8 Habits to Earn Respect in New Roles
Transitioning stages in your career can be difficult - full of uncertainty, doubt, and tons of mistakes.
This is all fine - normal, really - but it doesn't have to be the school of hard knocks for everyone. Here are 8 things to practice as you enter a new world in business.
(Millennials & Veterans: I'm talking to YOU, venturing out on new career paths!)
From CEO to salesperson, your success rests heavily upon how you interact with people, how your represent yourself, and the strength in communicating your message - in business, your world is all about people!
1. Never Let 'Em See You Sweat (maybe)
It's a an out-dated cliche, but there's some value to this. First, literally, try not to sweat - a bit of personal hygiene here, but also think to dress appropriately. This does not mean to hide stress, excitement, and nerves altogether. Think about it: if you show no emotion, how can I know to trust you?
2. Always Let Them See You Breathe
Show the people you interact with that you're in control of your world. Rebecca Knight talks about projecting an aura of calm. Again, not emotionless, but being able to breathe tells the world you're aware of what's going on, comfortable with your position, and ready to react to what's behind door #2.
Never Let Them See You Sweat; Always Let Them See You breath! * tweet this*
Make Your Meetings Count
3. Don't Be Late!!!!
It's definitely not common sense because this remains an endemic issue, at least in Western business. You're busy, I'm busy -- we all get it, but don't let your business disrespect the time someone else set aside for you.
4. Never Miss a Meeting
Seriously, this happens more than you'll realize if you've just left the Military or are taking your first professional position. The worst is when you don't even shoot off that last minute email saying you won't make it. Emergencies happen, but try not to waste your time or theirs.
Help others and and be proactive. Especially if the meeting has been scheduled for a while, reach out to confirm. A no-show can place a huge amount of strain on the relationship. Nothing creates instant awkward like the "I waited around for an hour and didn't see you..." call.
5. Do Your Homework First
Take the time to learn about someone new; Google them, review their LinkedIn profile - they're doing it to you anyway. If this is a follow-up on an older topic, get yourself back up to speed; review the last email string, check to see if your colleagues made any progress. Clearly this makes you look good in the group and enables you to be more productive, but you also make a great personal impact on others by noticing their work.
Harness the Power of Writing
6. It's OK to Ask For Something in Writing
You shouldn't be hiding behind an email, but consider the request. Giving them some time makes it comfortable for people to respond on their own terms. When the topic isn't time sensitive, drafting a note allows you a second, third, or fourth chance to review your message. Here's some common messages from Danny Rubin to get you started.
Something written also creates artifacts for everyone to use later on. With metadata and massive search functions on the rise, it's becoming easier to retrieve information on demand, eliminating all the paperwork we used to create just to track the paperwork we wanted to save.
( Note : If you're writing something for CYA purposes, take a second look at it to make sure it's necessary. If this becomes too frequent, take a further step back to ask yourself if there's a problem with your environment.)
7. Follow-up On Your Own
It's impressive. Really. It doesn't happen often enough outside of sales efforts. By not waiting until the day before the next meeting, it helps save someone else some time, and shows that you care about the mutual item you're connecting on. It's really simple, no tricks (except maybe a calendar reminder) - just do it.
8. You'll Need it Later...
Yep, that's right. If your sights are set higher, being able to effectively communicate in writing will set you apart from other managers and leaders. Don't let writing be one of those lost arts you gaze upon - practice being able to express yourself in more than 140 characters or a text. There are uses for those forms (I encourage leveraging every available means of communicating) but being able to tell a story will help you win the support of your team, or secure the funding for that project you're aching to get started on.