How Can I Stand Out From The Crowd?
Nobody wants, or likes, to be just an also-ran all of the time. There might well be times when being a face in a sea of faces pays dividends, perhaps when a particularly poor manager is on the warpath and nobody wants to raise their proverbial head above the parapet.
In calmer times you need to be more visible rather than simply just fitting in where the focus of your efforts should all be about developing and delivering your personal brand.
Here are some basic and quick ways to raise your profile when and where it matters;
- Take a pride in your appearance – never, ever look sloppy, dramatic or even slightly “grubby”. Although it may not appear so colleagues and managers quickly see when you reach the point where you have “let yourself go a bit” and sadly will remember this for some time. Conversely a smart appearance remains a positive factor in the workplace. Take a tip from professional salespeople; in your experience do they ever look untidy or sloppy?
- Look for common ground.This is a good way of opening up conversations and establishing new contacts. You will appear knowledgeable (as long as you do your homework first!) and will be seen as someone who has an opinion that matters.
- Be authentic.This is the Golden Rule. Although for a short time you can bluff your way through things you will very quickly be found out and pay the price for gambling away your reputation. Be honest from the very beginning and communicate this – it is hard to remember what you have said if you are constantly bluffing your way through business!
- Show an interest in others.This skill should be practised regularly. Do not get into that comfortable phase where you have worked with colleagues for some time and feel that you do not need to engage with them – people remember and act accordingly with a colleague who is disinterested and disengaged. Develop good quality listening skills and engage with enthusiasm in conversations that make the working tasks run that much smoother.
- Show empathy.You may be totally unmoved by Bill and the sad story of how his dog met his Maker under the wheels of a car BUT Bill will want to talk about this harrowing experience to get it out of his system. Polish the skill of seeing things from other people’s perspective and engage accordingly. One day you will need this kind of support.
- Practice good manners.Manners in business are everything – who would want to deal with an ignorant, uncouth and impolite person? Very few. Practice good quality common courtesy. Always however difficult the person you are dealing with.
Poor behaviour and a bad attitude will always take you down no matter how hard you work on your personal brand. One truly bad moment will effectively sink you from which return may not be possible.