Making an Impact – Course Description


In this course you’ll learn how to make an impact by:

  • becoming more assertive
  • communicating more effectively and
  • influencing the people around you.

What is Making an Impact?

Assertiveness is a behaviour that can help you get what you want out of life. We can all develop Assertiveness but sometimes we can be passive and let others get what they want or fail to influence others by being aggressive. You will learn to identify these behaviours in yourself and in others.  We will give you the tools to help you manage difficult situations in your everyday life.

You will also learn how to get better at listening to others and understanding the signals they are giving in their body language and tone of voice.  You will learn how to ask better questions and how to summarise what you hear.  This ability to understand others and communicate well is a key step towards ensuring you get your own opinions heard.

In the second part of the course you will learn some easy-to-implement techniques to improve your influencing skills, including using empathy (understanding how others think, feel and react), building trust and persuasion. Influencing is also about body language and listening so you will continue to practise these skills.

Course Director:
Phil Macleod, Eton College

Phil Macleod is the Senior Master, President of the Master’s Common Room, Geography Master and Head of Physical Education at Eton College. He has run a leadership development summer school at Eton for many years. Mr Macleod’s experience as a teacher, sports coach and leader has contributed to the writing of the Making an Impact course. He introduces and concludes each week of study in a series of videos specially filmed at Eton College. 


Students learn in a combination of self-study, peer-learning and live online classes. We use a model called ‘flipped learning’ whereby students spend their self-study  and peer-learning time becoming familiar with the concepts before coming together as a group in our live classroom to put into practise the skills they are learning about and developing.

In Making an Impact, students learn through self-assessment questionnaires, role plays, videos, interactive presentations, quizzes, word clouds, discussions and tutor feedback.

Making an Impact Course Schedule

Week 0 – Orientation

Meet your tutor and your classmates in the EtonX virtual classroom

Week 1 – Assertiveness

  • Self-assessment questionnaire rates your level of assertiveness
  • Understand passive, aggressive and assertive behaviours
  • Learn the Four Steps to Assertiveness

Week 2 – Active Listening and Body Language

  • Discover how body language and tone of voice affect communication
  • Become a more active listener by asking better questions and summarising what you have heard
  • Practise active listening

Week 3 – Making and Refusing Requests

  • Learn the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of making requests
  • Work on saying ‘no’ in a polite and assertive way
  • Reassess your levels of assertiveness

Week 4 – Influence and Empathy

  • Work out our Influencing Style
  • Identify your Influencing Role Models
  • Understand how Empathy Mapping can help you influence the people around you

Week 5 – Influence and Trust

  • Meet ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ Influencing techniques
  • Understand the Trust Equation
  • Practise establishing trust and influencing others

Week 6 – Influence and Persuasion

  • Understand the Six Principles of Persuasion
  • Create a persuasive Marketing Plan
  • Review your Influencing Style
  • End of course assessment