In an earlier post I suggested that you don’t have to have great personal impact to be good at your job, but it helps. And if you want to get more of it, it’d be pretty useful to have an idea of what people with great personal impact actually do, wouldn’t it? Well here, without varnish, is the answer to that question from my personal and professional point of view. People with great personal impact have-
- Energy– that defines their presence in a room, in the right place, at the right time.
- Empathy– for the other people in the room and how they might be feeling
- Emotional connection– they know how they themselves feel about things in the moment and can choose their approach to the other people in the room to match the mood and the moment.
All very vague and high level for the moment, but stick with me and imagine that you’re waiting to meet someone for the first time. What would make a positive impact on you?
Let’s think that you’ve registered with a new dentist in your town, and you go for your first appointment and you walk in through the door, a little nervous. You’re greeted by the back of someone’s head. He says, sit in the chair would you? Open wide, OK- and then starts barking tooth names and numbers to his invisible (to you) assistant. How’re you feeling now? Probably worse than you did when you came into the room.
Where was the dentist’s energy? Focused on himself. Where was the empathy for how it was, in that moment, to be you? Nowhere. Where was the emotional connection with this busy professional? Nowhere once again. Given a choice, you’d choose a different dentist wouldn’t you?
I accept that what’s important here is that the guy is a great profressional. We’d all prefer pain free, quality treatment with no charisma, over falling in love and having your teeth fall out 2 weeks later; but given equal skill, most of us would choose a professional that was warm, focused on us and in control of themselves, wouldn’t we?
Human beings need love, concern and care, and our assessment of all of the people we meet starts with a lighting assessment of whether the other person is interested in us at all. If he’s not , then we may listen but we probably won’t believe.
If you want to get ahead on the basis of your personal impact, just develop your social skills. That’s where charisma lies.