“We make our biggest impressions when we are not trying to be impressive.” That was one of KSTP sports anchor Joe Schmit’s key points when I heard him speak earlier this month at the Twin Cities Professional Sales Association. Joe is also a motivational speaker of considerable renown and author of the new book Silent Impact. I enjoyed his message and bought his book. I am passing along some of my favorite parts to inspire you as you contemplate your plans for 2015. His point is that other people’s reactions to us are not made in response to our occasional extraordinary or heroic efforts, but by the way in which we live out our values in our everyday actions.
Some people, explained Joe, seem to have an uncommonly positive influence on the people around them. He calls these individuals “impact players,” and it’s what he suggests that we all should strive to become. He found through his research on impact players that they hold three important traits in common: Purpose, Persistence and Passion. Quoting from Joe’s book, he describes how these three traits manifest in the workplace:
Purpose: Those who have great impact in their workplace align their actions with their values. They are genuine. They have integrity and they always put the team in front of themselves.
Persistence: Those who have great impact in their workplace are persistently positive and also relentless in their preparation. They routinely go above and beyond for everyone on the team — no questions asked.
Passion: Those who have great impact in their workplace are the heart and soul of the operation. They care about others as employees, but they also care about them as people. They know what was going on in other people’s lives, enjoy their successes, and show concern over their adversities. They simply always, always care.
The best news is that when we align our actions with our values, we too can make a positive impact on those around us. Joe’s book has some insightful and practical suggestions to move us in that direction. For example, he suggests that instead of making a New Year’s resolution, we resolve to improve one thing each month.
I plan to put his suggestion to the test. If you’d like to join me, here are some things you also might consider:
- Be less judgmental
- Give one compliment a day
- Be more patient
- Smile more
- Be more understanding
- Listen more than you talk
- Be more generous
- Be more tolerant
- Show more gratitude
As we enter a new year, may we all strive to live in such a way that we have a positive impact on our children, our colleagues, and our community.
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