Ann Demarais, PhD, author of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You has spot-on practical advice for emerging leaders. I listened to her interview on the podcast, How to Be Awesome at Your Job. Here are my 2-minute takeaways for you. Use these tips in any setting - from leading a team, to communicating with your boss, getting a new job, and even when building personal relationships.
Pay close attention to your conversations. “We don’t see ourselves the way others do, so watch “blind spots” - everyone has them,” says Ann. Ask for feedback from a close co-worker or friend if you cannot self-assess.
Don’t be a conversational narcissist. These are people who hijack the conversation back to focus on themselves. When someone is talking about their awesome ski day on Sunday, then you immediately talk about your best ski day; that’s not connecting. The easy fix? Ask them more about their ski day and congratulate them on hitting the snow on an epic day.
Don’t speak negatively about others. My mother always said “If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything.” Your mother might have said the same thing. Quick fix? Speak more positively about others, and others will speak more positively about you. Guaranteed.
Pay attention to how you come across. You will advance in your career by engaging with colleagues in an authentic, focused, and interesting way rather than making it all about you.