The manner in which we present ourselves has a great impact on how other people perceive and treat us. While you don’t want to be thought of as boastful or egotistical, you certainly can’t afford to shrink back into the shadows. It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to sell others on your dreams and talents. But a smart moves manager knows that in order to move forward in his career, he must begin by projecting an image that communicates confidence, competence and credibility. Here are 15 tips to help you.
1. Think highly of yourself and what you have to offer. Believing in your self is the first step in projecting a powerful professional image. It is essential to your success that your confidence comes through. Even if a situation doesn’t work out the way you planned, look for the lesson and use it to move to the next level.
2. Keep negative comments to yourself. Never badmouth a coworker, your boss or a former boss in public. You never know who’s listening. Further, it makes you look like untrustworthy.
3. Do an honest self-assessment. What areas of your personality, habits and work practices do you need to improve?
4. Be reliable and be on time. When all else fails all you have is your word. Let your word be your bond.
5. Project a positive attitude. How do you come across to others? What message are you sending through your behavior and body language? How do your bosses, employees and colleagues perceive you? Think positive, speak positive and be positive.
6. Be cordial to everyone you meet from the CEO to the secretary. Even if you’re having a bad day you must remember to be pleasant.
7. Be easy-going. People prefer to work with people who are flexible to work with and who don’t make a big deal out of every little annoyance. By being easy-going, you’ll come across to others as a team player and people will be naturally drawn to you.
8. Handle proprietary information with care. Be the type of person who others can come to when they need guidance or a silent sounding board.
9. Learn the technical skills and information required to carry out your job function successfully. Know how to do your job inside and out.
10. Be an interesting person. People like and respect people who are interesting. Broaden your horizons and make learning a lifelong commitment. Cultivate your talents. Take up a hobby.
11. Be an attentive listener. When people speak to you, try to focus your complete attention on what they are saying.
12. Know how to read people. Reading people is about understanding that people have two faces: The one they present publicly and the private one. Reading people is about seeing beyond the public face in order to discern their true message and intent.
13. Dress for success. Be sure to observe your organization’s dress code. Don’t just dress for your position, dress for the position you want. Make sure that your clothes convey the image that you’re trying to project.
14. Adopt a role model. One of my role models is Oprah Winfrey. Although I’ve never met her, I admire and respect her a great deal. And the constant message that I get from watching her is, “use your life responsibly.” I take this message to heart and use it as a catalyst to remind me that I am responsible for my life. Think about someone who you respect and admire and study his/her life. Adopt some of the principles that they live by and apply them to your life.
15. Be the consummate professional. In all that you do, put your best foot forward. Be professional in your attitude, attire, behavior and your verbal and written communication. Before sending out a memo or letter, check it and re-check it. Start and end all meetings on time. When attending company parties and events, watch your liquor consumption and behavior. Remember everything you say and do speaks volumes about your level of professionalism.
Copyright 2005 by Cassandra Mack
Cassandra Mack is the CEO of Strategies for Empowered Living Inc., the producer and host of The No More Drama Hour of Power online talk radio show and the author of six books. You can visit Cassandra on the web at: http://www.strategiesforempoweredliving.com
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