Build your influence at work

Build your influenceTo get noticed not just by your friends or your team, but everyone at work:

Become a subject matter expert in whatever your core field is. For admins, that could include support, project management or administrative oversight, says Gretchen Skalka, a freelance career coach. “If and when you can demonstrate prowess in your particular field, people will be more inclined to listen to your advice and suggestions,” she says.

Present yourself with confidence. “Don’t put your colleagues and superiors on a pedestal, because then they can’t relate to you as someone whose ideas are equally valid,” says Esther Kiss, a publicist, coach and founder of Born To Influence. Own your value and show that you’re there for the good of everyone, and that your insights and suggestions are important, she says.

Actively listen to people. Really listen to what the people you work with need and want. “If you are not genuine—and genuinely interested in the situations or cause of the issues you’re trying to mitigate—you’ll have limited success, if at all, in resolving them,” Skalka says.

Build relationships. You need good rapport with the people at work if you want to have any sort of influence. “Be proactive about connecting with others, and engage with them during breaks and outside office hours as well,” Kiss says.

Present your ideas calmly and appropriately. Avoid phrases like “You should do X;” instead, say “If it were me, I’d do X,” Kiss says. Or, if your boss is trying to solve a problem, say “Can I make a suggestion?” Most likely this will give you the opportunity to share your insights and ideas with ease, she says.