Whether you are in your first or subsequent job or organization, you need to raise your profile in a positive fashion. There are many ways to raise your profile in a positive manner or a negative one. Although we could probably create a super long list of positive and negative ways to raise your profile, let’s just focus on three positive techniques and three negative profile builders.
Positive Profile Branding
- Never “badmouth” your team members outside the team. There are many issues that are considered sensitive because they may involve you team’s performance and reputation. If you have issues with your team, the first thing to do is talk to your team leader and accurately explain your concerns. Most often, there will be steps that can be taken to positively resolve the issues. It may even be possible that you have some incorrect information.
- Positive transparency is a winning attribute. Be honest and up front. You can be reminded that being honest and “upfront” does not always me “in your face.” Most team leaders really want their team members to be reality based. Most organizations use some form of metrics, email, or messaging so you can’t afford to be “off-track” because there is a digital record that could live forever.
- Increase your visibility. In principle, you might agree that it is a good idea to “keep your head down and your powder dry.” But, the reality is that most organizations, at least to some extent, attempt to develop their next generation of leaders from current associates. In fact, many organizations have a published policy that requires that internal associates be considered for promotions and training opportunities so that they can participate, collaborate, grow and advance. You need to be seen and heard in a positive and professional manner.
Negative Profile Branding
- Never abuse sick leave. Your organization may have a formal sick leave policy and family leave policy. You don’t want to be known as one who views these programs as “wildcard” vacation days. If you always use every sick day to which you’re entitled every year, or have a habit of calling in sick on Mondays, you are flagging yourself as someone who lacks personal integrity. I guarantee that this behavior will come back to “bite” you especially when candidates are being considered for more responsibility or leadership roles.
- Don’t lob grenades. You’ve probably heard from many sources that it’s fine to ask questions, challenge conventional wisdom and say “no.” But that doesn’t mean it is okay to be confrontational or rude. You can quickly flag yourself as anti-collaborative or difficult to work with if you throw bombs in emails or in face-to-face meetings. Find constructive ways to ask questions and disagree, or you’ll be “the person” that no one wants to “work with” and certainly not “work for.”
- Beware of angry reactions. One particularly dangerous behavior is to angrily react to an anonymous comment that has been attributed to a team mate. Be certain that there is a “right time and place” to discuss sensitive issues. Additionally, you must be careful not to create an angry email thread that may fall into the wrong inboxes. You don’t want to be known as person that undercuts and undermines your team leaders or members in a fashion that can damage their reputations within the organization or outside of it.
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