“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” – Charles Eames
In the world of business, making connections is key and most people understand the way to do this is through networking. If you are great at networking, it can grow your business fast. At the same time, there are a lot of ways to make good connections. You can go to different events, conferences, or create your own event and invite the relevant audience to your event. But these methods consume a lot of time, and connecting to each and every person in an event is just impossible. Fortunately, thanks to technology and platforms such as LinkedIn, you can now network in the comfort of your office chair.
Since it is possible to connect to people in just a few clicks it is important to make sure that you have the right strategy. Here are 5 ways for you to be more successful using LinkedIn:Advertising
Identify Your Goal
LinkedIn is a professional networking site and with the millions of people that you can connect to in this site, you may get lost accepting and making unnecessary connections. This is the reason why you should be identifying your goal in using this. Do you want to build strong connections and get to know them better with the idea of developing a potential for collaboration down the road? Do you just want to see who the people in your network are working with? Are you looking for a new position? Whatever the goal that you have identified is, make sure to stick with it and always have it in mind when making and accepting connections.
Complete Your Profile
It is all about your profile. Since you are connecting to people via internet, they don’t know anything about you other than what they can see on your account, so make sure you have a complete profile. Start with a professional photo. Your photo should give the impression that you are a credible person and you can talk about business. Profiles with photos get 4x more views on LinkedIn. While you may enjoy taking selfies, this is not the platform to have that uploaded. Keep your selfies on Facebook and get a well taken professional headshot for your LinkedIn.
Make use of the summary section to write a good introduction about yourself, highlighting the milestones in your chosen industry and providing more information on your accomplishments. Write it in first person, as if you are talking to the reader. Don’t forget to put all of your experiences in your career and list all of the certifications you have acquired. Proof read and get someone else to proof read it for you. Ensure there are no grammatical errors. Nothing is a bigger turn off than a profile that is badly written.Advertising
Join LinkedIn Groups
Once you are done with completing your profile, start searching for things and topics you are interested in and start joining the relevant groups. Try to join at least 50 groups. This will expand your network quickly and you can also share relevant content in the groups and make use of the groups to gain the right connections.
This is also important for expanding beyond your current network as being active in certain groups will raise your profile for that topic.
Solicit Positive and Credible Recommendations
The first people you will connect to on LinkedIn are, of course, people you have worked with. To back-up your experience, skills, professionalism, and your whole personality as a professional, you should solicit recommendations. Start by going to the people you have worked with and giving them recommendations. Generally, they will then write about you in return. This will serve as a good reference for your prospects.Advertising
Never solicit recommendations from someone you don’t know. Also never recommend someone you don’t know. There are many people messaging strangers to for solicit positive recommendations promising a positive recommendation in return. This is fraud and should be avoided. Remember that your reputation is key so do not ruin it with such shady practices.
Connect to People with a Personal Touch
Connecting to people is often just a simple click for a request to connect. However, if you wish to be truly successful at creating great connections on LinkedIn, add a personal touch into it. Take a look at their profile and find out what commonalities you have. Send them a personal message mentioning the things you have in common and the person will be more likely to respond.
If you would really want to connect to a specific person and tried sending them a message but didn’t get a response, request for an introduction from a common connection. This normally helps to open doors easily.Advertising
Alternatively, check the groups that the person is part of and join that group. If you have seen that person commenting into something or have posted something, connect with them by replying. This will get their attention and may want to look into your profile. Again, add a personal touch when connecting to them.
Post and Share
To increase the exposure of your profile and get more people into your network, always create and post something related to your business on LinkedIn then share it on your social media accounts. For your posts, always think of your prospects or the group of people that you want to target. Make your posts especially for them so that you can get their attention. Research on a topic if you need to and create a unique idea from it to get your target market more interested. Be sure to tag your posts accordingly so that they can be picked up and shown correctly on Pulse.
I’ve given you the 6 ways on how to be more successful in LinkedIn. Just follow these ways and you’ll see the difference. Lastly, after you have done everything that I’ve told you, look at your profile and ask yourself – If I am the prospect, would I want to connect with this person on this profile? If you answered YES for yourself then you are doing a good job. If otherwise, go back to identifying your goal.
Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com
Published on November 12, 2020
5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)
What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.
Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.
Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.
While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.
Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.
1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”
When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).
Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.
In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:
- Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
- Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
- Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.
While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision. That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.
2. There’s a Lack of Diversity
Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.
Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.
Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.
However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”
3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed
Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.
But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.
It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.
4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority
Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.
Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.
5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent
Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office. It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.
For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.
How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment
The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.
If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.
Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.
It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.
If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.
If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?
It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.
More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment
- Signs of a Toxic Workplace and How to Deal with It
- 5 Types of Toxic Employees And How You Can Deal With Them
- 7 Kinds Of Toxic Bosses You Need To Avoid
Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com