Corporate Strategist, Trainer & Culture Fixer. Helps companies create a healthy culture with a better bottom line at Mixonian Institute.
As if dealing with a pandemic wasn’t enough. Worldwide, conversations with my clients have revealed there also lurks an emotional health crisis, a jobs crisis, a consumer behavior crisis, a data analytics crisis and a purchasing power crisis.
Yet, we know that a crisis brings both danger and opportunity. Our opportunity is mixed in with the myriad of changes in the way we live, educate our children and work.
Being visible in your organization still matters. It’s just the way you go about it that looks different.
Being future-ready means knowing how to improve skills like communication and relationship-building. It means selling ideas, practicing empathy and giving constructive feedback, all while working remotely.
Here are three practical ways you can increase your visibility in your organization, even now. Use these to build new relationships and enjoy more influence.
1. Get to know your colleagues even better.
How are the leaders above you and below you doing? Have you had a recent, non-work-related conversation with any internal clients lately? Are there stakeholders you haven’t seen in a while?
Put on your calendar one hour a week for internal networking. See what your colleagues are posting on LinkedIn and comment on it. Schedule a half-hour “personal check-in” with someone you’d like to know better.
Also, see if you can incorporate “getting-to-know-you” time in your regular meetings by starting each meeting with a “Question of the Day.” Ask one good question to find out what someone’s passion project is, like “What are you excited about these days?” Better relationships mean better communication.
2. Affirm and add.
This communication tool derives from the improv theatre practice known as “yes, and.” Many people find it easier to think of this as affirming what someone else is saying, and then adding your point of view to that. It’s extremely useful for people who want to speak up in a meeting but are not sure what to say. Especially when you want to redirect someone’s idea, it’s useful to affirm what the person is saying, then add your suggested change in direction.
• Affirm: “I totally agree with Dani that we need a new client dashboard.”
• Add: “By waiting until November to start working on this project, we’ll be able to devote more resources to it and thus complete it faster.”
Using affirm and add increases your influence as people you converse with feel heard, as you affirm what they are saying before adding to it.
3. Raise the energy.
Negativity is like gravity: It’s omnipresent and always pulling people down. It takes more effort to be positive, especially right now.
Positive energy attracts people like iron to a magnet, so be the one who sees the potential for a positive outcome. You help others be positive when you bring enthusiasm to the conversation. That means you should take time before a meeting, or at the start of the day, to get yourself in a positive-thinking mindset. Help everyone access their critical thinking and creativity by responding to your positivity.
Use these three practices at work, and people will be glad you’re there.
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