Are you a Mr Hardworker or a Ms Visibility. Do you sit in front of your computer screen all day long – don’t even have a lunch hour? Or do you know everybody, go to every event, hub of the wheel? Research shows that when the promotion comes along – very often it goes to Ms Visibility because nobody knows Mr Hardworker exists!
In these times when we’re all looking over our shoulder – wondering what the next year will hold – it’s essential to let people inside and outside your workplace know that you exist and are doing a great job. Ideas for you to increase your visibility:
This is the very best way to increase your visibility – inside and outside your company. It’s also one of people’s greatest fears and why so many people don’t use this opportunity to get known. Make sure it’s a skill you possess – go on a course and learn the techniques – it’s all about having the right techniques and then practising them. Don’t be reactive and wait for the presentation to come to you – be proactive – push yourself forward – find opportunities to speak – it’s the very best way to let people know you exist.
Speak up at meetings
Isn’t it amazing the number of meetings we attend and so many of the people there say nothing at all. What are meetings for other than to speak and let your views be known? Your company pays you to speak at meetings – not stay silent. So be proactive. For some of us it’s very daunting when we realise that we haven’t spoken yet and the nerves kick in.
A tip for you – as soon as you go into the room before the meeting begins – say anything: ‘Hello David – Good holiday?’ ‘It’s hot in here – is it OK if I open a window?’
Once you’ve heard your voice in that situation, it will be much easier to speak again once the meeting begins
Like Ms Visibility take every opportunity to get known. Get out from behind your computer screen, get out of your chair and speak to people. Don’t send emails to people in the same department, on the same floor, sitting behind you – get out of your chair and talk to them. It’s so much better to see the whole person and to read their body language. That’s how you make an impression on them. Haven’t some of us got into terrible trouble for badly thought out emails and people have totally misunderstood what we were trying to say. Talk face to face.
One of the very best ways to really get the most out of things is to volunteer. It gives you the excuse you need to really get involved – so be proactive – put yourself forward for job that needs doing. Be helpful and people will really know you exist!
Dress the Part
This is a tricky area as we all have different ideas on what is appropriate and what isn’t. It depends of course on the kind of person we are and the job that we do. Research suggests that people have an impression of us within the first 3 seconds of meeting – so if that’s true then our visual image is vital. So in my opinion it makes sense to look good. I always say to my clients that if you look good you feel better – more professional. There’s also an interesting saying on this: ‘Dress not for the job that you have but for the job that you want!’ The way we dress undoubtedly makes an impression on people.
Attend events and conference
The best thing about conferences is the people you meet!
A tip for you: stand up, give your name and ask a question. I remember getting more notice from delegates by asking one question than I did by manning a stand for three days! Volunteer to help out. Let people know in your company that you are attending the conference; ask their advice on which speakers are worth listening to; do they have any questions you can ask on their behalf. After the conference, write a report or much better still make a presentation to your department/company about what you learnt.
Become a great networker
In order to increase your visibility you need to get out and about as often as you can. You need to understand the importance of networking. It’s not just at events but also taking time to get to know your colleagues. Don’t worry about what you’re going to say – concentrate on being a great listener. Don’t forget it’s the people you meet who will probably find you your next job – they are your eyes and ears into the outside world.
It takes time, energy and effort to become a Ms Visibility – especially when for some of us it doesn’t come easily and we are too busy hanging on by our fingertips to the JOB. But if people don’t know that we exist – doing a fantastic job – working for a wonderful company then what’s the point?
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