Do you feel like one in a million at work – and not in a good way? When you run into your boss in hallway, do you get impression she isn’t sure who you are? Are juicy projects always going to someone else?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to raise your work profile. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Listen more than you talk. If you offer an opinion, suggestion, comment or question at every opportunity, soon people will run away when they see you coming. Remember when you were in college and there was always one smart-aleck who, when class was asked, “Are there any more questions?” would shoot his hand in air and hold class up? Don’t be that student in boardroom. If you listen carefully and confine yourself to intelligent and to the-point remarks, you’ll end up looking smarter than most of people in room. And when you do have something to say, everyone will listen.
2. Meetings aren’t for airing dirty laundry. If you have a problem or gripe with someone, bring it to his or her attention privately. When you point fingers or air departmental problems in a group setting, you (a) blindside person you’re complaining about, and (b) have just about ruined your chances for a peaceful resolution. Besides, next time you make a mistake, that person will fall all over himself to make sure to bring it up in a large meeting just to watch you squirm.
3. Try to catch people doing something right. Whether boss, co-worker or subordinate, people love to be told they’re doing a good job. You don’t have to turn into Eddie Haskell to be aware of opportunities to compliment someone. Keep it short, low-key and honest. It’s even better if you can pass compliment to someone else. “Hey, boss, Jim was a huge help to us on Acme project – he made some suggestions that should save us $20,000.” What are chances that boss is going to mention it to Jim next time he sees him? Pretty good.