For good or bad, the little things we do and the small unconscious decisions and moves we make throughout the day eventually become ingrained. And once these little moves work their way into the fabric of our daily lives, they become a recognizable part of our personalities and they inform the speed and direction of our career growth.
So if you’re looking for ways to build up the good habits and train out the bad ones, start by tuning in and paying close attention. Try to turn these five subtle gestures into regular routines.
1. Stay steady at the wheel.
Keep your emotions on an even keel at work. This doesn’t mean you need to become an unfeeling robot; it just means that a healthy separation between the business and personal spheres begin with emotional control. Don’t get upset. And when you are upset, think carefully before you act or speak. Let the initial wave of feeling roll over you before you react. Count to ten. Then respond.
2. Keep the big picture in mind.
Even if it’s your job to focus on tiny, meticulous details, don’t get so lost in these details that you lose sight of the larger context. Consider the recipient and the central goals before you send any message– spoken, written, or otherwise.
3. Be nice.
There’s never anything wrong with showing civility and respect, even to your competitors and those who disagree with you. Regardless of your specific industry, good manners, listening skills, and an indoor voice go a long way in any workplace.
4. Follow up, clean up, and tie up loose ends.
Don’t let unfinished discussions hang in the air indefinitely. Unanswered messages and unfulfilled promises have the same impact—and eventually, they become associated with your personal brand. Even if you have nothing more to add to the conversation or realize you overcommitted and have to walk away from something you said you would do, acknowledge the issue. Don’t let it trail off.
5. Reach out.
It’s one thing to help coworkers when they ask, or to train a new employee when you’ve been ordered to do so. But it’s another to actively reach out to those who can use a hand, an explanation, protection from undeserved blame, or a bit of advice. Tune into the needs of those around you, even if they don’t state these needs directly.
For more information on the small workplace moves that can help you advance your career, reach out to the staffing professionals at CSS.