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You don’t have to be a senior-level executive to be taken seriously around the office, but according to this Wall Street Journal article, “How to Look and Act Like a Leader,” creating an executive image will help you be heard.
The article explains image workshops teach everything from how to dress professionally to how to be more assertive. These workshops are being used by companies like Intel Corp. and Morgan Stanley “to teach ambitious staffers about executive presence.”
But innovative companies like Google and Facebook don’t require suits and ties, but rather t-shirts and jeans, which makes us question whether image really does matter around the office. The answer, of course, is debatable. Going on first impressions, I’d imagine people are more likely to listen to and take seriously the ideas of an employee who comes to work dressed in business attire, hair neatly combed, and shirt wrinkle-free.
But it is possible to GQ it up before stepping through the office doors every morning and still not have your ideas heard. There’s more to creating an executive image beyond a spiffy physical appearance.
If you’re having trouble getting through to your colleagues and want to exude a more professional and leader-like image, give these five tips a try.
1. Put Your Game Face On
If you know you have an amazing idea that could save your company loads of money in the long run, make sure you walk into that meeting ready to go. Know the facts and back it up with research.
2. Confidence Is Key
Confidence is catchy and more people are likely to back the person who can not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Try these confidence-boosting strategies.
3. Don’t Fear Confrontation
This is a tough one, even for me. I’ve never been a big confronter, but when the occasion calls for it, sometimes you need to step up to the plate and stand your ground. Don’t let your colleagues think they can walk all over you.
4. Hone Your Handshake
There’s no better way show you mean business than with a confident, professional handshake.
5. Overcome Your Annoying Habits
Do you crack your knuckles when nervous? Maybe you suffer from excessive hand gesturing when talking. If you exhibit any of these annoying coworker habits, work on overcoming them. Remember, first step is recognizing the problem.
This post was previously published on WetFeet.com and has been re-posted with permission. Our mission is to equip job seekers with the advice, research, and inspiration to plan and achieve a successful career. Follow WetFeet on Twitter at @WetFeet_Career.