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Assert yourself without pushing too hard

Shrewd ways to make your presence known

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Management,Workplace Communication

Go-getters stand out. They keep themselves visible without hogging center stage. And they ensure that once they produce results, their hard work isn’t forgotten.

There’s an art to asserting yourself without becoming a showboat or a pest. If your attempts to make your presence known are too blatant, then you risk alienating the very people you want to win over.

Here’s how to strike the right balance so that you earn the recognition you deserve:

Speak for the team. When you join a team, volunteer to serve as spokesperson. This raises your visibility and shows that you’re a leader who communicates well.

When discussing the team’s accomplishments, spread credit around. Recognizing the efforts of team members or thanking others who’ve assisted you enhances your authority and subtly reinforces the fact that you’re in charge.

Work the boss’s hours. Don’t come and go along with the rest of your coworkers. Instead, watch when the boss arrives and departs every day and let that guide your schedule. This increases your exposure not just to your boss, but to other top dogs who may drop by.

A manager at a California bank learned that his boss arrived every morning at 6 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. like everyone else. Why? His boss needed to invest a portion of the bank’s money, and that required speaking with New York brokers when the stock market opened at 9 a.m. on the East Coast. So the manager began arriving at 6 a.m., too, and became his boss’s confidant.

Set up checkpoints. After completing a project, establish regular follow-up intervals. Give bosses monthly or quarterly progress reports. Quietly monitoring your proposals gives evidence of your value— whether the results are good or bad. If a project isn’t working, approach your boss and confer about trying something new.

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