It is natural to not pay attention to something you do all the time. However, you should not confuse being practiced at something with being good at something. You eat all of the time, yet that does not mean you eat what you should. You sleep all of the time, yet that does not mean you always have a good night’s sleep. Even if you have been introducing yourself to others throughout your life, you are not necessarily a world class introducer.
When introducing yourself, do you do so poorly? Perhaps you are inconsistent, inattentive, or under-skilled. Perhaps you don’t value the benefit of a solid introduction. Whatever the reason, your inability to introduce yourself effectively leaves others feeling unimpressed and underwhelmed.
When it comes to introducing yourself to colleagues you don’t know, do you avoid introducing yourself at all costs? Perhaps you are highly uncomfortable or severely under-skilled. Much like getting a flu shot, you want your introduction to be quick and painless. In fact, you wouldn’t introduce yourself to others at all if you could avoid doing so. Do any of the following “Avoider” characteristics seem familiar to you when you think about introducing yourself to others?
You may be surprised to find that introduce yourself is the first Raise Your Visibility & Value visibility accelerator. After all, introducing yourself to others seems so simple. What is difficult about saying “hello” and shaking the hand of a new colleague?
Carl is also surprised because, like you, he has been meeting people his entire life. As an adolescent, he found himself at parties introducing himself to new friends. As a young law student, he attended classes where he introduced himself to fellow classmates. Today, as an in-house attorney for a growing software company, Carl “meets and greets” people all of the time – colleagues, clients, and other professionals in the legal profession.
As you work to raise your visibility in your organization and industry, certain activities and behaviors are more productive and will accelerate your efforts. These “accelerators” are like putting rocket fuel in a Honda Civic. When you “step on the gas,” you will enhance your presence and reputation faster than ever before. And these activities and behaviors can be easily integrated into your already busy workday.
Your time is precious. Your days are already packed with meetings, conference calls, overdue deliverables, and unanticipated interruptions. Working to raise your visibility in your organization and industry requires that you focus your precious time on specific activities and behaviors that help you produce results. Anyone can engage in a bevy of activities that keep them busy, yet you cannot afford that luxury. The investment of time and energy you make in your efforts to raise your visibility must be productive. What is the difference between keeping busy and being productive?
Reputation is the intangible ways in which we connect with others. This is where activities and behaviors that help you be known in your organization and industry exist. I like to think of reputation as the echo you leave when you exit a room. Your reputation is what your colleagues say about you when you are not there. Perhaps your colleagues are commenting on a presentation you just gave, an interaction you just had, or your candidacy for a promotion. Do you know what they are saying about you? More importantly, what do you want your colleagues to be saying about you?
Presence is the tangible ways in which you connect with others. This is the place where activities and behaviors that help you be seen in your organization and industry exist. When you work to build your presence, you are seeking physical ways to connect with others as well as contribute to your organization and industry. You cannot be visible if you are not seen by others!