6 Ways to Make Your Presence Known in the Workplace
Workplace etiquette - a tricky dance between knowing our place and proving what we're made of. As twenty-something's, it can be difficult to assert ourselves and make our presence known, while trying not to step on any toes in the process. So, how does one do this?
Know Your Role
While this may be an obvious first step, knowing your role, and what part you play in your company is essential for how you show up. What authority do you have? Make note of what is expected of you and make sure you're following through on those tasks. Are you the one making decisions, creating lesson plans, or presenting to a client? Whatever role you have, know not only its expectations but its boundaries as well.
Have a Boss Talk
It's never a bad idea to get aligned with your boss on not only expectations and progress, but on any questions you have regarding your role. Ask your boss for a scheduled meeting (if you don't have one already) where they can provide feedback on your performance, and where you can ask questions on things you're struggling with. This lets your boss know that you take your role seriously and are making strides to improve. This is also a good time to gauge how much freedom you have in your role - is your boss looking to you for your creativity and ideas or is he/she expecting you to follow strict guidelines? Whatever the case, you can prove yourself by asking these types of questions and following through with strong performance.
Know How to Handle What You Don't Know
None of us know all the answers, but knowing what to say when you don't know something will show poise and confidence. For example, if a situation arises where you're not sure what to do, you can say, "You raise a great point, I'll think that over and get back to you" or "That's a great question, I will find out." By taking a more active approach to the situation, your credibility and influence remain in-tact.
Respond With Grace
Nothing says "fire me" faster than a blowout with your boss. If a situation goes south, always try to remain even-keeled. If you tend to be hot-headed, this may take some extra restraint, but lashing out will only show that you don't know how to deal with problems, you act on your emotions, and you don't know a more effective way to respond. When trying to make your presence known, you don't want to show this side of yourself. Drop any defensiveness, own up to your mistakes if you played a role in the situation, and do it all in a calm manner. This will show your boss and/or your team that you can handle challenges and will also make you more trustworthy in the future by owning your faults.
Stop Worrying About Being Liked
I mean really, how many times have I said this one? But it applies perfectly to the workplace as well. If you're trying to make a splash and show your boss and/or your team what you're made of, you should be focused on gaining respect and doing your job to the best of your ability, not who wants to come with you to happy hour. Sometimes this means making hard decisions that not everyone will agree with. However, by sticking to your gut and the decisions you make regardless of what others think, people will grow to take you seriously. (check out my blog Stop Caring, Start Living for more on this topic.)
Realize You Were Hired for a Reason
It's so easy to question ourselves in the beginning of our careers. We don't have much experience yet, and we certainly don't know our industry inside and out. But, what we sometimes forget, is that we were hired for a reason. Someone saw something in us that was valuable to them. They had a feeling that we would make a difference in one way or another, and would be an asset to the company. Remember this - no one starts out at the top. Your presence will be known by what you bring to the table. Show up, master your art, and kick ass!
Do you struggle with workplace etiquette? Not sure how to assert yourself yet? I hope some of these tips helped, but if you're looking for further support, shoot me a comment or a message!