Do you know when you’re making an impact? Do you realise when you’re doing something that gives someone else an experience or feeling or thought that’s worth remembering? Do you plan for it or does it happen naturally?
I think it’s fair to say, in the course of our daily interactions, getting on with our life and careers as best we know how, that most of us probably don’t understand or even notice the impact of our actions on those around us, some perhaps don’t even care. However, I’ve been reminded yet again, how important it is to show up consistently, to always give it your best shot and aim for the best possible impact at every opportunity. It pays off.
So how do you know you’ve had an impact?
I’ve had 6 contacts in the last two weeks that have been the best, yet most surprising of calls. Regardless of what comes of it, I’ve been blown away and so excited by just knowing who made the call, what encouraged them to get in touch and the type of work I’m being asked to consider. Some of these people I haven’t worked with, or spoken to, for years. Some of these people were faces in a room of many others. Some of these people were individuals I’d only spent a couple of hours with. Some of these people I’d never met before but had heard or read about me. Some of these people know me incredibly well, yet I assumed would never reach out to me in this capacity. However, these conversations started with “I remembered in that workshop you said ….”, “I remembered our conversation about ….”, “After talking to you I went on to do….“ I knew you were the only one I wanted to work with because you make me feel …”, “I’ve heard so much about you….”
I know this stuff happens, I coach my clients on laying the foundations to make this kind of stuff happen, but I’m always really surprised when it happens to me! This is when I know I’ve had an impact and it makes my heart sing!
Is it fate? Is it karma? Is it about just being you at your best?
Depending on your perspective you could put my recent experience down to lady luck! And I’m sure there’s an element of right place, right time, right reminder! However, I’m also convinced that you create your own luck. When I reflect on my recent experience, and the impact I’ve had on these people to encourage them to call, I can summarise it in 5 points:
- I’m consistent in the way I show up; in person, in writing, on the phone, one to one, one to many.
- I work hard at being a professional coach. I want to be the best I can.
- I genuinely care about my clients, the work I do with them and the value it brings
- I use my strengths to best effect and reach out for help when I need it.
- I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. I’m genuine, honest and extremely grounded.
I know when I’m doing these things I’m more likely to have a positive impact. In the moment I might not ‘see’ the impact I’m having, but when the phone rings 2 weeks, 18 months or 5 years later as a result of something I said or did, I know I do have an impact.
What impact do you have?
We’re all remembered for different reasons. The one who makes people laugh, the one who always picks up the pieces, the one who always knows what to say, the one who always gets us dancing at a party, the one who bakes the best cake, the one who always manages to get the team back on track, the one who leads from the front, the one who always turns up on time.
When it comes to managing your career, or indeed your life, it’s important to understand the impact you have on others and whether or not it’s having the desired effect!
How are you remembered? When did you have the best possible impact? What were you doing? When didn’t it go quite right? What were you doing?
Are all impacts positive?
Donald Trump might disagree with me on this and I suppose it depends on your original intent!
But sometimes we are completely oblivious of the impact of our actions on others. In fact, in my mind, this is the most dangerous kind of impact. There’s something positive in consciously knowing that your impact is likely to be negative (bare with…), but something hugely worrying about unconsciously and often incompetently creating an impact that you’re blissfully unaware of. Politicians have lost their jobs over it, businesses have folded over it, individuals have become incredibly lonely because of it, job interviews have never been successful as a result of it.
So what can you do about it?
- Reflect on your impact on others, perhaps gather some feedback to help uncover those blind spots
- Understand what it is you’re doing when you’re at your best
- Repeat this formula, over and over and over, and show up consistently in all mediums
- Always know you will have an impact on others, whether buying groceries, writing your LinkedIn profile or talking at a conference
- Own it, take responsibility for it, and work hard at it.
If you’d like some help better understanding your impact and how to make it work for you, then please get in touch.