The reputation you currently have in your workplace is the sum total of other people's experiences of you so far. If this is not as positive as you would like it to be, all is not lost, you can take steps to change it. Here are 6 steps to building a positive reputation that will get you noticed at work and the recognition you deserve:
Being aware of your impact on others is crucial. You may already be aware of the way your colleagues perceive you and you may not be aware of your blind spots. Review the feedback you have received from your line manager, colleagues and performance reviews over the last two years. Look for patterns which indicate your strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to ‘real time' feedback you receive (both positive and negative) on your work, these are all clues to how you are being perceived at work.
Be honest with yourself and consider areas where you could make small changes for maximum effect. For example, arriving to meetings promptly; respond promptly to emails; manage expectations; reach out for help and offering help to colleagues - these are the foundations which should already be common practice. If there are gaps in the basics, address them.
Assess your core values
Your core values are the key drivers of the things you stand by and which drive how you interact with others. Identifying your values will help you to be in alignment with the things that matter to you the most. These can be tricky to articulate, so keep it simple by starting with the beliefs that best represent the way you live your life. For example, family, fairness, compassion, adventure and so on. Start with a list of 15 - 20 key words and then use a highlighter to narrow these down to your top 5 values. Once you have your top 5 values, take each word in turn and write a few notes to define what each value means to you and how it features in your life.
This will form your internal GPS of how you operate and what others will experience from you. For example, if you value learning this may move you towards finding opportunities to do continuous professional development or opportunities to share your knowledge and skills with your team. Similarly, if you value community then you may be drawn towards organising social activities within your organisation.
The more you can act in accordance with your core values you will soon start to be recognised as the ‘go to' person for certain skill sets.
Find time to list your key strengths and weaknesses and select at least 3 trusted friends or colleagues to share with you what they see, with specific examples. It can feel uncomfortable but see this as useful data which you can use to broaden your perspective of yourself.
Become more visible in meetings by actively taking part and sharing your thoughts and ideas. If the thought of this intimidates you, that's perfectly understandable. But if you're serious about getting noticed at work, this will be a core skill to develop. The Impact Factory has an extensive library of public speaking resources that will help boost your public speaking skills.
Prepare in advance for each meeting by researching the subject matter, writing down your comments and at least one question to ask. This will demonstrate your interest; consistent practice and use of voice.
Market your best skills
Think of the value you can add to your organisation. You probably have a range of untapped skills, talents, passion and interests, which could be benefiting your team and colleagues in some way. Think about how you can start solving problems by going the extra mile. Check with your company's social club and committee organisers, to find out how you can support worthy causes which benefit the organisation as a whole and get you noticed.
Promote yourself on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has moved on from its stiff professional vibe, to being much more personable. It's a great tool to use for building out your professional profile, your interests and a glimpse of your personality, which is what makes people want to connect with you.
You can also use this platform to build your portfolio of endorsements and recommendations from your personal connections, by politely asking them if they would write you a short recommendation on LinkedIn of their experience of working with you and you will be happy to do the same. If you don't ask, you don't get!
Having a negative perception of yourself in the workplace can be damaging to your reputation and this can reflect in your work, your interactions with colleagues and senior management. Take small steps each day to raise your profile and you will soon start to reach your potential.