6 Habits That Make People Take You Seriously at Work
When you join an organization, most people are likely to view you neutrally for the first few days because they hardly know you. However, with time they form certain opinions about you depending on the habits and behavior that you exhibit. Whether you are taken seriously or not as a professional depends entirely on the traits that you choose to show at your workplace.
If you feel you are not being taken seriously by your coworkers or your boss, it is time to bring a few changes in the way you conduct yourself. Adopting the following six habits can be helpful:
1) Prepare More Than What Is Needed
Throughout your career, you will get great opportunities to grow professionally. Whether it is an important meeting with a client or a regular morning meeting with your team, always be prepared for every situation because you never know when a situation can turn into an opportunity. Leaders are people who do more than what is needed from them and who have contingency plans at hand.
If you want to be taken seriously at your workplace, be someone who knows everything about their job and excels at it. Remember, it is better to be prepared for an opportunity than to miss it because you weren’t ready for it.
2) Be Mindful of Your Body Language
Regardless of how much hard work you put in your job, your effort will go in vain if you have an unprofessional body language. According to research, in face-to-face communication, only 7% of what we communicate is the message that we actually want to deliver. The tone of our voice and body language account for 38% and 55% of the communication (respectively).
Follow these tips for the right body language at work:
- Sit (and stand) straight. Your posture should be erect and your shoulders should fall back.
- Make positive eye contact when talking. However, this shouldn’t make other people uncomfortable or feel like you are staring at them.
- Use relaxed hand gestures when talking to put emphasis on the credibility of your points.
- Practice a good handshake. It should be firm and steady and should last between two to five seconds.
- During a meeting, keep your hands on the table and avoid fidgeting.
3) Stay Updated
This may sound cliché, but this is one of the most important habits that will make your coworkers take you seriously. Staying updated doesn’t only mean being aware of the news related to your work and industry. It also means following the national and international news regularly and having an opinion about the happenings in the world.
Staying updated gives you the reputation of being well-read. Also, you don’t appear ignorant when your boss or a colleague starts a discussion on a topic that has been doing the rounds in the newspapers.
4) Be Self-Assured and Confident
When you exhibit confidence, it shows you take yourself seriously. If you take yourself seriously, chances are others will take you seriously too. Additionally, if you are confident you are happier. Happier people are likely to be more productive and successful at work.
Confidence comes naturally to a few people, but others have to work on it. If you fall in the second category, here are a few tips for you:
- Identify your strengths and think of ways to incorporate them into your professional life.
- Address your weaknesses and take small steps to overcome them. Remember, not to take your weaknesses too seriously.
- Believe in yourself. Though easier said than done, when you trust yourself, you make a way for others to believe in you too.
- Track your daily accomplishments, regardless of how big or small they are and treat yourself for every small victory.
5) Dress for Success
Make an effort to dress well for work every day. Your professional image depends largely on how you dress. Nicole Williams, a career expert at LinkedIn says, “When you don’t fit in, you are not as accepted and welcomed.”
Here are a few tips to dress appropriately and professionally:
- Make sure your clothes are washed, ironed and are wrinkle-free.
- Wear clothes that complement not only your body type but also the occasion.
- Try not to over-expose. According to Nicole, women who wear too provocative clothes to work are more likely to discredit themselves.
- Don’t over accessorize. Accessories are supposed to lift an outfit and not distract. If you want to wear jewelry to work, keep it sophisticated by choosing a delicate necklace for a lady or simple stud earrings.
6) Respect Others
You get respect only if you give respect. When you treat others the way you want to be treated, you unwittingly convince them to take you seriously. Respect not only your bosses and seniors but also your subordinates at work.
There will be times when you may not share the same opinions with your colleagues, but how you choose to display your disagreement is what makes you different. Be considerate and appreciative when offering critical feedback to someone. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It is not possible to make everyone happy, both, in personal and professional life. However, when you practice the above habits regularly, your coworkers are likely to take notice and respect you for your behavior. With patience and consistency, the people around you will take you seriously. Seize the opportunity right away and give a new direction to your career.