From meetings and industry conference preparation/execution to your presence among the varied social media, how you comport yourself makes a significant impact on how you are perceived by your peers, superiors and others in the profession. How, then, can we use each of these interactions to maximize our career potential? Effective and respectful communication skills are a must and this concept goes beyond the spoken and written word. Appropriate attitude, management/treatment of others and your physical appearance, i.e. dress, are all elements of effective communication.
While everyone has his or her own distinct personality, it’s how you leverage it — either positively or negatively — that defines your attitude.and though you may not be a gregarious, back-slapping office joke teller, do you still take steps to engage others in an upbeat, energetic and positive manner? Or do you allow your reclusive or shy nature dictate your under-the radar presence within the office? If it’s the latter, work on ways to overcome this limitation. Some recommended avenues are: join a book club, take an improv/acting class, volunteer to present at conferences… anything that pushes you beyond the limits of your comfort zone is a step in the right direction to help you.
Additionally, how you manage and treat others in a professional setting speaks volumes about you and how you’re perceived.
Are you a good listener or are you short with others? Do you take the time and energy to mentor appropriately? Or do you take the stance that you’re busy and your report “should get it by now.” Maybe you micromanage people within an inch of their existence? As the old adage goes, treat others as you’d like to be treated. Take some time to self-assess this area of your career and be honest with yourself.
Finally, what you wear also communicates who and how you are as a professional. Update your wardrobe so that it’s professionally appropriate for both business casual and business formal settings. By doing so, you are displaying respect for the arena within which you are conducting business and for yourself as a business professional.