How do you measure impact?
In a recent coaching session with a client of mine, she had stated as a goal that she wanted to have more of an impact. In her actions, the products she produces for her internal customers, her presentations, etc. she wanted to have impact. Which got me to thinking, how does one really measure impact?
We all can think of positive and negative actions that have an immediate impact. Take the latest celebrity scandal, that has an impact on their careers and how we receive whatever message they are peddling. At the same time take a look at who is touted out as the latest hero in the media, that has an impact and we either aspire to their strengths or give extra weight to their words.
Now with social media, anyone it seems can have an impact. A video or some other medium goes viral. A following – almost but not quite a cult – can grow from clever pithy comments or profound insights. New friendships and business relationships can be built or destroyed through interactions on the World Wide Web.
So, it seems, an impact can really be felt at anytime and anywhere with anyone. Therefore if you want to make an impact you need to know the type you want to make. I break measuring an impact into a scale of time. Do you want an impact that is immediate or one that has a lasting effect on your company, marketplace, and/or colleagues? It is important to have an answer to this in order to understand how much influence you can have with your impact.
What do I mean?
Well, an immediate impact typically has the greater variability of having unintended consequences. A sarcastic remark, a bold stand, or a passionate argument in a business meeting will have an immediate impact on the audience. They will laugh, cheer, cower, or fight back. What you cannot control is what happens afterwards. You have built a perception in their mind that they will filter – rightly or wrongly – everything you say and do through the prism of their reaction to the immediate impact you made.
Whereas an impact that will be felt for a long time, if you plan for that type of response, can mitigate the unintended consequences each of your actions might bring. It does not erase them, but it makes them less of an influencer on your audience. This means that you have to understand the audience, the message, the politics, and other environmental factors at play in your workspace to make a long lasting impact. It also means that you must have a definition of what your impact will be.
In the case of my client, she wants to become the “go to” person that is needed in her organization. That is the type of impact she desires to have. To become the “go to” person, she needs to have a plan, not be reactive, and be willing to promote the agendas of others. She has to measure each action she performs against her ultimate goal. This means that she has to be mor proactive, control her emotions, and make sure that every moment in the spotlight builds her credibility.
How you measure your impact has a great influence on how you will be perceived by others. In the workplace you are a brand. You are your brand’s manager. You better know how you want to be perceived and the legacy you want to leave. Otherwise your influence, position, and impact are left to the whims of others.
Do you have a plan to measure impact? Do you even know how? If you do, how do you measure impact?
About the author:
Erroin A. Martin is a Business Advocate with the Von Gehr Consulting Group, LLC, a business coaching and consultancy provider for business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs. He has fifteen years experience working within the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, natural resources, medical devices, software, technology, business services, and agriculture industries in various levels of leadership across six continents. He has led diverse teams in sales, marketing, planning, and in the Army. He currently coaches business leaders and physicians in the tools needed to plan for their success. Learn more about the Von Gehr Consulting Group, LLC at www.vongehrconsulting.com or call +1 203 433 8079. You can follow him on Twitter at @Erroin
The Von Gehr Consulting Group, LLC, was founded by Erroin A. Martin to provide business coaching, business consulting, and other services to companies both large and small. The primary goal is to have his clients be passionate about their business and reach the unachievable.