People everywhere are watching, listening and judging you on the basis of what they see, what they hear and if you interact with them, whether that is a positive, negative or neutral experience.
Positive judgments and experience will help them build their trust and confidence in you. So, how do you do that?
Here are six of my own observations on how people can positively impact on others:
1. Be energetic
You can inspire, engage and uplift people by bringing positive energy to pretty much every situation and conversation. Positive energy is uplifting, inspiring and engaging. You can make a positive impact by the way you look and move. Hold yourself confidently, smile not scowl, walk purposefully but not too quickly, otherwise you could appear too unapproachable. Be controlled and calm, this may seem at odds with being energetic, but you want to appear consistently energetic and not overly emotional or reactive to situations.
2. Be present
When you are in a conversation or situation, forget everything else that is happening around you and be in the moment. Make this person or situation the most important in your life, because for this moment it is. Give it your full attention through your eyes, listening, conversational skills, with your body language conveying the message you want to give. Don’t do the “over the shoulder” or “in the distance trick” and be glancing or watching other people if you want to stay engaged and make a positive impact with this person.
3. Be interested
In a conversation or situation be interested unless of course you want to appear disinterested for a specific reason. For most of the time listening and asking questions that demonstrate your interest, helps you to engage and connect with the other person. Most people warm to someone who shows some genuine interest in them and by doing so you will have a positive impact. Being genuinely interested in someone also helps you to better understand their situation and motivation. If you learn over time about their family, their commute to work, their special skills, interests and hobbies, their life and work aspirations then you can improve the quality of people decisions you make. This is why listening and asking the right questions is such an underrated attribute.
4. Be consistent
You create a positive impact on people by being consistent in your moods and your approach, and ideally broadly predictable and positive. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create tension or demonstrate anger or displeasure, because sometimes that is necessary and creates a positive impact because it is consistent with the situation in hand. However if those around you can’t easily understand, interpret and accept as reasonable your behaviour, then you will have failed to make a positive impact. An important part of creating a positive impact through building consistency is doing what you say you are going to do. Because this invariably doesn’t happen you create such a positive impact when you complete on that promise.
5. Be genuine and humble
Whilst there are some situations where you have to appear and impact differently, for the most part, being genuine and humble in the way you behave creates a positive impact. If people believe they are interacting with the real you, it helps you build trust with them – massively important within a team culture and for personal relationships. It helps even more if you don’t have a self-inflated sense of your own importance. Increasingly now organisations look to create a ‘no dickheads culture’, which is an Australian way of saying ‘no egos – we want people with humility’.
If people think you are an imposter or are behaving in a superior manner then you will create a negative impact and very little trust.
6. Be strong and confident
People like confidence. They are drawn to it as a positive trait and so if you behave in a confident manner you will create a positive impact. Some people are naturally confident but for others there are some real mental blocks that prevent a good feeling about themselves that in turn doesn’t translate into confidence. The perception by others will be that if you can’t feel confident about yourself or a situation or decision to be made, then “why should I feel confident about you?” Building confidence and self-belief takes some work. And, some courage. Deep breaths, walking and talking with purpose, a positive mindset and self talk, applying the behaviours above will all make you feel a little stronger and more confident. Often you have to ‘fake it before you make it’, ie pretend before it feels real.
For those for whom confidence is a more natural state the issue is at the other end of the spectrum – you don’t want to appear too confident or too cocky. Whilst for some people that will remain an attractive trait for most people if you are ‘full of yourself ‘ and high on self-interest, your impact will become more negative and their trust in you will falter. It’s a really fine line and one that you’ll likely make mistakes with until perfected.
Confidence and humility is a winning combination.
In summary, creating a positive impact on those around you builds trust and rapport, both of which are important building blocks in developing relationships and influencing others. For more on mental toughness and achieving a positive impact contact us.