Personal Impact: What Is the Secret?

Some people seem to just have it. The mystery ingredient that gets them results, even when their technical skills or subject matter expertise are no more than average. This enables them to keep a team on side through tough times, and get a job done.

There's nothing more frustrating than feeling you should be making better progress and not being able to see what's holding you back. You may come up with all sorts of possible explanations: The boss does not give me a chance. My team are un-supportive. Colleagues don't involve me fully. But are these causes - or merely symptoms?

You should consider the way you interact with others and see if there is any way in which you can improve how you are interacting with your colleagues and superiors. Maybe you can improve the way in which you are seen within your workplace by adopting a more positive attitude towards the work itself. Rather than moaning about things that are getting you annoyed at work you should come up with suggestions to improve things.

To really diagnose what is going on, it's worth looking rather closer to home. The workplace is a complex social environment, where success almost invariably depends on the way you interact with other people. And that means you can quickly improve your own personal effectiveness simply by understanding more about how you yourself manage those interactions.

Take a few examples.
• If a colleague asks probing questions about a proposal you make, do you become defensive because you feel your competence is being challenged or do you respond positively, on the assumption the person is asking because they are keen on the idea and want to make sure it's workable?
• When speaking with colleagues, do you tend to be a talker, who already has the end in sight or a listener, open to new ways of seeing things?
• In conversations, do you find it hard to get others to take what you say on board or do you think ahead about how they might react and find effective ways to reach agreement?

What's Dictating How You Respond?
What we actually see and hear is only a small part of what's really going on when you interact with others. The greater part comes from what's already in your head, from the beliefs you hold and the assumptions you make. These dictate how you see the world, and how you see others, and can distort reality to an extent that creates real obstacles to progress. If you find big disconnects between what you want out of interactions and what you get, that's a strong sign of distortion at work.

Take Action to Change
The good news is that it's not hard to change these thought patterns, if you are prepared for a little reflection and focused thinking. Our short Individual Effectiveness guides cover key strategies to help you do just that. Put these simple ideas into practice, and your personal effectiveness will increase, so you can better influence others and get to where you want to be.

And the Secret of Personal Impact?
Simply to know there is no secret. Because to assume there is a mystery ingredient others have that you do not is to create a distorted thought pattern that stops you making progress. Only once you believe you can learn to improve your own effectiveness can you take positive steps to do so.

Article Source: Mike Knudsen

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