Do you find it hard to get taken seriously at work?
Are you never in line for any promotions despite the fact that you’re a hard worker?
Do you feel completely invisible at work and wonder how you can get noticed without causing a fight?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then you’re no stranger to the bitter taste of social rejection. Being overlooked for a promotion, having your proposal declined or not being acknowledged for your work can be detrimental to your health, let alone your success and happiness at work. In fact they have discovered that social rejection registers in the same part of the brain as physical pain hence why you can remember a time in your life when you were embarrassed in front of a group of people. You literally have mental scars that can last a lifetime.
So how do we get over this and get noticed?
Take up space in meetings
As with the animal kingdom, the alpha animal will take up more space, make themselves bigger and spread their body out, this is a show of their power and authority. Human beings are no different. The more dominant or confident people will take up more space in a room while the weaker or self-conscious person will make themselves smaller so that they are not noticed. How much space are you taking up?
If you want to be noticed and taken more seriously make sure you own your space, sit and stand upright so that everyone can see you. Make sure you’re using open body language to make yourself bigger and take up more space.
Here are a few bonus positions to help you:
What not to do:
- Hold a folder in front of you when talking to people- this shows you are uncomfortable
- Cover your mouth- this reflects you are unsure or nervous
- Lean back in your chair and slouch
What to do:
- Stand with your arms at your side or hands on your hips and your feet apart
- Use the steeple hand gesture at the boardroom- this reflects authority (do not overuse)
- Lean forward in your chair with one hand resting on the table and one elbow resting on the table- this reflects confidence and assertiveness
Dress for the position you want
Did you know that first impressions happen within the first 5 seconds of meeting someone. And in fact most of that first impression is related to how you’re dressed and your body language. This means that people have summed you up, made a judgement about you and put you in a box before you’ve even had time to speak.
The good news is that you can change that impression by changing the way you dress. This means, if you are being easily overlooked, maybe rethink your personal style and image. Look at what the leaders in your company are wearing and wear some similar items. They need to be able to envision you in the role you’re applying for. What better way to do that then to dress for the position you want, and not the position you currently have.
Rushing – Take your time when you walk and talk
One of the notable habits of people who are easily overlooked, is their inability to take their time. They rush from point A to point B, and speak very quickly out of fear that the others won’t listen. As a result their counterparts don’t take them seriously.
If you study the traits of charismatic people you will notice that they all have one thing in common- they take their time in everything they do. Even when they are rushed, they never look out of control. They speak calmly and slowly so that people listen. They walk slowly and confidently because they believe they are worth the space they are walking in.
Eye contact and head nod
As a bonus step to follow, the best advice to make sure you’re noticed and not ignored is to be interested in other people. How do you do this?
The easiest ways to show interest is to make eye contact with everyone that you speak with. If you’re busy on your laptop as someone comes to speak with you, take the time to look that person in the eye so that they feel acknowledged. This doesn’t mean having a stare down with the person, it is okay to break eye contact. But when you do break eye contact, make sure you nod your head to let the person know you’re still listening.
So instead of sitting around and complaining hoping that something will eventually change. Be willing to go beyond what the average person is willing to do and expect the best for yourself. Use these tips to prevent another opportunity from passing you by!