The most powerful people at work aren’t necessarily the ones who have the highest rank. There are ways to cultivate a more powerful professional reputation within your organization, no matter what you do.
The way others see you at work matters a great deal. Your reputation can go a long way to support, or hurt, your career. If you’d like to be seen as stronger, as more powerful, or as more of a leader, there are some things you can do to set that in motion.
Here are a few tips:
1. Be confident
Confidence is perhaps the most important key when it comes to being seen as powerful at work. After all, how can others believe in you, or trust you, unless you believe in yourself. There are some things you can do to cultivate confidence.
Just don’t take it too far. Remember that confidence only helps you to be seen as more powerful if it’s deserved. Being confident about skills or opinions where you’re actually under-qualified is just arrogance, and that won’t help you at all.
2. Be humble
It might seem that being humble stands opposed to projecting confidence. But, it doesn’t at all. Humility is definitely a virtue worth embracing in the workplace. It’s a trait that’s often underestimated in today’s culture, which values things like ambition and confidence more readily. These qualities are important. But, when they stand alone, they don’t bring success.
However, when humility is added to the mix, you have a winning recipe. Humility, especially when coupled with sincere confidence and capability, allows you to demonstrate a tremendous strength that will serve you well professionally. It will help you to make better decisions, and it will encourage you to learn and grow professionally. Most likely, humility will also help others to view you as someone with the potential to become a powerful leader.
3. Be emotionally level
It’s perfectly all right to show some emotion at work. But, when your expression of those emotions are over-the-top or otherwise out of proportion, it can hurt you professionally. Being controlled, level and generally stable emotionally is much better for your professional reputation. It takes strength to roll with the punches at work without allowing yourself to be thrown off course.
4. Be professional
Powerful people keep their professional cool, even when others do not. Difficult days are often the best time to show how strong and capable you really are. Take these opportunities to demonstrate your power by staying calm when everyone else is losing their heads. Don’t be pulled down by others’ anger, frustration, or any other behavior or action that might be viewed as unprofessional, even when it’s difficult.
Similarly, being professional also means that you don’t take things that happen personally. If your proposal is turned down, or a client flies off the handle, don’t let it hurt you. This is your job, your work, it isn’t you. Remember to keep your words and actions professional at all times, no matter what.
5. Be predictable
It might not be the most exciting leadership trait, but there is a lot to be said for being predictable at work. Being consistent shows maturity and strength. When you’re seen as reliable and predictable your also more likely to be viewed as effective and trustworthy. What better way is there to improve your professional standing and reputation than that?
6. Be kind to everyone
People won’t see you as powerful if you stomp around acting like you think you’re better than everyone else. That isn’t power. Truly strong people are also kind. But, they don’t just treat their bosses and clients well – they’re kind to everyone. So, be friendly and kind, across the board, if you’re looking to boost your professional reputation.
In particular, befriending “gatekeepers and caretakers,” like executive assistants, is a great place to start. It might seem like these folks don’t have a lot of power in the organization because they aren’t that high up the ranks. But, think again. People in these kinds of roles have a tremendous amount of power. They often know more about what’s really going on around the office than anyone else.
7. Be consistently excellent
At the end of the day, nothing helps you to be more powerful at work than being consistently excellent at what you do. Reliably complete assignments to the best of your ability. And, always bring your A-game to meetings with clients, coworkers and your manager or boss. You’ll be seen as more powerful at work if you consistently demonstrate excellence. It’s really as simple, and as complicated, as that.
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