Harvard Business Review’s Favorite Management Tips

Monday, 1 April 2024 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

It’s normal to feel mentally checked out at work from time to time. But especially in times of economic uncertainty, when your job stability could be in question, it’s important to check back in and refocus on your professional reputation.

Start by determining your career commitments. Ask yourself, “What do I want to be known for at work?” Perhaps it’s your enthusiasm, great communication skills, reliability, or ability to work well under pressure. These might be new skills you want to learn, or old ones you want to fine-tune or improve.

Then, commit to an action plan to bring these skills to life. You don’t need to make big, sweeping changes — even small shifts in body language, mindset, communication, visibility, or productivity can result in a significant and lasting impact on your reputation.

Finally, commit to solving simple but impactful problems. Don’t underestimate how much value you can add just by sharing or applying what you already know. Being an impactful problem solver could be as simple as showing a coworker how to use a tool they’re unfamiliar with, or troubleshooting an issue that’s impeding your team’s productivity.

As you embark on these next steps, avoid seeking external validation from others as the only measure of your success. The investment you’re making in your career is invaluable.

You don’t need to be the boss to be a leader. Here are three actions you can take to hone your leadership skills right now and become a highly respected and influential team member.

Embrace your existing strengths

Start by asking yourself: Which tasks at work feel most energising and natural to you? Which projects do you excel at and enjoy? What unique perspective do you bring to the table? Your strengths, identity, and interests are what set you apart. The more you understand yourself, the more you’ll be able to carry yourself with the confidence of a leader.

Devote time to daily development

Improving your skills will help you expand your impact and influence. For example, maybe your organisation values leaders who can back up their ideas with hard data and insights, or those who project empathy, curiosity, and compassion. Whatever it is, take note and prioritise developing those skills and projecting growth on a daily basis.

Connect with people

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert (or somewhere in between), you can establish the kinds of meaningful relationships that are key to building influence on your team. Commit to being vulnerable, authentic, and empathetic in your interactions with your colleagues.