Make Your Impact @ Work: Be Decisive
This is the third and final article in a 3 part series focused on how to make and increase your impact at work now and throughout your career.
I was inspired to write this after running a 3 month Impact at Work Programme with the Princes Trust and as many of my clients are coming to me concerned that their impact and influence has decreased during the pandemic.
Remote working is a boon for many people but it does bring it’s challenges and for many of us being seen, heard and decisive is hard when so physically distanced from our colleagues and teams.
Coronavirus aside, I see the same impact-obstacles come up time and again with my clients and recognise many of them as I also faced them in my previous careers.
They range from:
- Being spoken over in meetings — or not even given the chance to speak up
- Stress being a paralyser rather than a driver when it comes to decision making
- Having their idea taken as someone else’s and therefore losing the credit for it
- Trying to cope with huge workloads now the expectation is to be ‘online’ all of the time
- Feeling invisible especially when it comes to promotions and pay rises
- Recognising the need to be a certain ‘type’ of person in order to fit in
You may recognise some if not all of these and you may have several impact-obstacles to add to the list — either way — ready on for my essential guide on how to make sure you and your work is being fully seen and appreciated by the right people, at the right time.
Below are 3 simple exercises to help you or anyone you work with who struggles to make decisions and then follow through on them.
The 5 Second Rule
Mel Robbins is the pioneer of this simple exercise to make you take action even when you feel demotivated, stuck or paralysed by fear and stress.
As Mel says
If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.
Your mind tends to kill certain instincts to do things — there is a 5 second window in which this happens and if you do not take action then chances are you will remain stuck, stagnant and won’t be able to move forwards.
As son as you feel an instinct to act on a goal or a commitment, use the 5 Second Rule:
Start counting backwards to yourself:
As soon as you reach “1” — push yourself to move and take action
By counting backwards you focus on your goal / commitment / decision and are distracted from the encroaching fears and excuses coming to mind. So much so that once you reach 1 you push yourself to move.
Having various role models for certain situations can really help us when we are struggling to take action or decide on which course of action to take.
I ask all of my clients who their role models at work are — it is important to be specific here as many of us may choose family members or even celebrities which all have their place but when we are faced with work difficulties we need to tap into relevant role model advice and help.
Some key questions to ask yourself about your role models are:
- Who are my Role Models?
- What situations do I use Role Models in?
- How do I use my Role Models?
- What traits, skills and strengths do I share with my Role Models?
Now think about how much more you need your role models in terms of the help they give, the advice they offer and where else you can bring them into play:
- What situations do I need Role Models?
- What more do I need from them?
- What else can I learn from them?
Let’s take this a step further and consider you as a Role Model in your career — perhaps you are a mentor or a buddy to a colleague or you are a manager of a team:
- Who am I a Role Model to?
- How much more can I empower them?
If no-one springs to mind then start to consider:
- Who do I want to be a Role Model to?
- What can I do to achieve this?
By delving into who you can empower, teach, mentor — whatever it may be you will begin to see your worth and how you are already making an impact and what more you can do.
Worst, Best & Likely Case Scenarios
Thirdly, let’s take a look at how you are getting in your own way when when it comes to making decisions.
We are often so concerned with the outcome that we end up not make a firm decision or commitment to do anything, thereby reinforcing the belief within ourselves that we have no impact due to our poor decision making.
Consider the Best Case Scenario — if everything went according to plan what would happen? Paint the ‘ideal picture’ of what you are doing, saying, thinking and feeling. Consider what else is happening and who is doing what and by when.
By doing so you are formulating a plan for the ultimate outcome and considering all of the ways forward open to you.
Now let’s go to the dark side and think about what would happen in the Worst Case Scenario — if the proverbial hit the fan what would be the outcome?
This is not meant to depress you! This part of the exercise is to enable you to consider all of the obstacles that may get in your way so you can then create contingency plans to avoid them or ways in which to overcome them.
Finally, take time to think through the Most Likely Case Scenario where there is a Win-Win — by this I mean what is the most likely outcome with your decision based on the above thought processes and how can ensure everyone comes out with a win?
Now you can take action on the decision you have made and do heed Theodore Roosevelt’s sage saying:
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
For more advice on how to make your impact at work please get in touch with Kate: email@example.com