogue much more than anything else, which comes from your beliefs and relationship with yourself. If there’s a gap between how you’re presenting and how you really think or feel, it’s called ‘leaking’. We can’t help but leak our true feelings, non-verbally. People may not be able to pinpoint exactly why they feel better about one person over another, but they instinctively engage more with the person who’s congruent in their presentation. Congruence is the most long-lasting, authentic way to develop true impact.

Deciding on the type of impact you want to make is where it all starts.

Impact is something that becomes more and more obvious as you climb up the career or organisational ladder, but is prevalent everywhere. Hard work will get you only so far, the ‘smart’ in ‘work smarter, not harder’ is essentially where impact comes in. Imagine 10 different people deliver the exact same message to you, you would interact with that same message, in 10 different ways, it would almost certainly affect you in 10 different ways and you would feel differently about each person, okay, we’re generalising, but mounds of research shows it’s true.

How you come across to others, determines how other’s behave towards you, which projects you get assigned, how quickly you get promoted and so on and so on.
How you come across to others, your personal brand as it were, is made up of many internal mechanics. How you see yourself, how you feel about yourself, how you treat yourself, what you believe to be true about yourself and in relation to others and the world.

How I coach people to develop greater impact and project the type of presence and personal brand that will benefit them and support their career aspirations starts with these 4 areas:

1. Beliefs

Identify what you’re really telling yourself that’s not serving you. What are your limiting beliefs (a belief is just a thought we keep thinking over and over again) that don’t support your goals, many are just outdated and need upgrading. We separate them out, help you decide what positive beliefs you want to replace them with and you start feeding yourself these thoughts and create a new template until it’s your new norm.

2. Self-image

Creating a new self-image, the beliefs really feed into this, how do you view yourself, what’s working for you and what isn’t in how you see yourself? You can ask questions like: who do I want to be at work, in my career? How do I want to come across and how do I want people to think of me? How does a person like this behave, what’s the difference in their behaviour, tone of voice, posture, interaction style etc. to mine?

3. Boundaries

Assertiveness, boundaries – this always starts with you. Do you say no, when you mean no? Does ‘no’ mean ‘no’ when you do say it? Do you keep your promises to yourself? Boundaries are something we create, to maintain balance inside and out, both for our relationship with ourselves and with others. Does that lunchtime gym session get easily squashed if work piles up? Making and keeping our promises to ourselves is the only starting place for assertiveness to grow.

4. Your relationship with you

How we treat ourselves, is our non-verbal instruction manual to how other’s can treat us. If you don’t prioritise yourself, your health, your time, if you don’t value your input, your ideas, why should anyone else? Starting small, make a conscious concerted effort to do something for yourself each day, to enrich your day, to nourish yourself, this is supportive behaviour to allow yourself to grow into the person you need to be to achieve your goals.

5. Think in a more senior way

The senior mentality, keeping the bigger picture in mind, coming from a more business-minded view point and thinking holistically is what it’s all about superficially. If you can ‘show’ you’re cultivating this mindset and act from this place, you’re on to a winner.

If you want to discuss how you can develop more impact at work to help you achieve your career ambitions, book your free phone consultation here and speak to one of our Career Coaches about how we can help you.

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