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Mirror mirror: Get noticed for all the right reasons

May Busch* says the best and easiest way hard-working, dedicated people can get noticed by senior management is to bring their genuine selves to work.


Would you like to get noticed by senior management?

The kind of ‘getting noticed’ that leads to being considered for exciting projects, gaining greater respect from your colleagues, and having opportunities to move to the next level.

These days, you have to go beyond the obvious to get noticed.

It no longer works to rely on the quality of your work, your dedication or even being a ‘good citizen’.

Frankly, all of that is expected. So what does it take to get noticed?

The good news is you don’t have to jump up and down or be loud and flamboyant if that’s out of character.

Instead, it’s about doubling down on what’s in your character.

Tapping into the true you, including the parts you keep hidden because you’re afraid what others might think.

The even better news is that there are some simple things you can do every day or every week to show who you really are.

What You Wear:

Your clothing, hair, make-up and accessories are some of the easiest ways to show others who you really are.

Yet, most of us dress in a way that conforms to the dress code of the office.

The interesting thing is that beyond the formal dress code (no t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, etc), there’s the even more powerful informal dress code.

For example, in investment banks no one wears brown.

It’s not written down anywhere, but it’s no brown shoes, no brown suits, no brown belts.

I have no idea why that’s the case, but if you wear brown, it just shouts out ‘you’re not one of us’.

One of my coaching clients discovered this only after buying a pair of handmade brown Italian shoes.

He eventually chose other ways to express his personality through his choice of yellow eyeglass frames and unconventional ties.

What you wear gives out messages about who you are and what you bring.

So know where to show your personality in your clothing and accessory choices and know what’s going ‘too far’ for others to be comfortable.

What You Say:

Another way to show your true self is in what you say and how you say it.

When you speak, you’re expressing your thoughts, intentions, assumptions and beliefs.

The key is being aware of what you say and how you’re coming across.

Then you can determine whether that’s an accurate representation of who you are and what you want to be noticed for.

One of my colleagues was a constant complainer.

If it wasn’t about the company policies, it was about our boss or other colleagues, and the weather took its share of criticism as well.

It turned out she was completely unaware of how she was coming across.

Once she was aware, she was able to change how she was speaking and that helped her get noticed in a much better way.

Get in touch with the words, phrases and tone of voice you tend to use, and what you say when you’re at your best.

Then make conscious choices about how you can harness what comes naturally to you.

What You (Consistently) Do:

Actions speak louder than words, so it’s only fitting that one of the ways to get the right people to notice you is through your actions.

Most of us are basically good people who mean well, but it’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and forget to think about others.

That’s why the key to nailing ‘what you do’ is being aware of opportunities where you can lend a hand or step in to help someone else.

It can be small things, like giving a quiet colleague a chance to speak up at a meeting by asking their opinion, and then supporting them by building on their point.

Or publicly thanking your support team for their contributions to the event you’ve just hosted.

What you do is especially important in situations where it takes courage to step up and take action.

Just remember that when you take action and put your true self out there, it only works if you do it without expecting something in return.

You don’t want to make it transactional because people see right through that.

In a world where there’s not enough time to do everything we want to do, it’s helpful to focus on and leverage who you really are and what comes naturally to you.

To get noticed by senior management, the surest strategy is to double down on being yourself — your whole self, which is also your best self.

The beauty is it takes less effort and makes a bigger impact when you bring the real you to work.

So let the true you show up in what you wear, what you say and what you do.

That’s what gets you noticed for the right reasons.

What one simple thing can you do this week to show your true self?


* May Busch helps leaders and their organisations achieve their full potential. She can be contacted at [email protected]

This article first appeared on May’s blogsite.