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April 20, 2023 | Dale Halm

What Impact Do You Make?

Personal impact is just that, how you personally impact others or circumstances. It is being aware of your presence, how you come across to others - how your conduct affects others. It is being responsible for delivering on your assignments - doing your work effectively in support of team goals. People who demonstrate high levels of personal impact hold themselves and others accountable for agreements made. They avoid blame and demonstrate an absence of victim mentality. Personal impact is about how you interact with others and how they experience you.

Do you command attention or are you seen in ways that turn people off? Do you come across as knowledgeable, aloof, arrogant, caring, or responsive? Do you really know how you affect others? No matter what your position, level of education or expertise, what really makes you stand out is how you influence others and your ability to work effectively with them.

When you exhibit positive personal impact, you are approachable, not standoffish. You are easy to do business with, project a can-do-attitude, and follow through on commitments. You speak from the heart with conviction. If you need to tell someone something or follow through on a promise, you do it. You avoid behaviors such as: cynicism, being a naysayer, complaining or overreacting. When you embody this practice, you step up to the profound realization that you and you alone are in charge of how effectively you influence others.

To increase awareness of your personal impact, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. What can I learn from this experience?
  2. What can I do right now to move things forward?
  3. How do I need to adjust my behavior to be more effective?
  4. Am I blaming others or circumstances? Am I being a victim?
  5. Am I being responsible for how my behavior affects others?
  6. How are my actions (positive or negative) contributing to the situation?
  7. Have I done everything I can to ensure the project or team goal is being met?

Remember, no matter what happens, you can react as a victim or take responsibility. It depends on the choices you make. Though this can be difficult due to emotions, habits, and other influences, it is possible. Being more aware of yourself, and responding effectively to challenging situations, is being responsible for your personal impact.

Here is a two-step process to help you make the right choice. First, be aware, reflect and ask yourself the following question. How will I choose to respond? Whether you are dealing with a difficult situation or someone you need to interact with effectively, you need to realize you have a choice.

Second, will you choose to respond in a reactive or proactive manner? When people are reactive they often avoid responsibility. They tend to feel powerless, accept the status-quo or find fault with others. They focus on what’s wrong or exaggerate things.

When you choose to respond proactively you take responsibility by viewing challenges as opportunities and exhibit a can-do approach. This enables you to take the initiative to make things better by working to resolve misunderstandings and focus on solving problems instead of avoiding them. The result is that you make a positive, powerful impact on whatever situation you are experiencing. You begin to model the way toward excellence.