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Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Business, Culture, Featured, Inspirational, Leadership | 6 comments

How You Can Make a Lasting Impression

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Every time we touch something, we leave fingerprints behind, the impressions serving as proof that we were there. Our fingerprints are the record of our undeniable presence in that place, at that time. Every set of prints is unique – no one else has prints that look exactly like ours.

This is a great metaphor for our presence in the 21st century workplace and business world. Each time we interact with someone, we leave more than literal fingerprints behind. We leave figurative ones as well. We leave unique impressions, perceptions and a lasting impact on everyone and everything we interact with – the way we treat people, the way we speak, the way we conduct ourselves. We are leaving figurative prints everywhere we go, with everything we do, all day long.

We leave unique impressions, perceptions and a lasting impact on everyone and everything we interact with – the way we treat people, the way we speak, the way we conduct ourselves.

We all know this is true. But how many of us think about it actively during the day or during a project? How many of us think “wow, I wonder what impressions I am leaving on people as I proceed through my day?” It’s a powerful concept, not meant to paralyze us through fear of what others think. Rather, it is powerful, because it can make us aware of how we enter the world each day, and this idea can make us more thoughtful and respectful of how we deal with others.

This is not simply limited to individuals. Groups of people, organizations do the exact same thing. Have you ever thought about the fingerprints that your organization leaves, as a group? How do your people answer the phone? Do they return phone calls, promptly? Do you have a culture of professional polish? Is your culture super uptight and unfriendly? Or is it too casual? How does your organization present itself to the world? What specific behaviors do you and your people bring to the world each day?

Here is an exercise each of us should try. First ask yourself how you want to be seen by others. Ask yourself what Personal Fingerprints you hope to leave behind. Then ask yourself what specific behaviors would be necessary to leave those fingerprints. And then think about it… is this how you actually behave? Are you sure?

First ask yourself how you want to be seen by others. Then ask yourself what specific behaviors would be necessary to leave those fingerprints.

Business leaders, you can then do the exact same thing for your organization. Give some thought to your Organizational Fingerprints. Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur and work for yourself, or if you are the CEO of a large organization, there is value in thinking through, articulating and writing down the impressions and the fingerprints you want your organization to leave behind.

This exercise comes down to asking yourself some fundamental questions. What matters most to you?  What do you want your organization to be known for?  How do you want to be perceived? And most importantly, are you behaving in a way that will bring those fingerprints to life?

Have a great day!
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Image credit: artishokcs / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Dean Brenner

Dean is a recognized expert in persuasive communication. He is the founder and president of The Latimer Group, an executive coaching and training firm that that specializes in creating powerful communication skills for its clients. He is the author of two books: Move the World: Persuade Your Audience, Change Minds and Achieve Your Goals and Sharing the Sandbox: Building and Leading World-Class Teams in the 21st Century. Dean served as Chairman for the US Olympic Sailing Program from 2005 through 2012, and as Olympic Team Leader at the 2008 Games in Beijing and the 2012 Games in London. He trained for the 2000 US Olympic Team and finished second at the US Trials. He has won seven national championships and five international championships. Dean lives in Connecticut with his family.

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  • Anne Davis

    Love this post! How do you leave the best impression on a potential employer when the technologies available to the job seeker is always changing?

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-social-media-tool-pushes-employment-screening-frontier-242438911.html

    Is it necessary to stay ahead of the game?

  • Anne Davis

    Love this post! How do you leave the best impression on a potential employer when the technologies available to the job seeker is always changing?

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-social-media-tool-pushes-employment-screening-frontier-242438911.html

    Is it necessary to stay ahead of the game?

    • Dean M. Brenner

      Hey Anne… sorry for the delayed reply. I think the “game” we need to stay in touch with is our own authenticity. I think you hit the nail on the head. Authenticity should be non-negotiable. Have a great day.

  • Michele McHall

    From the perspective of mindfulness I appreciate you pointing out that our impact matters personally and as an organization Dean. I think it begins with being aligned to our energy field and finding an authentic way to express ourselves. I’ve noticed many people using the phrase “it’s all good” these days and it is often incongruent with what’s really going on. Authenticity and transparency are so key to a lasting good impression!

  • Michele McHall

    From the perspective of mindfulness I appreciate you pointing out that our impact matters personally and as an organization Dean. I think it begins with being aligned to our energy field and finding an authentic way to express ourselves. I’ve noticed many people using the phrase “it’s all good” these days and it is often incongruent with what’s really going on. Authenticity and transparency are so key to a lasting good impression!

  • Michele McHall

    From the perspective of mindfulness I appreciate you pointing out that our impact matters personally and as an organization Dean. I think it begins with being aligned to our energy field and finding an authentic way to express ourselves. I’ve noticed many people using the phrase “it’s all good” these days and it is often incongruent with what’s really going on. Authenticity and transparency are so key to a lasting good impression!

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