Too Busy to Participate

Too Busy to Participate

What story are you telling yourself?

As we’ve discussed, you are being asked to do more, faster, and with too few resources. You feel as though you are doing the jobs of three people. Your Outlook calendar is triple-booked. Recurring acquisitions add new responsibilities with no additional resources. Consolidations and downsizing shift the jobs, previously handled by your colleagues, to you. You wish a magic wand existed to take away all of the urgent email, last minute requests, and unexpected phone calls that are created by your colleagues.

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Participating with a Purpose

Participating with a Purpose vs Interacting

Participating with a Purpose

“Interacting with others” is comprised of ways in which you can raise your visibility “one-to-one” with others. Unlike interaction, “participating with a purpose” is focused on “one-to-many” experiences with colleagues. Participating is comprised of activities where you raise your visibility when many of your colleagues are present.

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What Is the Impact of Mindset on Participating?

The Impact of Mindset on Participating

Participating and Overwhelm

The most dramatic symptom of our newly christened PTSD (professional traumatic stress disorder) is the belief that “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” If you believe that this statement is true, “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” is at risk of becoming a mindset that hinders your ability to raise your visibility. You may hate Bruce Willis and scowl anytime you see one of his movies advertised. You might hate conflict and do everything you can to avoid a confrontation. Whatever your mindset might be, it is at risk of pre-determining how you interpret and respond to a situation.

Mindset is a habitual mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to a situation.

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Participate with a Purpose

Participate with a Purpose

Carl wants to participate – honestly he does

“Oh, no,” Carl says to himself as an email from his boss slowly unfolds before his eyes. “Not another team building offsite!” Like a hungry ant craving a watermelon for lunch, Carl wonders how to digest this news. Blink. Blink. Blink. He stares at the light on his office phone, silently reminding himself that he has messages waiting. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

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Interacting vs. Participating

Interacting vs. Participating

Coming next, we’ll take a look at participating purposefully. You may be wondering what the difference is between interacting and participating. In the Raise Your Visibility & Value model, interacting is defined as “one-to-one” interactions with colleagues, while participating is defined as “one-to-many” experiences with colleagues.

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Why Is Responsiveness Important?

Why Is Responsiveness Important?

You may feel that you should not respond to colleagues until you have the answer to their questions or requests. You may assume that others know you are working on their problem and you don’t feel a need to keep them updated. You may rationalize that you are too busy to get back to anyone except your boss. While these are reasonable perspectives, days could go by before you have an answer (especially if you are dependent on others for information) and colleagues who originally reached out to you may feel forgotten. Without a response or an update, your colleagues are unsure if you received their email or if you are working on their request at all, allowing frustration to grow and progress to stall.

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Intangible Accessibility - How Welcoming Are You to Your Colleagues?

Intangible Accessibility – How Welcoming Are You to Your Colleagues?

Visibility is also comprised of “reputation” which is the intangible ways that individuals connect with you. Do you create a welcoming atmosphere that reflects your desire to be accessible? When your colleagues come to see you, is your behavior creating or hindering access? Here are some ways to create a welcoming atmosphere that inspires access:

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How to Be More Comfortable Introducing Yourself to Others

How to Be More Comfortable Introducing Yourself to Others

One other characteristic of effective Introducers is that they are either naturally comfortable introducing themselves to others or they have mastered the ability to diminish any short-term discomfort that arises as they introduce themselves to others.

While I believe you can build your ability to be consistent, attentive, skilled, and invested when introducing yourself, I think it would be presumptuous to tell you to be comfortable when introducing yourself. Whether you are an Avoider, Fumbler or just plain unconsciously competent, some of you will not be comfortable introducing yourself, no matter how many books you read.

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A Few Things Introducers Do That Can Help You

A Few Things Introducers Do That Can Help You

Introducers introduce themselves with energy, clarity, and confidence. Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s take a cue from our Introducer colleagues and practice some of the behaviors they weave into their introductions that make Introducers so effective when connecting themselves to others. Recall that, at their best, Introducers are the following:

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