Career success depends as much on EQ (emotional intelligence) as it does on IQ. How we behave and are perceived by others can be the difference between being rewarded with a raise and promotion, or stagnating in your career or, worse, being asked to leave your present employment.
Here are 8 golden tips to help you shine with co-workers, managers, clients and customers in order to reap the rewards of a successful career.
Tip 1: Show Courtesy to Co-workers
In open office situations, you need to be particularly respectful of your colleagues’ work space. Instead of walking unannounced into your neighbouring co-workers’ space, peek over the partition to ask a question or deliver information. The same courtesy applies when walking down passageways. Be aware that even though you may be able to hear a conversation between colleagues it is not polite to join in unless asked to. When it’s time to eat, take your food to the kitchen, and on those occasions you can’t leave your desk to eat, steer clear of foods with strong smells like fish or onions, and never dispose of food in your wastepaper basket – put in the trash in the kitchen.
Tip 2: Finding your Way in Embarrassing Situations
Your CEO has spinach stuck in his teeth – do you tell him? The answer is, yes, but pick your moment so others do not hear in order to avoid drawing the attention of others to the problem. This is the rule for any ‘delicate’ situation – whether it’s finding a potentially embarrassing document that has been left in the copier or letting a colleague know that she’s exited the toilet block with her skirt tucked into her knickers. Let them know quickly, to avoid further embarrassment, and do it a discreet way so as few people as possible witness the embarrassing event. Never, ever, discuss what you’ve seen with other colleagues. Save someone from an embarrassment moment and you’ll likely have a fan for life!
Tip 3: The Handshake
A perfectly timed handshake that delivers just the right pressure, should never be underestimated. In fact, research shows that the job candidate with the best handshake is more likely to be awarded the job. Remember, a handshake is saying ‘What a pleasure to see you!’ without using your words so it should never be sloppy or crush the other person’s fingers.
Tip 4: Getting it Right on the Phone
The way you conduct yourself on the phone can have far-reaching consequences for your career. Try these techniques to get your career moving forward: Stay calm and carry on. An upset customer, colleague or supplier at the other end of the line is never an invitation to meet loud or aggressive behaviour with the same. Stay calm and begin by listening to what the other person has to say. Never cut in. You may think you have the solution – and that’s great – but let the caller finish what they’re saying first. Turn down the volume. Your voice should be soothing, even when the caller’s voice is raised. This is the way to demonstrate that you intend dealing with their complaint in a calm, rational way.
Tip 5: Keep it Cool in the Kitchen
According to workplace research, the worst thing an office worker can do is steal their colleagues’ food from the fridge. (Other irritating habits listed are: bad hygiene, bad habits, drinking on the job, swearing, heating smelly food in the microwave and using a smart phone in meetings.)
Tip 6: Birthday Cake Anyone?
You’re more than likely to be asked to pay towards celebrations at the office, like birthdays, retirement events and baby showers. Contribute where you can, but always give only what you can afford. If you’ve had an unexpected expense during the month, be honest with your colleagues, and remember that wonga.com offers loans online to cover small emergencies.
Tip 7: Eating Out
Dining out at a convention or meeting with a vendor can help you to be remembered as someone on the up-and-up or the person with sweaty palms and butter fingers. If you’re struggling to get cash together for business lunches and dinners, consider a Wonga cash loan, at least until you are able to claim it back on expenses.
Never fill your mouth. Small bites will allow you to quickly swallow your food if somebody asks you a question. Avoid awkward silences. Encourage the other person to share their thoughts about travel, books, films or sports. Know something about your fellow diner. Take a few minutes to do a Google search before you leave for lunch, particularly if you’d like to impress the person you’re dining with.
Tip 8: Office Party Etiquette
Never behaviour in a way that will cause yourself, colleagues or mangers any embarrassment. Office celebrations should be treated as a day at the office, only you get to talk a little more and enjoy some interesting food and beverages (preferably without alcohol which has the potential to make you forget this rule).