We all have different motivations when it comes to our work. Some are driven by titles and prestige, while others value money, flexibility, or a zen-like balance of work and life. No matter what your motivations are, most people want to have an impact on what they do and contribute to meaningful work.
Today we’ll cover three tips to influence your impact at work.
Look past the storms of the day
The Swirl. That’s what we call the chaos, situations, and circumstances that derail your plans and ambitions for the day. We often talk about The Swirl in terms of how outward items influence your ability to get things done and we emphasize building strong time management skills and systems in place in order for you to manage your day instead of your day managing you.
There is also an internal swirl as well. This kind of swirl happens when we focus too much attention on our own fear, pride, and insecurities. When we do this, we allow our internal swirl to influence our decision-making ability. Think about that influence on your impact. If you focus inwardly on your pride fear and insecurities, then your decisions become self-serving. It also leads us to become preoccupied with what we want and think that we need to advance our own agendas and aspirations.
Release that inner swirl and storm and focus outwardly instead. Seek diverse opinions and take time to step back to look at the larger context of those things that are feeding your inner swirl. I find when I get in this place to pause and take stock of things that I am thankful for and perhaps have been taking for granted as a help to reframe my train of thought.
If trust is a house that we build for our team to live in, then transparency is the door that everyone enters. It’s hard to have an impact without trust and it’s hard to have trust without transparency.
Be honest with yourself: You first have to be open to yourself before you can be open with others. That means raising your self-awareness to a healthy level. It also means having an understanding of what your understanding of what you hold close to the vest and why you do that. Continue to challenge yourself and those limitations that you may be putting on yourself and your leadership walk.
Open yourself to others: Often when people think about transparency, they think about a person’s willingness, or lack of, to share with others. It’s not always black or white either. Maybe a leader shares about the business well enough, but they are intentionally closed off when it comes to anything personal. Being transparent doesn’t mean you have to share everything, it just means you are free and open to sharing the right things personally and being vulnerable to sharing appropriate personal information.
When you are transparent in these two ways it allows others to help you with personal biases, experiences, and objectivity.
Be flexible and adaptive
Another way to influence impact at work is to be flexible and adaptable to different situations and people. Influence is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it requires adjusting your style, tone, language, and tactics according to the context and audience. For example, some people may prefer direct communication, while others may prefer indirect communication; some people may respond well to logic and facts, while others may respond well to emotions and stories; some people may be motivated by rewards, while others may be motivated by recognition. To be flexible and adaptable, you need to understand the needs, preferences, expectations, and goals of different people and situations.
Adaptability not only strengthens your influence and impact, but it can also give you better satisfaction in your role. I coached and mentored several leaders because they were hired for X and the work turned into Y. The lack of adaptability certainly impacted their most effective self, but it also had a deeper personal impact by eroding engagement and a sense of accomplishment and belonging in the role they held. Having a mindset of adaptability, moving, and changing to the circumstances around you gets you engaged and always relevant to the team that you serve.
Influence and impact are essential for achieving success and satisfaction at work. They enable us to make a positive difference, achieve our goals, and advance our careers. Combine these tips with a strong passion and purpose for your work and your team and you’ll have a compelling value to offer to others.
Make a better tomorrow.