No two workplaces are alike. However, all workplaces deal with the same issues: office politics, working collaboratively with others, determining workers’ contributions and more. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you succeed at work, regardless of industry.
1. Listen More Than You Talk. Too many people let their egos get in the way. They feel that they need to prove their knowledge and thus talk over everyone. What they don’t know is that listening is just as, if not more, important than talking. Soak up what is being said. Get a feel for the room. And then, when you want to say something, make sure that it’s novel, succinct and actually contributes value to the conversation.
2. Be a Team-player. Show to management that you work well in collaboration with others. Offer to do tasks that others don’t want to do. Be willing to let a colleague take the credit. Don’t sweat the small stuff. These are all crucial elements of being someone that people want to not only be around, but work with.
3. Accept Feedback Graciously. Demonstrate that you’re open to constructive feedback. This not only illustrates that you’ve removed your ego from your work performance, but also that you’re hungry and willing to do better. Remember, the organization is investing in you. And so, they are willing to devote their resources into making you better. Don’t take it personally.
4. Find Your Niche. Find out what you can contribute to the company that no one else can or willing to do. Is your organization lacking a social media presence? Offer to set-up and manage their accounts. Does your organization’s blog on their website need updating? Offer to contribute an article that can simultaneously highlight your writing skills. Start to see where the hidden opportunities are and become someone who is invaluable.
5. Foster Strong Interpersonal Skills. Mastering the Art of Communication is crucial. Learn how to speak with ease and eloquence, as well as acknowledge what others are saying to you. Maintain eye contact. Use hand gestures to reinforce your points. Ask questions to develop the conversation.
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude. Everyone wants to work with someone who is positive and charismatic. No matter how terrible you feel when you wake up, learn to leave that at the door and enter the office with a smile. Being likeable goes a long way. Complaining ruins that.
7. Leave the Drama at Home. This is related to the previous point — don’t discuss your personal problems at work. No one cares. Also, don’t engage in office politics — although recognize that it exists — and just focus on putting your head down and doing the work. In the end, solid work performance is the only metric of success to a company.
We always think that we need to tone down our personality in the office — that it’s somehow unacceptable to be ourselves. I couldn’t disagree more. Good employers hire people who they think they can get along with and who can fulfill the obligations of that position. If you’re providing exceptional value to the team, the things that make you unique (i.e. sense of humour, casual dress, prefers to work a certain set of hours) will be respected. Implement the above seven actions and you’ll not only be able to thrive in any workplace but garner the respect of being an irreplaceable member of the team.
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