As a transformational leadership coach, I work with people who are already very successful and help bring out their full potential. Through our work together, these amazing people create a way of being impactful in the world, a "Personal Presence," that doesn't only transform their own lives, it inspires transformation everywhere around them.
My clients are endlessly creative and powerful in the positive sense of the word. They create the most beautiful things in the world. They change their lives by finally starting a business based on their passion; they land their dream job and get rid of the things that hold them back.
After working with dozens of these extreme high achievers, I see 10 things that all my clients share that set them apart from less impactful people.
I also see that these 10 things are within everyone's grasp -- if we just commit to really implementing them into our own lives.
So in this article I share the 10 things my clients can teach us about being impactful and the tools to help you incorporate them into your life.
10 Things Highly Impactful People Can Teach Us
1) They truly validate themselves.
I've written about self-validation in this blog. Self-validation lessens our need to be liked and approved of by others, which makes us much more capable of making autonomous decisions. I value this trait so much that I've designed a 30 Day Self Love Challenge to help people be more compassionate and appreciative of themselves. If you feel you could grow yourself in this area, just take the challenge. It's free.
2) They know who they are
They understand their values, their triggers, their fears and they know how to manage these in all relationships they have. A simple way to gain some insights on who you are and what triggers you in others, is filling in a core quality quadrant, developed by Daniel Orfman. Dealing with some of the issues that you have may be challenging. A method I use and value in this, is called the Emotional Freedom Technique or "Tapping."
3) They know they are not their feelings and emotions
Feelings and emotions come and go, just like the weather. They can give you information about what's really going on, but it's unwise to identify with them completely. Having a daily "wisdom practice," like meditating or doing yoga, will help you see your feelings and emotions and appreciate them for what they really are. Developing this kind of daily practice can be challenging, and it's all about creating a rhythm and starting to see the real value of doing it. I recommend starting with a series of guided meditations or a challenge like this one provided by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.
4) They have their body and their mind at their full disposal
This basically means that they can think and feel at the same time -- and they know how to powerfully share their experience. This builds on knowing who you are and realizing you are not your feelings (so they won't drag you anywhere you don't want to go). To be able to stay aware of your body during moments where there's a big appeal on your cognitive skills, I use a simple tool: deep belly breathing. This will instantly connect you to your body and whatever's going on on an intuitive level.
5) They feel comfortable speaking their truth
They know their added value is highest when they are congruent. When what they say really mirrors what they truly think and feel. They are courageous and speak their truth even when that means others may not like them. This makes them vulnerable in a way, and I believe that being authentically vulnerable is extremely powerful. I highly recommend Brené Browns TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability to get a feel of how that plays out.
6) They've mastered the art of Interconnection
They can be connected with their own authentic feelings, while at the same time being connected to others. This is based in many of the things mentioned above and it's about combining these AND being fully open to hear and see the other person or people. An important aspect to is to let go of your own agenda and to really listen to what's on the table.
Stephen Covey said it beautifully: "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."
A tool I often use is to consciously set my intention before I enter a meeting, by saying to myself something like: "I surrender the results of this conversation. I let go of the need for specific results and I'm open to the highest possible outcome. I want to be open to really connect with the people I'm meeting."
7) They know the value of potential
Often when a problem arises, be it at work or in our private life, we focus on either the drama of it all or we move to finding a solution immediately. There is another way, which is much inviting to creativity and innovation. I've written about the potential based approach to problem solving in this article. It's about understanding that flowing with what wants to happen is often much more effective then pushing in a preconceived direction.
8) They trust their intuition
Our rational and analytical skills are not sufficient to address the complex challenges that we face today. Our intuition offers a wealth of wisdom and understanding of the world that is currently wasted by many. People who are in touch with their intuition and have the courage to listen to it and have the experience to trust it, are immediately more impactful. Everyone can develop his or her intuition. It takes practice and time to be silent and listen to that quieter inner voice. As a way of practicing: make it a habit to say to anyone asking for a decision that you'll want to let it sink in. Take some quiet time to sit with the topic. This doesn't have to be literally sitting; walking is immensely effective in my experience. I bet your intuition (or whatever you want to call it) will speak up.
And then it's up to you to be courageous enough to listen to it.
9) They know true leadership is based in service to others.
Leadership, in my opinion, isn't only about leading others. It is about the way you are in the world. Leadership comes from serving the people around you and living your own truth. Starting your day by asking yourself how and who you can serve today, is an amazing tool to focus on service instead of blindly reacting to the things that get thrown at you during the day. Also, something I always do when entering a conversation is to tell myself: "This is NOT about me. This is not about results. I am here to serve." As said in number six: Setting your intention really changes the outcome of a meeting.
10) They build their lives around a clear sense of purpose
This may be one of the most important elements of being impactful. Basically everyone I know aspires for his or her live to be valuable. To make a contribution, to have it not be for nothing. Highly Impactful People actually take the time to get clear on what they want to contribute. Independent of their metaphysical beliefs, they know WHY they want to do what they do, and they let the HOW and the WHAT follow from that Why. There are many ways to get clear on your purpose, and Simon Sinek's beautiful TED talk on the Golden Circle is surely a good place to get started.
All of these build up to what I call a powerful Personal Presence. And that is what being impactful is about. Highly Impactful People have an amazing Personal Presence which allows them to not only change their own lives, but to change the world around them.
I'm blessed enough to work with people who see the immense value of a powerful Personal Presence and who are willing to invest in developing theirs, and by following these 10 steps, so can you.
I'm curious: Which of these 10 things do you all ready see in yourself? And which one are you currently developing?
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