How well do you really know yourself? Do you have clarity on how others see you?
As I often say in workshops which involve body language and voice (which is many of them, as it’s so important in many professional scenarios), most people don’t have a good idea of how they appear to others. This is simply because unless we have a camera follow us around, it’s very hard to see how we really move, gesture, use facial expressions etc. In terms of voice, a recording is rarely true to reality either. So unless, we have had feedback from others or worked with experts who have fed back to us and helped us to develop, we really have no idea. This extends beyond body language to behaviour and interaction too.
All the 1-2-1 work I do starts with understanding where my client is at and running a mocked up session that they and I feedback on i.e. the mirror. That might be a job interview, a meeting scenario, a presentation, amongst others. The key is to distil what is holding that person back – both in how they feel about how they come across and what they are communicating to others and the perception that creates.
Everybody can build their self-awareness, know what to work on and improve how the come across
Take my enthusiastic and experienced client working with me on her impact at interview who had no idea she cut off interviewer questions early and tapped the table with enthusiasm, as she started to answer. Or, my client needing to run working groups who continually rubbed his hands together as he spoke. They might be small things but they detract from making a positive impact on the person or people you are trying to engage. They decrease credibility too. Can you be sure you aren’t negatively impacting others and detracting from your great experience and skills?
What to work on
So we work on the less good things, those that are reducing personal impact, but until we are aware of them we can’t do a thing, so a ‘clean mirror’ is essential to develop and progress. We also work on the elements of impact to enhance, so my client achieves what they want to, whether that is the promotion, the new role, the decision in the meeting they want, by being the best they can be. The list of professional scenarios where personal impact and relationship building matter goes on.
What about you?
Imagine if you knew how to improve from where you’re at? How could that help your progression and confidence? Which professional scenario is holding you back?
Posted by Joanna Gaudoin
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