(Without Being Annoying…)
We've all worked with go-getters, job-haters, complainers and fakers. Here are nine ways to be amazing at your job without annoying your coworkers (and position yourself for #success!).
- Use active voice
In all communication, internal and external, using active voice will exude confidence. “I will close five new contracts this month” makes a stronger statement than “maybe I’ll make some cold calls.” The latter is passive and unsure.
- Be your own champion
Don’t be afraid to brag about your accomplishments. Boast about them in a way to show your boss you are proud of your work. Sending an “FYI” e-mail to your boss about the new accounts you scored this month isn’t bragging. It shows that you care about your success and are committed to the success of your company.
- Read body language and react appropriately
Pay attention to nonverbal cues such as eye contact (or lack thereof) and body orientation. If you’re rambling on to a coworker about how great your last [insert project here] was and they appear disinterested, they probably are, so wrap it up quickly. The same can be said about your body language—make sure it matches your message. If you tell a coworker (or your boss) how pleased you are about the company’s latest acquisition or hire, but appear sullen or less than energetic, you won’t come across as sincere. No one likes a faker and if you’re not good at it, it’s better to remain silent.
- Learn how to take a compliment
Don’t disparage yourself when someone praises you or offers a kind word. A simple “thank you” can speak volumes and is much more sincere than “yeah, I was surprised I managed to swing that.” Belittling yourself only makes other people feel uncomfortable and you’ll betray your own self-doubt. We all have self-doubt; some of us are just better at hiding it.
- Temper your disagreement
If you don’t know how someone else feels about a topic, you can still make your opinion heard in a straightforward and nonjudgmental way. Instead of saying “I thought you meant,” ask, “What did you mean?” You can make a stronger point by asking the right questions and it’s always better to give someone else the opportunity to explain before you tell them they’re wrong.
- Speak up for yourself
If you have to say no, do it without over-apologizing. Offer a brief explanation and let it go. Otherwise you become the office easy target, and everyone will dump his or her work on you without a second thought. While we’re on the topic of apologizing:
- Stop apologizing
Many people do this reflexively, even when entirely unnecessary. Eliminate the phrase “I’m sorry, but…” from your vocabulary. Save your apologies for when you really screw up.
- Be confident
Don’t feel pressured to justify or explain every decision you make. Sometimes it’s best to take a risk, make the decision, follow through, and deal with the outcome afterwards. We learn from our experiences by allowing ourselves to make mistakes (and often, our first instincts are spot-on).
- Don’t be a victim
Assertive people are problem solvers, not victims of circumstances beyond their control. There is always (always!) something we can do to reach a solution. #Conflict at work is best met head-on. Instead of wasting time by gossiping and complaining, focus on the positive, productive steps you can take to solve problems.
We could add more, but we’d really like to hear your tips for being confident and a standout employee—leave them for us in the comments!