Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Sweet Talking your way to success
While there are many forms of communication and different ways to talk to people, I've come to realize that being a sweet-talker can take you a long way both in professional and home life. It is ironical for me to write about this, since I am known for my quick temper and am definitely not sleek with the tongue either. But, I've recognized that in my work life, if I am looking to make a career out of my job, there is surely a lot more needed to grow and succeed, besides just being good at what you do.
It doesn't stop with being nice to your colleagues and boss, nor does it end with networking. In a profession that is all about managing people, one has to learn to become a social,networking bee. As a senior colleague of mine put it, "You have to come out of your shell, go beyond your comfort zone, do something bold and daring to make people take note of you." She was saying that how at one point in her career, it took her 10 months to muster the courage to approach the Director of Sales, (for example, assume she is a Sales Manager who wants to get promoted to the next level) to ask if she would go out for lunch with her. She took a bold step, came out of her comfort zone and after that meeting, which she said went great, her view of the Sales Director changed completely. During that lunch, she talked to the Director about next career moves, got her advise on what she needs to do to get into a higher level etc. Lo and behold,a few months later she got that next promotion which was lined up for a bunch of successful Sales Managers. Amongst, all of them, who were well qualified and interviewed for the position, my senior colleague was offered the position.
In a country where we are still an immigrant, it not only is enough if you work twice as harder as your white colleague, but, it is also vital to do that sweet-talk, which unlike any other form of expression, is the most effective tool in getting what you want. I am not saying that one has to be a sucker-up to their boss or their big boss to get a promotion, but, one must know how to use that charming personality that is hidden deep down within us and market ourselves with that quiet confidence. Yes, everyone is qualified, everyone has years of experience, is hard working etc. but do you have what it takes to go that extra mile by shedding your innate nature and becoming more social.
I am going to try my best to practise that in my professional life, though, this seems like the most daunting thing I've had to do so far. And, it is not easy for me either. While, I am quite the talker at home and with friends, it is the other way around at work, where my talking skills are toned down to a minimal level, in fact, too low to get noticed.
I am sure that writing a post isn't going to make me change my personality at work overnight to become a social gossip, but, atleast, it has got me started thinking about what skills I need to have to get into the next level.