January Tip Sheet

Company Culture, Entrepreneurs, Public Relations Posted Jan 9, 2015 by chenpr

Happy New Year! Did you make any resolutions for 2015? Have you already broken them? I eschew the fruitless tradition of resolving to make myself a better human being when the calendar turns. I know well what my faults are and I’m already working on the things I should. Manufacturing an excuse to do something your heart isn’t already convinced needs doing is doomed to fail.

kapowOne area where I’m committed to continuous improvement is the arena of my professional presentation. That’s the message of this feature of the CHEN PR blog and, truth be told, writing this blog is one of the ways I’m working toward that goal.

I’m happy to have found Christina Park’s page over at Forbes. Ms. Park writes “about the workplace from an introvert’s perspective” and I find her insights useful, which is why you can count on her being a regular source for me here. Recently she offered Five New Year’s Resolutions for Introverts and while I’ve already told you what I think about resolutions, Park’s insights are keen. What are they?

Speak Fearlessly – The best way to conquer fear is to confront it, and that includes the fear of public speaking. Park suggests organizations like Toastmasters as a safe venue for learning how to get in front of a crowd to tell your story.
Network More – Not every outing is going to result in meeting a valuable business contact, but the more you get out, the better your chances of meeting the right people. Set a goal and circulate. It really is a simple thing. The more I get out the more people I meet and I’ve gotten to know some good people for the effort. You can do.
Stand Tall – It’s been proven that good posture has two benefits: it makes you feel more confident in yourself and it creates a more positive impression on others. Don’t slink into corners or project a weak image by slouching. Stand up and be counted.
Take Care of Yourself – When you put yourself in challenging situations, it can wear you down mentally; especially if you are an introvert. To avoid these effects, make sure to give yourself a break once in a while, even if it’s during an event.
Spend Free Time However You Want – A busy work week can be draining, so make time for me time when you are off the clock. Unplug and curl up with a good book, or put on some music and veg out if that’s your thing. Recharge and be ready when the bell rings Monday morning!

Just as it’s important to work your public image, you’ve got to be sure to polish your image around the workplace as well. I’m not talking about brown-nosing, but standing out for your contributions rather than being overlooked. The Boston Business Journal recently published some advice on this front by author Harvey Mackay offering 12 Ways to Stand Out at Work. Some of those dozen nuggets include:

Talk to the Boss – Regular, business-related conversations with your manager that aren’t about problems or questions are a great way to show engagement and leave a positive impression.
Dress Appropriately – Unfortunately people will judge you by your appearance, so step up your look whether the office is formal or casual.
Offer Praise to Others – Everyone likes getting a pat on the back, so make sure to recognize when others deserve kudos and offer it genuinely and publicly.
Volunteer – Rather than wait for tasks to be assigned, ask your manager if there are any projects or committees that need an extra hand.
Keep Up with Your Industry – Read trade and business journals to keep informed with what’s going in and influencing your workplace. The knowledge you gain will manifest itself in your work and conversations to your benefit.

In public relations the ability to tell a compelling story is tantamount to success. And it turns out storytelling has other professional benefits. According to the New York Times people who are able storytellers can use that skill to find a new job, gain a promotion, land funding… and there’s science behind it. Successful story telling involves having both good content and a strong presentation. And no matter how tired your trope, be sincere.

Sometimes a story can be helped with a strong illustration. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Infographics have become a popular means for conveying complex ideas with simple picture, and Inc. Magazine demonstrates with An Infographic on the Future of Infographics. (Ironic, eh?)

I hope this month’s Tip Sheet helps you achieve your to achieve more success in the workplace. See you next month.