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How to Be Liked by Everyone at Work and Get Promoted Quickly

How to Be Liked by Everyone at Work and Get Promoted Quickly

Lots of people are convinced that their solid, hard work will automatically be noticed at the office, and that as a result they will get promoted. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Another misconception is that being popular and liked by everyone is not really so important in the workplace. The importance of being well-liked is often underestimated. In this post, I want to outline the 7 best ways to be liked, improve your image, and help get promoted quickly.

1. Tell management what you have achieved

Don’t assume your line manager has seen all your great work. There will be opportunities to mention your successful projects and also how you have met deadlines. Some people are shy about blowing their own horns. But if you do this diplomatically, you can be in a very strong position to get promoted when it comes up. You have had great results and they are backed up by figures, assessments, and reports.

2. Manage your personal brand effectively

One of the most effective ways to improve your image is to share your knowledge and skills with coworkers. Sharing and caring is the best way of managing your own brand because people will appreciate all your assets and talents. They will not resent this because you have helped them. You will be very popular.

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Your personal brand is going to shine if you are capable of looking after the following:

  • People skills
  • Team building
  • Coaching
  • Positive approaches to problem solving

Showcasing your achievements will go hand in hand with your ability to coach and mentor others. These in turn will be key factors in your aim to get promoted.

3. Think outside the box and be creative

When we think of Velcro, Aspirin, Viagra and other inventions, we are thinking of products in the “serendipity zone.” The serendipity zone is where chance and good luck played a key role in many discoveries. It would be naïve to think of serendipity as good fortune alone. It is much more than that. I often prefer to think if it as a close relative of creativity because it is your ability to take an unusual idea and make creative use of it. This is difficult to achieve as we tend to have tunnel vision at work.

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Look at the example of Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks. He was sent to Milan to buy coffee beans. He noticed that coffee bars there had a social function and were a key social and business meeting point. The combination of coffee and networking seemed to work perfectly. His management rejected his idea because they were not interested in going into catering or running restaurants. Schultz left the company and started his own coffee shop. That was the birth of Starbucks.

Take the quiz here to see how good you are at earning serendipity. Showing your ability to think creatively outside the box could be a great asset in your quest to get promoted.

4. Work and collaborate with colleagues to get liked

Being a great team player and working collaboratively are always looked for when decisions are made about who will get promoted. Your working attitude and your relationships with colleagues will be a determining factor in your career. It is well worth investing time in the following:

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  • Be friendly–make it your default attitude
  • Respect other people’s opinions–be an active and polite listener
  • Offer to help colleagues when they have problems
  • Show appreciation for work done–leave a post-it or send an email
  • Be a ‘can do’ person always—rarely say no and do not complain if a task seems too difficult
  • Avoid negative and toxic office politics; use diplomacy wisely
  • Avoid getting into a complaining mode—nobody likes a whiner; always see the positive side
  • Be cheerful—people will naturally be attracted to you.

5. Go the extra mile

You will be measured by your results. Striving to over-deliver is always a great way to give management and colleagues a positive impression. Avoid shortcuts and make excellence (not perfection) your trademark.

6. Avoid getting into a rut

“If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door—or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” – Joan Rivers

Getting into a rut can be fatal to your efforts to get promoted. Look around and see what is happening in your industry. Keep up to date and network as far as possible. Examine your skills set and ask for new training opportunities whenever they are offered. This will help you in getting promoted, as you can match your skills set with the job requirements. If you get into a rut, it sometimes means you are in a tunnel and there is no light at the end of it—not even an oncoming train!

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7. Decide whether to move on

Often a career move is the best way to get promoted. If you no longer feel passionate about your job, or if your employer is not showing appreciation of your work and talent, then it may be time to consider leaving your company. You could also mention what your career plans are in the performance assessment. When your manager fails to give you new opportunities for growth and advancement, then it may be time to consider a move. You might want to consider the following questions before deciding:

  • Do your skills and competencies match the job requirements?
  • Will they offer you a chance to grow and advance your career?
  • What is the company culture?
  • Are there adequate human resources in the department/team you are applying to?
  • How much training for skills development are available and how is this encouraged?
  • What is the average tenure for the position?

These are just pointers to consider before deciding that to move up you may have to move on.

We have looked at the various ways to improve your professional image and also how to get on the fast track for promotion. Let us know in the comments what you did to get liked and get promoted.

Featured photo credit: Image of two young businessmen using touchpad at meeting via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

        More About Leadership

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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