Framework 104 Impact


This involves developing clarity and curiosity to gain more authentic gravitas.

"...Using this framework forces us to push against our natural tendency to think about what we're going to say and instead start with a focus on the people you are going to encounter..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

NB It is a mindset initially requiring more courage and discipline (or self-regulation, ie they proactively direct their thoughts, feelings, and actions to achieve establish, and sometimes competing, goals) than confidence, especially when you are moving outside your zone of comfort; stretching yourself mentally can perpetuate a negative cycle and make you feel uncomfortable. You are challenging yourself and increasing your expertise, regardless of whether you feel good in the process. It takes hard work to develop grativas!!!!

IMPACT = Insight, Motivation, Perception, Advocate, Content and Techniques.

The first 3 concern the impact you want to make; the second three focus on what actions needed to be taken to achieve your goals for maximum impact.

Impact, ie we focus too much on content, like what we are going to say, rather than on the effect or impact on the audience; need to understand what is it we want to achieve and what the audience is expecting, plus its needs and wants

1. Insight, ie what do you believe, think, etc about the situation/possibility?

Insight involves clarity and curiosity

With clarity There are 2 things to consider, ie

    i) What is your point of view? ie take an informed position or opinion; don't hedge your bets; don't play it safe; give advice; know what you think and why, and don't be afraid to share it; in many situations there is not one 'right answer'; what do you think?

    ii) What insight do you want the audience to have from your interaction? ie

        - what do you want the audience to think, feel and act as a result of the encounter?

        - what will be the impact on the audience?

        - what is the goal of your message?

Clarity needs to be balanced with curiosity. ie

"...We need clarity about our intention, as well as commitment to curiosity - not only about the issues at hand, but also about the people we are engaging with and our own intention-impact. As we continually move between clarity and curiosity, one shapes the other. Our discoveries from being curious shape our thinking, intentions, and messages, and the clarity around messages and goals for impact shape the questions we ask..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

2. Motivation, ie there are 4 main driving forces behind what we do as human beings

" acquire, to bond, to learn, and to defend..."

Anne T Lawrence as quoted by Rebecca Newton, 2019

For example, curiosity is linked with the 'learning' part of the quote, ie you are wired to be curious

"...humans have an innate drive to satisfy their curiosity, to know, to comprehend, to believe, to appreciate, to develop understandings or representations of their environment and of themselves through a reflective process: the drive to learn..."

Anne T Lawrence as quoted by Rebecca Newton, 2019

Need to be curious about your audience. Go beyond just thinking who they are and what they do. Need to consider what motivates them.

For example

"...Fulfilling the drive to bond......has the greatest effect on employee commitment. Fulfilling the drive to comprehend is closely linked to employee engagement..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

Need to determine which driving forces are most important to the audience and what outcomes you want to generate. This is sometimes called 'target assessment', ie assessing the audience we are trying to influence; it means considering factors such as

"...their role, resources, personality, influence on others, potential to resist ideas and prior success in influencing..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

" spend so much time thinking about what we're going to say and what we want to happen, and worrying about what might not go our way, that we can forget to give enough attention to the motivation of the people......The more we are able to understand the people around us, the more likely we are to have a significant, positive, and lasting impact..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

3. Perception, ie the way you see things; everybody is unique, different, etc; personality, experience, context, etc can shape our perceptions; we need to take into account the different perceptions people have; need to be careful of your subconscious assumption that others see things the way you do; to handle this need to ask the following 2 questions:

This involves developing clarity and curiosity to gain more authentic gravitas.

(ideally find this out at the first encounter)

i) What is their perception of you?

(outside your inner circle, people's perceptions of you are generally unknown; you have a sense of uncertainty, uneasiness, etc about their perceptions of you; you know how you would like to be perceived; there are 2 extreme reactions to this, ie either ignoring what they might think or becoming obsessed with it; you can shape their perception of you by your behaviour, language, etc

How to handle the unexpected

i) focusing on the impression you want to leave, ie ask yourself the following questions

    - How do youI want them to think, feel, and act differently as a result of their encounter with me?

    - What insights do you want them to have?

