Being visible is critical to increasing your level of influence. It’s tough to be influential when you are your best kept secret. One way of building your level of visibility is to give more, help more, provide more generosity and kindness. Part of the “stickiness” to growing your influence is the relationships that you develop along the way, and to develop those relationships you need to come from a place of generosity. It can’t be from the place of, “What have you done for me lately?” There must be giving and helping other people achieve what they want to achieve, as well as moving toward your own goals. That, by the way, is also a secret sauce of managing up—to help your boss achieve what they want to achieve.
Here are key strategies for increasing visibility while helping others along the way:
- Introduce people to each other. When you connect people to each other, it helps them and it helps you. You all have an opportunity to explore new opportunities.
- Help to solve a need. If you help someone get what they want, if you help a team achieve a goal, if you thought of an idea that led to a solution, that creates buzz.
- Share your achievements in terms of value. No one cares that you have been in sales for ten years. What they care about is, did you increase revenue? Did you increase sales? How much money was saved? Show results and numbers. This makes people want to come to you. “Did you hear that Esther helped me increase sales by 10%? You should go talk to her.”
- Investigate what matters to other people. Often people lose sight of the importance of ongoing investigation and unearthing of what matters to people inside your company. When you’ve managing and servicing an external client, your job is to be in the business of knowing what is essential for them and to assist. It’s equally to do this level of exploration and inquiry with your coworkers too.
- Let other people promote you. Someone says, “Joy, when you were working with me on that last project, I thought you did a standup job.” Instead of the typical answer many give, “No, no. It’s really nothing,” instead simply say, “Thank you. Yes, what we did together was great.” You really did do something significant and it’s time for you to own it. You can also educate people about promoting you. If someone says, “I really appreciate what you did,” you could say, “I’d be grateful if you shared that with my boss.”
- Promote other people. Sharing the achievements of others and being specific about what they did that made a difference is powerful. You are sharing the achievements of others, while being generous to another person, and that engenders more generosity. It sets a bar for great best practices of appreciating and commending others. Generosity is contagious, plus it may have a by-product of also sharing new ideas, perspectives and insights that other parts of the business could learn from and even use.
- Be very aware of how you’re showing up. This includes how you’re dressed, your body language, how you ask questions, how you listen.
- Dare to be contrarian at the appropriate times. Dare to be different. People don’t hire you to be a yes to everything. They hire you to debate, to criticize, to test. You’re not trying to be combative you’re looking to understand and to grasp and idea or concept. You may also be sharing a perspective that needs to be said that has been concealed from people’s view for a long time.
Being more visible facilitates you having a greater level of influence. Don’t be your best kept secret. Allow yourself to amplify your voice by not just being a voice for you, by being a voice for others. Assisting others in sharing their wins, creates the reciprocity of generosity. Can you imagine a workplace culture built on giving and receiving generosity consistently with care? Now that is indeed the workplace of the future, with the intention on starting now.
Esther Weinberg is the Chief Leadership Development Officer and Founder of The Ready Zone. To dive deeper into the ideas and strategies offered in this article, complete our Needs Assessment and we’ll schedule time to connect.
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