I'm a Little Tea Pot - Lessons on Personal Impact

Impact. We know when we're in the presence of it, but it's so darn tricky to grasp. I'm writing this piece with my coaching hat on. Ever wondered how to be more impactful? If so, this one's for you....

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As a coach, people often ask me, ‘How can I have more impact?’ They think it’s about being more impressive. Doing more. Achieving more. Being flashier. Wearing better shoes.

It can be those ego-flavoured things. But it really depends on what impact someone is seeking.

Me? I’m less interested in being on the cover of People magazine than I am in creating experiences and conversations that transform people’s lives.

So if you asked about having more impact, I’d say: ‘Think of yourself less.’

Ironic right?

I don’t mean thinking less of yourself (as in, I’m a no-good loser).

I mean redirecting your attention to the person, or people, you’re with. Moving the spotlight.

I mean being truly present in a conversation, listening with interest, thinking about others, and holding space for them.

This means relaxing our own agendas, not needing to command the room, not having to impress. That’s so exhausting – and probably just a little bit off-putting.

Positive impact, as I see it, requires an energy shift from being self-oriented to being other-oriented.

I had a phone call with my friend David today. He was talking about competitive listening, that experience when someone’s listening to you, but can’t wait to interject with their own, more awesome story the second you draw breath.

David gave the example of a new, bunny-slope skier, who has just tried a red run. This psyched-up newbie is in conversation with a fellow skier.

At the soonest opportunity, the listener interjects: ‘I know what you mean, man!’

His story launches into heli drop offs, ice crampons and untouched powder.

So how does red run feel? No bueno.

The subtext: ‘Enough about you, lets talk about ME.’

People with positive impact aren’t posing and posturing. They are looking for opportunities to uplift, to energize and to support those around them.

Their impact comes from how deeply they connect.

We can all have conversations and create experiences that leave people transformed.

The way you speak to someone can energize or deplete them.

The way you react to a problem can uplift everyone, or add to the challenge.

An encounter with you can leave someone’s day better or worse than it was before.

That power flows through you.

Impact is, and isn’t, about you. Yes, you need to be switched on and self-aware. But then it runs through you, like tea through the spout of a teapot. Your impact, when positive, fills up and warms someone else. You are the vessel.

Use it for good.


Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you're here. I write a subscriber-only newsletter for my VIP members here, on my website. And have we met on Twitter? If not, lets hook up.

Dr. Mandy Lehto

Coach, Presence Expert, Courage-Builder, Possibilitarian, www.mandylehto.com

Hey gorgeous! Have we met? I'm Dr. Mandy Lehto, speaker, coach and writer who helps amazing people get out of their own way already. Nearly ten years ago, I waved adios to my senior investment banking job in London to help as many people as possible start living their un-lived lives. Nowadays, I spend a disturbing amount of time thinking about overcoming fear and the obstacles we place in our own way (we are bizarre creatures, aren't we?). If being braver, a bit more bonkers, and living on purpose is your thing too (squeal!), lets hang out here, and come for green tea over at mine on www.mandylehto.com


Go to the profile of Charlene Hutsebaut
over 6 years ago
Mandy, I love this piece! It reminds us that we always need to be aware of being active listeners and really paying attention to what, how and why people are saying things. At times I can be so passionate about my job that I become the person who can't wait to share their story. I try to be mindful and keep myself in the moment to really be there for the person I am with. I hope it is working most of the time and that the other person can feel a healthy, nurturing flow between us. Fingers crossed anyways! Charlene
Go to the profile of Charlie Hill
over 6 years ago
Thanks for a great piece Mandy. I thought I was quite good at doing this, and I want to be able to do this really well. However, reading your piece shows me that there is so much I can improve on. Thank you.
Go to the profile of Dr. Mandy Lehto
over 6 years ago
Hey Charlene and Charlie - thanks for stopping by. Active listening is an art, Charlene. So happy to hear that you're dedicated to it! And Charlie, we are all art works in progress. Thank you both for reading and for leaving a comment. Keep the great flow going!