Whether you like it or not, power playing is quite a thing in the current workplace scenario. Working professionals are becoming smart enough to understand that the professional arena is as much about self-assurance and smart work as it’s about hard work and sincerity.
If you have just entered the professional world, it’s essential that you learn how to engage, influence, negotiate and persuade to get things done effectively and not taken for granted at work. With competition getting more fierce and colleagues trying to dominate and outsmart you at every step, one should know how to navigate through such situations with assertiveness and thorough professionalism.
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Here are five subtle ways to appear more powerful (and confident) at work without losing ground:
As they say that corporate sector is a dog-eat-dog world, be mindful when others are taking advantage of you. Say exactly what you mean and mean what you say. Be careful to not confuse assertiveness with aggression. If someone said something nasty or is perhaps bullying you, speak up against it with full confidence.
Assertiveness is one of those skills that takes time to cultivate but is something that each one of us should aspire to master. To become more assertive, you must recognize your value. And, to recognize your value, contemplate how and what you contribute to your workplace.
When you can’t articulate your thoughts clearly, people tend to form a not-so-strong opinion of you. And, clearly, no one would like to have a reputation like this at work. People take note of what you say and how you say it. If you are assertive and convincing, they would buy anything you say or do. Use power words such as ‘I believe’, ‘great’, ‘success’, and add an extra touch of authority by working on speech, pitch, and tonality.
Give inputs during meetings. Ask questions and offer viable solutions to problems. If you don’t agree with someone, disagree respectfully. It will help you gain the trust of your seniors and earn you a reputation of someone who speaks his/her mind.
The way you conduct yourself speaks much more about you than what you actually speak. If you are slouching or constantly fidgeting while giving an important presentation, you’ve already lost half the battle. Your body language communicates your feelings, intentions, and message to your colleagues, seniors, and boss in a clear manner.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with elbows out while holding your hands on your hips. Even firm handshakes, maintaining eye-contact, keeping your back straight are little body-language hacks that could help you feel and exude power at work.
One’s knowledge, expertise, and work ethics play a crucial role in determining your authority or stature at an organization. Your job title won’t always command you respect at work, it’s what you do between 9 to 5 that counts the most. Build a reputation to reckon with - oftentimes, soft skills such as politeness, diligence and sincerity can elevate your work image.
Make sure you always reach office on time, complete tasks before deadlines, and help coworkers or new hires who are struggling with the process. It won’t bring laurels or appreciation but would definitely earn you a solid reputation. And, always remember that there is a lot of power in reputation.
Despite the fact that many organizations are adopting a casual dress code to attract millennials, don’t forget your approach and behavior should be nothing but professional. You are there to work and mean business. Never lose sight of the fact that whether on or off the job site, you’re constantly being judged by your co-workers and seniors. Every word you utter to every action you take is always on their radar.
To be seen more powerful or taken seriously at work, you have to first take yourself seriously. In a professional setting, conduct yourself in the most confident, respectful, and proficient manner. Most of the times, people take clues from your ethics, conduct and personality at work. If you act confident or powerful, that’s exactly how you would be perceived.
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2017. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.
Vartika is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub. She has 6 Years experience in online digital marketing, brand optimization and SEO along with social media marketing and email marketing strategies. Vartika holds an MBA in Finance (Banking) & Marketing from the IBS Hyderabad.