I acknowledge this interesting sketch from the internet.

Thomas Leonard says in his sixth principle: Affect others profoundly.

One can substitute ‘affect’ with attract and influence, and we would still retain the essence of the statement.

Many years earlier Dale Carnegie wrote famously on How to influence people and win friends. They say that the man who sold millions of books, next only to the Bible, and endeared himself to a large part of the world in teaching people how to be attractive to others died a tragic death as a broken man. Could this have happened?

Can we influence people? Can we attract people? Can we affect people?

Of course we can. But, can this happen by external effort, by actions? I doubt it.

It is our inner energy that reaches out to people. People get drawn to us and we get drawn to others, because of a personal magnetism that defies logic. Most people can spot a fake a mile away.

The first few times i visited USA, the cheery ‘how are ya doing today’ routine that flashed by me a dozen times a day, sometimes on the street from a stranger who was probably feeling good, impressed me no end. I then decided to test it out. When a colleague rushed past me with a hearty ‘how are ya doing man?’ accompanied by a plastic smile that barely extended beyond her lips, i responded with ‘i am feeling awful’.

The smile didn’t fade. She didn’t stop. She just said, ‘great, see you later.’

I wondered if this was the American way of affecting people.

You can only affect people if you are genuinely concerned about them. Your thoughts, words and actions must match this feeling of concern and compassion. The smile will extend to your eyes if your cheery hello is heartfelt and genuine.

We can only touch people with our hearts. We cannot reach out to them with our minds, lips and hands. We need to find out what really matters to the other person if we genuinely want to help and affect that person positively.

That is what coaches are for!