During the Women’s Leadership: How to Increase Your Influence and Visibility webinar I gave last week through Progressive Business Executive Education, several participants wanted to know how they could raise their influence even when they do not see their colleagues on a regular basis. They are not alone. Indeed, today’s market has more of us than ever before working from away from those who drive our careers. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.Com, 2.6% of the U.S. employee workforce (or, 3.3 million people) consider home their primary place of work. This number does not even take into account the self-employed, night-shift workers or those operating with global teams.
So what is it that we who work on our own can do to grow our influence among peers and superiors? Here are some ideas:
- Be present. You can’t be physically with your team, but you can really be there when you do have contact with them. Answer every email. Participate in every call. Ask questions. Provide answers. Show that you have done your homework. And that you care.
- Skype. Whenever possible, choose Skype, Facetime or another “face-to-face” tool for teleconferences. Actually seeing your business partner – and letting her see you is a literal way to increase your visibility. Additionally, eye contact adds a personal touch to any business relationship.
- Visit the business office as often as possible. While your main place of work might be located away from the powers that be, make it a point to get to the home office at least once a month. If your teams are spread out across the world, aim for quarterly in-person meetings. Similar to #2 above, being physically together helps to build relationships. And, as any savvy professional knows, good relationships drive careers.
- Be proactive. Volunteer for company-wide programs that will bring you in touch with new-to-you associates. Better yet, come up with your own value-producing project which requires people from a variety of departments. Then ask to share your wins / learnings at an upcoming leadership team meeting.
- Reach out to others. From your desk, you can send birthday or holiday greetings, congratulate coworkers for a job well done or simply ask how someone is doing today. Once at the office, invite others to coffee or lunch and organize in-the-flesh meetings. Remember that developing rapport is key to getting out of our shells (literally and figuratively).
In doing the above – or any other visibility-expanding exercise – be your authentic self. Not only is disingenuousness a turn-off to others, but it also does not allow for your true qualities to shine. And it is these qualities which ultimately will bring you the influence and visibility which you deserve.
Colleen Slaughter, Proud Executive Coach to the UN World Food Program, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
As an Executive Coach for Women in Leadership and Transformational Facilitator, my intention is to help leaders in positions of high influence to understand their worth at a profound level.
Supporting women leaders to truly thrive and step into their greatness, while succeeding in male-dominated industries and spaces is my native genius.
My technique and approach show you how to achieve incredible career success without compromising any part of who you are and what makes you magnificent.