You never get a second chance to make a first impression. How you enter a room, shake hands, or express yourself can significantly affect whether you influence or convince others. In business, it's more important than ever to make a positive lasting impression.
A company that are well aware of making a good impression are KPMG, the Big Four accountancy firm who provide audit, tax, and advisory services. As so much of their work involves being able to build significant relationships with clients and teams, they were looking for a company to help them deliver learning and development opportunities to meet this need.
Nisheeta Shah, L&D Manager at KPMG stressed the need for positive impact. "It is important that participants really gain an awareness of the impression that they make on others," she told us.
"Authentic performance" may sound like a contradiction - how can you be performing, yet still authentic? What makes the difference is the ability to be all of who you are, whilst being aware of the influence you are having around you. It is an act of dual attention: firstly, self-awareness, and secondly a sensitivity to your audience. This creates chemistry, leading to an effective, lasting impression, and a sustainable relationship.
Learning to deliver authentic performance inevitably touches on issues such as passion, courage, assertiveness, and being true to oneself. All of these areas can be developed, but they demand honest communication and constant feedback and challenge.
Bridget Brice, the consultant from Maynard Leigh leading the project explained: "We give them constant feedback about their impact, not just when they were ‘on’ – doing a presentation in a conversation – but also when they were ‘off’, for people, arriving in a building, sitting quietly in a meeting, leaving a room.”
Reflecting on the contribution of Maynard Leigh’s approach Nisheeta observes, “Our good working relationship with Maynard Leigh has enabled us to build a fantastic programme that really meets the needs of our managers and senior managers.”
Stuart Mackenzie, Maynard Leigh’s CEO added, "We are proud to have worked with a company like KPMG that is so committed to its value of respecting the individual. Nisheeta and the K-Learn team have been an inspiration to work alongside".
The KPMG IMPACT course has been run successfully across the entire breadth of the country. Nisheeta reports that “feedback from the programme is always positive, with participants making comments to the effect that the experience was valuable and relevant. The presenters from Maynard Leigh are rated highly, particularly for their ability to offer high-quality, constructive feedback.”