We all have impact. My presence and actions influence other people. Yours do too.
Are you clear about your impact? Do you know what impact you want to have?
Three executives – a woman and two men – are sitting at a conference table waiting for others to arrive to begin a meeting. One man remarks about a woman to the other man, “Did you see Helen today?” Other man, “Yeah.” A look is exchanged between them – eyebrows get raised and a head nod/wiggle.
The woman – who is at their same level – knows Helen. She wants to say something in defense of Helen and in reprimand of the men.
In seconds, the following thoughts pass through her mind. Helen is confident in her body. She wears work appropriate clothing that accentuates her shape. That comment is disrespectful. How would you feel if a man your age spoke about your daughter like this? I feel disappointed and expect more professional behavior from you.
Yet, her voice wouldn’t come. She felt paralyzed.
These men had no idea of the impact they had on this woman.
While they were talking, another woman walked in. She was younger and a few levels below the others. She also heard the comment and saw the exchanged expression. She looked at the men and stated, “Don’t talk about women like that.” She held their gaze. They both apologized and sheepishly looked away. She took out her computer.
The woman who said nothing felt small. She silently vowed to find a way to speak her voice.
These moments happen for everyone. We watch people act in ways that we admire. We take action that others admire. Moments so small that one might wonder if anyone ever notices. They do.
Ten years later my client shares this story as a foundation of our work. She remembers – and has sought to become – the woman who stood for the dignity of another.
This event – and others like it – brought her to somatic coaching and work with me. She knew what to say – she was smart and savvy. She simply could not say it. She became paralyzed. She knew the choice to speak lived in more than her mind.
As we worked together through bodywork, movement, practices, and conversation, she refined her vision, “To stand for all beings.” and a dim light inside her became brighter. With this vision, she effortlessly, eloquently, and effectively speaks her mind and stands for the dignity of all beings. She is no longer paralyzed. She marvels at the simple yet profound transformation.
I attend many meetings. I see people take action and witness other people take notice. I see sparks of influence pass across the table and around the room. These sparks define and shape workplace culture. A story, comment, or action has long lived effects. Still, many walk around as if they have no influence.
My client never shared the impact of this powerful, future-shaping event with the influencer.
You have impact. Your actions influence others. Take accountability for your impact. Clearly define your vision. Use your influence to create the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible.
Influence is powerful action. It works when you have a deeply rooted vision and live your professed values. Organizations need leaders with clear visions and anchored values. These leaders create healthy cultures.
Learn to manifest your truth. Become a vision keeper.
 Eisenstein, C. 2013. The More Beautiful World our Hearts know is Possible. New York: North Atlantic Books.