These three demons take an unfair share of the blame for feeling bad at work. They can creep up on you and once they move into your working life, and your career, they can be tough to get rid of.
In a moment I am going to share with you five things you can do that will ensure you begin to move into the territory where you are noticed, considered and recognised for the value you bring and the potential you have.
“It’s happened again. I knew it wouldn’t work and I told them so. But, would they listen to me? No, of course they didn’t, they never do!”
“That project would have been perfect for me. And I’d have been perfect for it too. Why didn’t they ask me if I was interested? Surely by now they know what I’m capable of.”
Taken for Granted
“I can’t remember the last time one of the bosses said thank you. All they seem to do is pile on more work with shorter timescales. At least I’m getting a good reputation for reliability and productivity: well I hope I am!”
Sound familiar? This is what I hear, time and again.
Despite high levels of talent, capability and motivation, people keep telling me this is what it is like for them. That’s one of the reasons I created the new Building a Powerful Reputation mini-course.
But, more on that later. First I’d like to share five things you can do today to start overcoming the problems associated with being ignored, overlooked and taken for granted.
Know Your Worth
Most people have a good sense of the value they bring to the organisation and their bosses. Few make it tangible and evidential. Keep records, summarise your results, keep a living resume or curriculum vitae.
No, not so you can get another job (well maybe). The real point of this idea is that it gives you a crystal clear base of fact about how good you are, ready for when you need it. It also reduces the risk that you might start doubting your value, so the extra confidence will boost your ability to take action.
Understand Their Position
Bosses have a million and one things to do. They have other people to think of and pressures from all sides. Stressed? Most likely.
I know, if they took more notice of you their life would be so much easier. But, if you want to get them to take more notice of you, you can start by taking more notice of them.
Overtly aim to develop a deep understanding of what they have on their plate. The problems they are facing. Who is challenging them and why? What are they struggling with?
Assess the Problematic You
Yes, I mean this, in a gentle yet provocative way.
There is a risk that you are the problem for them or, at least a key part of it. With your new awareness of what challenges they are facing, work out how you may be contributing to it.
When you look, you may see more positives than negatives, which would be great. The important thing is you need to get more clarity on what the position actually is, and how they may be thinking about you and what you are doing.
Sadly, many people suffering at work naturally adopt a less than helpful attitude. Expecting more than they are getting. Seeing more as a right. Feeling like they have been wronged. Understandable those these feelings are; they rarely help move people towards a solution.
Give Your Attitude a Facelift
The way you feel, your attitude, is highly visible in your face, your words and your actions.
People believe they can hide what they are really thinking, but they can’t – at least they can’t hide it from people with experience. And even then, attitudes can be sensed by the subconscious, the intuition.
So, you have to take a deep breath and make a decision that you are going to make sure and look at your situation from a more positive perspective, and see this as a challenge rather than a problem. Yes, old play on words but still valid. Come on, see what you can do to turn this around, because you can, if you want to.
Something needs to change, and the easiest place to start is with you and your actions.
Recognising their position, knowing your own value, what can you do to start changing the way they perceive you? Think of ideas of things you can do rather than wallow in thoughts about what you can’t do.
This can be a bit daunting to begin with, so here are few questions to help you on your way:
- What can you do to communicate how you add value to your boss’ work?
- List three ways you could make your boss’ life easier today.
- What would a successful salesperson suggest you do?
- How can you make a more positive impact today?
- Notice how others make an impact with your boss. What do they do that you could do?
- Set goals. What do you want to achieve by way of recognition in the next six months? Create a plan.
- Serious consider how to build more impact and a stronger reputation.
- Each day, identify three actions you can take to move you forward.
- Decide what impression you want to make. Then think of ways to make it.
Actually, when you think about it, there are lots of things you can do.
Which will work? No idea, that’s up to you to figure out. Yes, why not see this as a puzzle, trying to work out the way through the maze to gain the recognition you deserve.
Come on, time to get busy!
Five Reasons Why Your Should Use More Force
Influence by force is common, especially in the workplace. You may be thinking that it is odious and should not form a part of your influencing approach. Yet, used in the right way, and in the right circumstances, it can dramatically accelerate your progress.
The purpose of this article is to make you stop and think for a moment. I’d like you to recognise the potential, think about the pros and cons, and then learn how to make careful and shrewd choices about your choice of influencing tactic.
Let’s start with the reasons why you should at least consider…
Clarity and focus around what you can contribute is vital if you wish to accelerate your progress and realise your full potential. Carefully assembling the base for your credibility, demonstrating substance, and focusing on your own competitive advantages will enable you to position yourself correctly, with the right people, and reap the rewards.
How to Make Your Agenda Powerful
While running a webinar for Warwick Business School a few months ago, something quite unexpected happened. This particular event ran quite soon after the publication of Influential Leadership: A Leader’s Guide to Influence. It was the first opportunity that I had had to ask a large group of people to identify the sources of power they were currently using.
As they placed their marks on my virtual slide, something very interesting emerged. Hardly any of them indicated Agenda as a source of power they used. This helped me to realise that the Power of Agenda is a massive opportunity for those who want to grow and develop their career, regardless of their level of experience and seniority.
Let me back up a little.
When writing Influential Leadership, I put a great deal of energy into researching and analysing what makes people…