You can work hard and follow all the rules, but you can still be as useful and as invisible as a doormat. Your success depends a lot on how other people in the office perceive you, and they can get their cues from things you take for granted: the way you talk, walk, and even introduce yourself. Here are some useful life tips on how to ‘package’ yourself so that your skills and contribution get noticed.
Take the ‘CEO’ posture
Do you literally shrink away from too much attention? The most assertive people usually seem to take up a lot of physical space: even when they sit, they spread their arms out. Shyer, quieter people withdraw into their chair.
Next time you’re at a meeting, put your elbows on the table and then face your hands towards each other, forming a steeple with your fingers. Many CEOs and politicians use this position when they’re negotiating.
Modulate your voice
People who talk fast and with a high pitch seem less credible than those who speak more slowly in a lower tone. Pay attention to the way you talk. Be particularly aware of the habit of raising your pitch at the end of the sentence—you sound tentative and unsure of yourself.
Introduce with impact
When you meet someone for the first time, try conversing with them for a minutebefore saying, ‘I’m sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m…’ This sneaky trick causes the other person to think, ‘What’s his name?’ which will give him a reason to remember it when you finally give it.
Speak with authority
Many people think aloud. ‘Hmm… let me see…well, I think that…but I’m not sure…’ It’s better to be quiet and speak up only when you have something clear to say. If you’re really unsure, then ask for more time to mull over the matter. ‘Let me gather my thoughts. I’ll email you by tomorrow.’
It’s also important to be direct. If you disagree with someone, don’t beat around the bush. You can politely but clearly say, ‘That’s an interesting idea, but the sales figures I just saw…’ The trick is to base your opinion on concrete fact or to give clear justification or explanation, so the other person doesn’t take it personally (and you also sound more well informed and credible).
If someone is trying to interrupt you as you talk, just speak a little louder and continue. Don’t let anyone steal the stage.