It’s not magic. It’s not genetic. Many get it wrong, but you can learn these simple strategies on how to influence and impress at work!
1. Be mindful of others – not just you or working in auto mode!
Care about others – what do they think? Why? Understand their interests, point of view and contribution. Find out what plans they have for their work, what are their priorities and how does that fit for your shared work or work they may need to do for you. Have priorities shifted lately for them? Most people are quick to detect someone insincere. You want to get ON with people, not get them OFFSIDE!
2. Get aligned
Make sure you are CLEAR and AGREE with those you work with about vision and goals, priorities, deadlines, outputs, style, budget, process, who, how, when, what – anything that can de defined. Differences of opinion must be ironed out at the start of the project, the day, the week.
3. What is the best way to communicate?
List each person you mainly work with – team members, customers, manager, board/investors, suppliers, consultants, colleagues, etc.
Now list the types of communication PREFERRED by you and most DISRUPTIVE or ANNOYING for you.
- Emails – long, short, bullet points, links, attachments, quantity, acknowledge?
- Texts and messaging – what for, when?
- Confirming and acknowledging receipt, response within certain time or immediate response?
- Phone – When, how long? At work, outside of work?
- Face-to-face meetings? Scheduled? Over coffee or meals, where? When is not OK?
- Who – just two or a group? How often?
- Facetime/Skype, etc – detailed discussion or fast discussion?
- Slides, spreadsheets, background reading?
- Reports or milestone summaries?
For each person you work with have you checked what style they prefer? What do they dislike – ask and find out. You will be amazed if you have NOT done this yet with each person you work with regularly.
Remember – everyone is different. Some hate texts, others love them.
I can’t imagine anyone that doesn’t like hearing about positive progress on projects, or challenges overcome.
4. Go out of your way to help someone every week!
How can you help someone get through a block or to lessen their load? Help solve a team problem. Maybe it is a friend, or a work colleague, maybe your boss? Volunteer! Find a way to help or surprise them and do it with enthusiasm. Enjoy being appreciated. And if you are someone that is needy, now is your opportunity to change this undesirable habit into being a giver.
5. Be organised and prepared
Contribute positively to meetings and projects by planning ahead, surprising people with summaries, simple plans, results, and research. Go the extra, unexpected step. Write up a process, bring a handout, anticipate a need. Identify a problem or complaint but have a positive suggestions about what can be done about it.
6. Be energetic and alive
Stop sapping energy by complaining and voicing your tiredness, stress and overload. It’s exhausting. Be someone who brings energy and life to the team.
Do these things and you will improve your relationships at work, increase your efficiency, boost the team morale, impress others and likely become an influencer more likely to achieve success.
Eve Ash is a psychologist, author, filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur. She runs Seven Dimensions, a company specialising in training resources for the workplace.