Decide on your professional reputation and shine at work this year.
Whether it’s on social media, on the phone, in your e-mails, in your text messages or during a meeting, your words and actions contribute to the perception that others have of you, your talents and your potential.
Before you observe all the etiquette guidelines of the various communication modes, the very first step is to define what you want to communicate.
I am not asking you to invest your time in a long transformation, but rather to simply refresh your professional image. It’s easy, fun and energizing! Here’s how:
1. DECIDE ON THE IMAGE THAT YOU WANT TO PROJECT
What would you want people to say about you when you enter a room or when the door closes behind you?
All great discoveries and transformations begin with a question. Take the time to think about your answer. Let the question percolate. Filter what comes to the top as qualities.
2. ASSESS YOUR PROFESSIONAL QUALITIES
Write a list of all your professional attributes. Don’t be modest. See yourself through the eyes of those that value you and talents. Search through your past performance evaluations. Review thank you notes and congratulatory e-mails.
Need more inspiration? Here are some suggestions: analytical, autonomous, courageous, creative, dynamic, great at interpersonal skills, honest, passionate, proactive, resourceful, resilient or visionary.
You can also ask close collaborators like your colleagues, suppliers, subordinates, your boss and even some of your close clients, what are the professional qualities that represent you best. In person, on the phone, by email or even with a text message, all modes of communication are good for requesting this precious feedback.
Your request could look like this:
“I am updating my professional image. Since we regularly work together and because I value your opinion, I am seeking your feedback. According to you, what are my qualities as an employee? Please send me your list by (give a precise deadline). If I don’t hear from you by that date, I will understand that you are not participating in my survey. If you have any questions, call me at 123.456.7890.”
3. POST YOUR TOP THREE QUALITIES
Analyze the feedback that you received and compare it with your list. Circle, cut out or underline, the three qualities you want to shine in 2018.
This list must be visible during all of your working hours. Choose a place where your eyes naturally go as you go about your day’s activities: a bulletin board, your notebook, make it your screensaver, place a sticky note on the corner of your screen, stick it inside your tablet’s cover. If you’re artistic, make a collage or a poster.
4. VISUALIZE THE BUZZ ABOUT YOU
Just like an athlete or an olympian, recognize the merits of visualization to achieve objectives. This technique is just as effective in achieving your professional goals. Imagine yourself calm, confident and in control, displaying the words and gestures of the qualities you want to shine. Do this regularly, especially to prepare for the most stressful scenarios. Over time, by natural reflex, like the well-prepared athlete, you will perform at your best ready to boost your business at work.
If there is a regular gap between your current performance and your vision, ask yourself this other question.
What can I stop doing or start doing, to make sure to end the year in line with my vision?
Often, all it takes is this awareness to refresh your memory and give you the words and actions that will allow you to shine at work.
5. INVEST IN YOU
On top on the exercise above, you may also need a private coaching, to participate in a workshop or to read a book to develop or improve a quality. Invest in yourself. You are the best return on investment for your career.
Finally, if you change your mind or your career path, that’s perfectly fine. After all, you are the Boss of your image. The important thing is to be aware of your reputation. Whether it consciously crafter or left to rumors, you have a reputation and it precedes you. And as we recently observed in public figures, it can take years and even decades to build a reputation, but only one incident to ruin it.
Want to shine at work? Contact me and my team.