This article is contributed by Stuart Pietersen.
Even in the best work environments there are a lot of politics and a lot of power plays going on at all times. Even if you don’t notice it and it isn’t immediately apparent, there are hidden dynamics to almost every work relationship you have as your colleagues compete with you for the next promotion, as your boss tests you to ascertain your loyalty and those with chips on their shoulders try to establish themselves as dominant.
Surviving and thriving in this situation can be challenging, and if you want to make the most of it then you need to learn to assert yourself and to send out the right signals.
To climb the ranks at work, and to avoid pettiness and psychological warfare, you need to make sure that people take you seriously and respect you. You can be a fun and nice guy sure, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of your reputation or your dignity lest you want to become a doormat that everyone walks on and ignores on their way to the top.
So how do you go about making yourself more dominant and more formidable at work? How do you ensure that people take you seriously and listen to what you have to say? Here we will look at some easy ways you can give off a more confident and powerful aura at work.
This is one of the easiest ways you can present yourself as professional and serious about the job you’re doing. If you come into work looking scruffy, not wearing the proper uniform and with last night’s dinner down your top, then people will assume you don’t take yourself seriously and that you don’t care about the work you’re doing. Not only will this upset your employers, but if you don’t treat yourself with respect, then how can you expect anyone else to?
It is often said that the more money you are entrusted with in your line of work, the more money you should spend on your hair cut. This though should also extend to all other aspects of your appearance so that in general you dress like someone who is meant to be taken seriously.
Have a ‘Line’
There’s no reason to be unreasonable or unpleasant, but you also need to make sure you have a line that you don’t allow to be crossed. Decide in your own mind what’s okay and what isn’t, and then make sure you don’t allow people to take advantage of you by pushing you too far. If your colleagues think they can get away with anything, then unfortunately they will generally try – so taking a stand at least once is a good way to prevent this problem.
The same goes for taking jokes. While a bit of office banter is a good thing, sometimes people use it as a way to test you and to see how far they can push you. If someone tells a joke at your expense and you suspect that it wasn’t with the best of motivations, then don’t be afraid to call them on it. Tell them to ‘stop showing off’ and they’ll feel pretty small.
Be Good At What You Do
One way to cut through the bureaucracy and to counteract people trying to play you is to really knuckle down and be great at what you do. If you do this, then your employers will respect you and your colleagues will know that you can’t be easily made to look bad. Again you don’t have to go too far and become a bore – but just demonstrating efficiency and the power to get things done will make you more formidable.
Working on your look and making sure you dress for success will help you to feel good about yourself and boost your confidence. There are other ways you can boost your confidence further though too, and make yourself appear more confident to others. One way to do this for instance is to use larger gesticulations and body language. By really working the space you’re in you will appear more charismatic and less like a shrinking violet. Other ways to come across more confident are to talk more slowly (and project your voice) as well as to try and walk taller.
Author Bio: Stuart Pietersen designs workwear in Perth. He feels that a work uniform enhances a person’s look and his productivity at work. Besides his professional commitments, he also blogs on myriad topics.