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All of us know businesses thrive on strong relationships, so we do all we can to impress our clients and external stakeholders.
In my earlier features -- 6 reasons to thank your clients and How to make clients your allies -- I highlighted the importance of client relationship management.
Most people, however, pay little or no attention to their relationships with peers, bosses and co-workers, though this might seem an obvious thing to do. Here's how you can become the 'Go to' person and get noticed at work.
Walk around for 15 minutes everyday
Offices are like mini-families. Most of us spend up to 11 hours a day in close proximity, sharing the same office space, facilities, break rooms, refrigerators, coffee pots, etc, with our work colleagues. Everyone shares responsibility for making the company work, run smoothly and stay profitable. Keep aside about 15 minutes a day to take a round, greet all the people you know with a smile and exchange pleasantries.
A smile and a warm handshake can wear off the stress most of us go through. Besides, making this effort adds to your desirability factor at work. And, even though it is considered a cliche, do remember smiling is contagious.
Give your colleagues importance
Tell a senior management executive how much you appreciate a certain colleague or subordinate. Do this in that person's presence and you would have won his/ her trust as well; besides, it will make your senior colleague respect you.
Be as specific as you can; for example: "Ram, I want you to know what a great job Vishal did at the presentation yesterday. We are all lucky to have him in the team." Do remember not to sound patronising when you do this.
If a veteran employee is retiring, organise a goodbye party; if someone is being promoted, set up a happy hour with your co-workers. Take initiative and others will take an instant liking to you.
See/ hear your name
Have you thought of contributing to your organisation's newsletter or Website or the journal that gets distributed within the organisation? Since company publications are frequently read by top executives, you'll be increasing your personal PR while establishing yourself as an expert in your chosen area. It's a great way to blow your own trumpet, albeit in a sophisticated fashion.
Join a committee or task force
Join a company-wide committee. Interacting with the same colleagues everyday won't increase your exposure; however, working on a committee with new people gives you an opportunity to make new contacts. It also gives you the opportunity to show your talent and skills to people who matter within the organisation.
Take up a leadership position within a task force and volunteer to lead a project. Behave like a leader and you will move into a leadership position sooner than you imagined.
Mediate a conflict
Workplace conflicts are most common and therein lies the opportunity to demonstrate your leadership and management skills. When done correctly, it can give you amazing results.
If you are trying to resolve a workplace conflict, do not get judgemental and take sides; rather, just serve as a facilitator and establish the ground rules for professional conduct at work. Keep resolution of the conflict in mind at all times; do not get involved or become emotional.
Are you losing your temper a work?
Offer a helping hand
Fill it up. If you've used the last piece of paper in a shared copier or printer, fill it up again even if it means going to the supply room to get another ream. After you've poured the coffee into your cup, take a minute to make another one for the next person in the queue.
Offer to mentor that new recruit at work or share a trade secret -- something that will help a colleague look good before his/ her boss. Often, these small gestures help you build relationships and also spread a good word around about you at the workplace.
Remember -- 'what goes around comes around'. The people you help will advocate for you when it matters the most.
Your best performance
There is nothing that will give you more exposure than getting the employee of the month or quarter award at the Rewards & Recognition event. Since these awards are often given by the top management, it gives you an opportunity to put your name before the key decision makers in your organisation. Remember, you won't get ahead with mediocre performance, regardless of how many other steps you implement.
Distractions at work- Stay focused
Read industry publications, reports and magazines, and be aware of market trends. Your knowledge will reflect when you communicate with colleagues and they would look up to you for advice and information. They will also talk positively about you with other members of the team. There is nothing better than third party publicity, as it establishes you as a thought leader within your organisation.
Read your way to success
Don't shy away from self promotion and PR at work. If done well, it can have a positive impact and help you get ahead at work.
Sunder Ramachandran is managing partner at WCH Solutions, a training solutions organisation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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