When you’re the youngest person in the room, or in the minority in some way, or just new to project management and trying to make the best impression possible, sometimes it feels like you aren’t being taken seriously.
I often hear from people who worry about not being considered a serious player in the office. Young women seem to suffer the most – at least, I’m most aware of it affecting that group – but it seems to hit everyone at some point.
Getting taken seriously at the office is something that you can work on. It isn’t always easy to build a sense of gravitas (especially when faced with more senior colleagues) but you can get better at coming across in a way that makes people take you more seriously.
Here are tips from 6 experts to try.
1. Spot what’s not appropriate
“Identify negative, non-professional behaviours towards you and call them for what they are,” says Vlad Zachary, CEO of CareerConceptZ.com. “Often male colleagues and bosses are not aware and would be willing to change.”
It’s certainly worth pointing out to them when you realise that their behaviour is not professional and contributing to keeping you down. Zachary also suggests learning about the ‘Ritual Conflict’, which is often the intimidating part of the male interactions at the workplace. “See if you can adapt or even use this type of interaction to your advantage,” he says.
In my view, if you call out a behaviour and don’t get a positive reaction, then it might be time to change workplaces.
2. Always act appropriately yourself
Don’t force other people to say grace with you at work dinners. Don’t answer the phone unless you can spare the time to give the caller your full attention for the duration. Don’t decorate your desk with inappropriate things.
These, and many other bits of advice, come from Ann Marie Sabath’s book, Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business With Charm and Savvy*. “Maintain confidentiality,” she says. “Treat your electronic correspondence with the same respect that you do any business letter or memo. Refrain from sharing or forwarding e-mail unless given permission to do so by the original sender.”Click for more