10 best ways to succeed in your workplace

How do you succeed in your workplace? How do you make others take notice of you? How do personality traits boost career? Which unique qualities do bosses and managers notice? Adopt these ten qualities to get noticed in your workplace.

I was meeting a friend for lunch and had reached her office on schedule. She was delayed because of an overseas conference call, so I waited in the reception area, not minding one bit, fully aware that she is a busy woman.

I sat in the reception, sipping on a cup of coffee, flipping through an old publication of the Forbes magazine. And a quote, printed in a large italic font caught my eye. I do not recall the exact quote, but it said something about managers rating personality traits as the primary quality that distinguishes great employees from the rest.

The quote piqued my interest, and I speed-read the article to get a sense of what the author meant by 'personality'. What qualities set people apart and facilitate their journey up the corporate ladder. The article made an interesting read, and I am sharing here the gist of what I gathered, from it.

What is personality

I see personality as a blend of propensity and preferences that we put on a show in our interactions with people. For instance, someone can be outgoing and gregarious while another can be introverted and reserved. Both display defined personality traits. Such distinct personality traits develop when we are young and turn into characteristic behaviour by the time we step into adulthood.

Experience and circumstances bring about transformation within us, but it is not sufficient to create a significant swing in personality, which is deeply etched in our subconscious. On the other hand, character and intellect cannot be equated; they are fundamentally different aspects. An ideal comparison, if we were to make one, would be between personality and emotional intelligence skills. The latter make us conspicuous and attract attention and leading to our winning spree.

Understanding emotional intelligence skills

Emotional intelligence skills are not an intrinsic part of our character. We consciously develop them and make them an intrinsic part of who we are. Skimming, through the article, I learnt that the 'personality' indicated in the quote was referring to emotional intelligence skills. While you cannot develop personality, you can work on your emotional intelligence and sharpen your persona.

The article explained that extraordinarily smart people are not born with unique personality traits. They combine emotional intelligence skills that anyone can learn to integrate into their repertoire. Managers look for these traits, but often confuse these emotional intelligence skills as personality traits.

The article was insightful, and I am sharing the key points that I found valuable. They are a combination of attitudinal changes that you must adopt if you are interested in developing personality, aka emotional intelligence skills. These skills are the proverbial stepping stones that help in reaching professional goals.

Here is how you can enhance your personality to be a success in your workplace -

Ready to go

The 'go, get it', attitude, is what makes employees stand out. If you want to be in the league of employees that everyone wants on their team, you have got to adopt their traits. Step out of your comfort zone and work on projects beyond your job profile. 'That is not my job', is a phrase you will need to erase from your vocabulary.

This brand of employees neither feels daunted nor entitled. They seek neither appreciation nor credit; they diligently carry on with their tasks without having their eyes on the rewards. They are more focused on delivering than on what is there in it for them.

They get noticed and get rewarded too. So, continue giving rather than expecting things in return. Stop questioning. 'what is in it for me?'

Steer away from conflict

So focused are they in their work that it is possible to stay away from conflicts and office politics. They don't make a conscious effort to do so; it is just that they focus on the important stuff rather than the mundane. And they maintain composure even when the going gets rough. This trait allows them to stay calm and reason. They have the strength to combat dirty politics because they're in quest of greater goals. They don't indulge in whispering campaigns against others.

Remain focused

'If there is no wind, row'. That is a lesson every sailor is taught. He does not put all his faith in the sails and the winds. He has his oars, but more importantly, he has the strength, the skill and the determination to row, and escape the seas. If a sailor concentrates on adjusting the mast and the sails, when he should be rowing, he destines his peril.

Similarly, exceptional employees know 'when to row'. They take the burden of responsibility on themselves. They tackle tricky situations and smoothly tide over them. They can distinguish between issues that need attention and the unnecessary stuff that can wait. They do not panic and buckle under pressure. They fight the odds and deliver each time.

Sensible and spirited

Exceptional employees are enthusiastic, perceptive and gutsy. They speak up when it's essential, neither shy from asking difficult questions nor from asking simple ones. They challenge major decisions without fear or hesitation.

That is not to say they are irrational. There always deliberate over issues and pick the best time and place for discussions. There is a logic behind their queries and actions. They question wisely.

They aren't egoistic

Well, it is not that they are not egoistic; it just that they master the art of skilful management of their egos. And that helps them stride ahead. They do not allow their egos to get in the way and deftly sidestep it. Such employees admit errors in judgement and mistakes they make. They willingly go that extra mile and do a job someone else's way, to maintain accord or because the other's method of doing things is better. They are real team players.

They are forever hungry

Satisfaction brings in complacency, and these employees are always looking for more. They possess an exceptional conviction that the best is yet to come. They are never satisfied and hence do not ever stop growing personally and professionally. They aim and strive for being better at everything they do. This ensures that they are forever growing and that their journey remains eventful and fruitful.

They recognise flaws and fix them

They do not allow bugs and flaws in the system ruin prospects. Be it a process in the department or something in their schedule; they do not walk past tricky situations. For them, it is not about it being someone else's responsibility, or someone else will fix it. They fix a problem when they see one or at least try to assist in setting things right.

They are responsible

Dealing with employees who not only shirk work but also shift the blame for their incompetence on circumstances is never easy for team leaders and managers. But when they have an exceptional employee on their team, they know that they will hold themselves accountable for their work.

Such employees own their judgement, their projects and the outcomes, good or bad. They do not hide or cover up their mistakes, but own up and go all out to rectify them.

They are personable

They have extraordinary quality about them, which makes them likeable. They are the proverbial 'blue-eyed boy' or girl of the management. They are amiable, though some co-workers may have personal conflicts with them owing to professional rivalry. However, they remain exceptional and exude remarkable qualities and leadership skills. Their integrity is admired, which implies that they are seen as dependable employees who can be entrusted with major assignments.

They defuse difficult situations

Managing difficult situations and toxic people can zap energies. Such situations exasperate and exhaust you, and throw you out of gear. The exceptional employee has an innate skill to sail through the toughest situations involving negative people. They do not let toxic people control their emotions. Instead of going loggerheads, they act judiciously and do not let annoyance and resentment stoke passions leading to the situation going out of hand. They understand the other person's stance and work at resolving issues.

Wrapping up

The magazine article did not mention skills that we give preference, such as work experience, qualification and skill sets. Instead, it dealt with things that cannot be quantified, but matter when it comes to standing out and making a mark. So, adopt distinctive qualities that give you an edge over your colleagues. Start working at your personality, to allow the magic to work.


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