After many years of being denied promotions and a continued lack of recognition, Steven, a senior director at Cisco Systems, decided he needed to make a change. His quiet nature and somewhat passive approach were interfering with his need to be visible. Senior management and other influential people weren’t aware of his value to the organization. He recognized how important it was to increase his visibility and become known in the organization.
Over a nine-month period, Steven worked hard to become visible, stand out and get noticed. He gained the recognition he wanted and the promotion he deserved. How did he do it? By following the seven steps below to increase his visibility at work. Follow these same steps to increase your chances of being rewarded for your hard efforts at work:
People make constant judgments about you based on their perceptions and observations. These perceptions can be hard to change, but both experience and research have shown that there is one simple thing you can do to start changing minds almost immediately: Speak up and let your opinions be heard.
According to a study by Cameron Anderson and Gavin J. Kilduff, people who speak up and act dominant are perceived by others as being competent — even if they aren’t.
Speaking up is no substitute for true competence, of course. You can “fake it ’til you make it,” but if you lack the skills and traits needed to perform at your job, someone will eventually notice. If you really are competent, though, speaking up will help everyone else see you as the valuable employee you are.
“I have difficulty asserting myself to my superior and co-workers and often feel inferior. What can I do?”
Executive coach Joel Garfinkle says: You are certainly not alone. Our parents and other elders taught us early in life to be polite, and not to be arrogant or conceited. However, having a healthy view of your own strengths and being able to convey those strengths to your superiors is neither conceited nor arrogant.
Your goals should be to set boundaries, to get promotions and raises, and to gain the respect of others for your talents. Here are four steps you can take to reach those goals.
List it. Consider projects you have worked on and what gifts and talents you used to make them a success. Look at your daily tasks and see what strengths are manifested there. List all of your achievements and accomplishments, no matter how small they may … Continue reading How do I Assert Myself at Work?
A director with a medium-sized firm came to me because his value to the company wasn’t being recognized. His quiet nature and somewhat passive approach were interfering with his need to be visible, especially in meetings where higher level executives were in attendance. As a result, senior staff members and other influential people weren’t aware of the impact player my client truly was. It was clear that he needed to become more visible and self-expressed.
My client’s resistance to sharing his opinions and revealing who he was were based on fear. He was afraid that he might not be accepted if he shared an opinion that was contrary to what others believed, so he avoided creating greater exposure for his ideas. He gave his power away to other people by assuming that their viewpoints held more weight than his own. He allowed himself to speak only when he knew his … Continue reading 10 Ways to Increase Visibility in Meetings
Many people erroneously believe that their company is automatically rigid and inflexible when it comes to dealing with employees and their problems. When they have an issue, their first thought is often leaving, instead of making an effort to work with their company toward a resolution.
While it is true that many companies have a fairly strict set of rules and regulations, there are always exceptions. Don’t just assume that your company isn’t willing to work with you on a mutually satisfactory resolution.
Here’s what to do…
Find Someone You Trust Take some time to find someone in the company you trust. Make an appointment to discuss your needs. People are usually more open to listening when you are respectful of their time, rather than grabbing a minute in the hallway. Play Devil’s Advocate with Yourself This could be a difficult conversation, so prepare yourself in advance. Do some … Continue reading Ask For What You Want at Work and Get It
I ran across an interesting statistic the other day. According to management researchers Kathleen Ryan and Daniel Oestreich, 70 percent of the people they studied from various industries and job titles were afraid to speak up at work for fear of repercussions.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that number is so high, especially during these difficult times when everyone is so paranoid about losing their jobs. But, from my experience working with clients and companies, I’ve learned that the best time to speak up is when times are tough. Companies are desperate for ideas and ways to generate new revenue, improve customer service, streamline operations and reduce expenses.
The key is knowing how to speak up and using the techniques I outline in the article below. I encourage you give them a try. The next time you find yourself hesitating to offer an opinion or suggestion at … Continue reading Speak Up at Work to Enhance Your Work Career and Job Advancement
Increasing your visibility is one of the best ways to be recognized, gain influence and get ahead in workplace. But for many, especially new employees who are swallowed up by large organizations, this can be a daunting task.
One way to stand above the crowd is to create your own brand.
That’s what’s made companies like 3M, Disney, Michelin, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, Boeing, Starbucks and Volvo leaders in their industries. These firms typically hire expensive ad agencies to create and promote their brands. But you can accomplish the same thing — on a small scale — at no cost at all.
Management guru Tom Peters suggests you, “Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your competitors — or colleagues. What would your colleagues or customers say is your greatest and clearest strength?”
Michael Iacona, a resourceful advertising executive, surveyed his business associates. He asked them, … Continue reading Six Tips for Building Your Own Brand
Often, when you interact with someone who is your senior, you feel less than equal to them. You think they know more and should receive deferential treatment due to their higher level position in the company. This type of behavior surrenders too much power to the senior person, especially when it’s not necessary in your relationship.
This is the mind-set you exhibit when you feel inferior to someone senior:
I don’t know as much as you do, so I’ll maintain a low profile. I have an over-compensating desire to please and give my superiors what they want. I am afraid to share my ideas because they will be rejected or looked down upon. I feel threatened and intimidated by your presence. I don’t want to disagree or say something that might be seen as “not being a team player.” I lack confidence in my abilities and am afraid I’ll … Continue reading Feeling Equal to Someone Senior to You
Many of my executive coaching clients have current work responsibilities and duties that demand a lot of their time. One important area that becomes neglected is bringing new ideas to life. It’s important to gain buy-in from others on why your idea or project needs to be embraced.
The benefit of bringing new ideas to life is that your visibility can be tied to the project, increasing your exposure and thus your advancement up the corporate ladder. All of this directly affects your career and the overall productivity and efficiency of the company.
Whatever project, idea, or initiative you want created needs to be promoted in the correct way. The first step in gaining visibility for your idea is to build a solid case that clearly shows why it is beneficial. You’ll want to come up with simple, direct, to-the-point messages that give the precise reason, benefit, and … Continue reading Bringing New Ideas to Life
Clients often ask me, “Why should I increase my visibility? Why can’t I let my work speak for itself?” My traditional response has always been, “You can’t assume decision-makers are aware of your accomplishments. How can you expect to get ahead if you’re not noticed?”
In light of today’s difficult economy, my response has changed. I now advise clients: “How do you expect to keep your job if you’re not noticed?”
As more and more companies resort to layoffs, now is not the time to hide your light under a basket. Enhancing your visibility is more important than ever!
There are many ways to increase your visibility and let your boss and upper management know about your accomplishments. You need to let them know you’re ready for more. If you choose, there are a number of ways to get started. A one-paragraph, timely email simply stating the facts … Continue reading Increase Your Job Security by Increasing Your Visibility