Some answers might include being impactful and tailored; intelligent and experienced; passionate and determined; thoughtful and knowledgeable; calm and influential; strategic and effective, etc

ii) be interested rather than interesting, ie concentrate on understanding them and their needs, challenges, changing environment, aspirations, goals, etc; understand other's motivations and perceptions

4. Advocate, ie need to be careful of bombarding people with too much information. To handle this situation, ask the following question:

"...If nothing else, what would I like them to remember..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

Additional questions include

    - What would you like to be passed on to other people who were not in attendance?

    - What would you like them to remember years later about their encounter with you?

NB You can only remember around 3 messages to pass on to someone else.

Also, you should have encounters with some key stakeholders to get a better understanding of your audience.

5. Content, ie the beginning and the end are the important parts. At the beginning of the encounter you are trying to get their attention and interest; while at the end you're giving them the message to take away; need to take ownership of the conversation by generating small talk, asking questions, commenting, facilitating conversation, etc; to increase the chance of connection, you need to personalise your account, ie use your own stories, experiences, etc and make it more about your audience and less about yourself, ie what is relevant to them; sharing personal things can increase trust and connection.

People remember the stories more than the information, ie

"...stories are supplements to your message - they should support and reinforce a point of view or your overall goals......Becoming a storyteller is something we can learn and practice. The art of storytelling includes brainstorming ideas and connections to creatively get across your main point. The key to success is to treat it like a science experiment - test it, consider the results (determine impact by seeking feedback), make some changes, test it again and look at the results, etc..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

(for more detail on storytelling, see other parts of the Knowledge Base)

Need to get feedback on

    - the what of your message, ie technical points

    - the how of our message, ie how are we getting our point across, including stories

In summary

"... Scripting your beginning and your end, owning the flow, and making your content personal will increase your connection and your authentic gravitas as you close the intention-impact gap..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

The intention-impact gap is defined as the way we tend to impact those around us, and the impact we actually have. Those with good authentic gravitas tried to keep this gap narrow.

6. Techniques (verbal and non-verbal cues. For example, fit occurs when these cues are aligned with 'motivational orientation' of the audience.

"...participants who experience 'fit' have a more positive attitude towards the topic and a greater intention to behave in ways that were recommended..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

Examples of fit

    - promotion-focused (who represent goals as hopes and aspirations, and use 'eager' non-verbal style, ie gestures

"...Conveyed by animated, broad opening movements; hand gestures openly projecting outward; forward-leaning body positions; fast body movements and fast speech..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

    - prevention-focused (those who represent goals as duties and obligations, and use 'vigilant' non-verbal style, ie gestures conveyed by

"...showing precision; slowed speech; slightly back-ward leaning body positions; slower body movement..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

NB There are cultural differences. For example,

"...Canadian negotiators communicate a positive perception of their counterpart and their active involvement in negotiation through faster speech and expressiveness in their voice. Chinese negotiators, however, communicated self-control by remaining calm and suppressing emotion in their vocal tone..."

Rebecca Newton, 2019

Understanding your audience is important for both the content and delivery. You need to adopt the style most suitable for the situation.

(for more details on non-verbal responses and body language, see other parts of the Knowledge Base)

Summary (IPAC)

"... - Insight: what do you believe about the situation/possibility. Before you start thinking about what you're going to say, think about what you really think. Articulate your viewpoint in one or two sentences. What insight do you want the people you're about to encounter to take away.

    - Perception: consider your audience's current perception of the topic. Also consider their perception of youself. What do you want it to be? Write it down.

    - Advocate: decide on your sticky message (maximum of three). Ask yourself. If nothing else, what would I want them to remember?

    - Content: 'you had me at hello'. Remember that only at two times is your audience most likely listening: your beginning and your end. Script both (prioritise those over scripting your content in the middle word-for-word). Make it personal to your audience and be prepared to be personal yourself by sharing your stories (you can start by jotting them down in one list and getting feedback on them, too, not just on your content and technical points).....To have a powerful, positive impact......requires a pre-meeting commitment to both clarity and curiosity......prepare for unexpected encounters......choose one or two words to describe the bridge you want to leave them with. Due to be interested rather than worry about the interesting..."

Rachel Newton, 2019


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