Professional impact – a frequent topic of my articles. Today, I came across an article by an associate of mine who was looking at increasing professional impact as a leader from a different, somewhat broader angle. I thought it worthy of sharing with some added commentary of my own.
Typically, you will hear me refer to professional impact and the importance of appearance, body language and voice to enhance your personal image and communicate yourself effectively.
In today’s article, ‘5 Strategies for How to Raise Your Impact Professionally’ Jane Adshead-Grant, includes communication but cites some altogether different ways to increase your professional impact which I thought were striking and very relevant in today’s working world. Let’s take a look at what Jane includes:
Discovering a way of being
Here, Jane explains this is about clarity regarding what you are doing and curiosity about others. I personally like this very much. It’s easy to assume we are how we are as a fait accompli. However, this puts the focus on actually thinking about what we are doing rather than just doing it. Jane’s point about curiosity is a vital one too, if we are to grow as people. Often, when I am working with 1-2-1 clients they mention someone whose positive personal image influences them. Using curiosity as Jane suggests helps us assimilate the world around us and take on board what we experience, with curiosity to lead to new understanding.
Jane cites the importance of creativity in making you invaluable to your organisation; the challenge is having the ideas and the ability to follow through. From my personal experience, people tend to either have greater strength as idea generators or as idea executioners. If you have the skill to do both, that is going to put you streaks ahead. If you don’t, then a good option is to marshal the resources around you to fill the gap.
Jane focuses on the need to reinvent yourself to adapt to change, whether that is in your current organisation, a new organisation or starting your own. From my own experience of starting a business, this is essential to start any new phase; it’s as much about how you see yourself as how others see you. The need to reappraise your current skills and abilities and open yourself up to developing new ones is particularly relevant at the start of a new challenge. The resulting benefit is a longer list of what you are good at and a better leader. You will surprise yourself.
Ah my old favourite. Jane focuses on the importance of listening here. An essential skill to be a good leader in today’s work place. The model of the leader doing all the talking and the subordinates all the listening is no longer relevant and not the way for organisations to flourish. To be respected and have impact as a leader, the ability to hear others and take their contributions on board as appropriate, is essential.
Jane focuses on leadership being a journey and the support a coach can offer during this time being of huge benefit. Leadership coaching will prepare you for the different situations you are likely to encounter as a leader. From my personal perspective of being a leader in my own business, I have really seen the value of having a coach to challenge me, develop my thinking and keep me accountable. A friend of mine questioned my need for a coach as I have a Management degree but nothing prepares you for running your own business. It is short sighted to think we don’t need help to grow. The journey of learning and growing must never end and we all need the right support in place to achieve that.
I hope you have found this take on increasing professional impact as insightful as I have. For more information on how Jane Adshead-Grant helps leaders to develop their skills, do visit her website. She is also a fellow associate of Voice at the Table.