Tag Archives: ideas

Sharing Your Knowledge When No One Wants to Hear it

New employee sharing knowledge to a hostile crowdOne of the best ways you can grow as a leader and in your career is to share the knowledge you’ve gained with those around you, helping them grow as well. When starting a new job, though, it may not be that easy. Some co-workers, managers, and the work environment may not be open to the new person throwing around suggestions and nuggets of wisdom that could disrupt the status quo.

When your ideas go unnoticed and may seem unappreciated, it’s often very frustrating to feel like you have so much to offer that could help your organization grow or run more efficiently. While some companies are very open and encouraging of new, fresh ideas, some are more structured and require credibility before your voice is truly heard. The best way to get to that point is to gain influence.
Build Influence
By sharing knowledge from insights, academic learning, and past experience, you can help change opinion, but keep in mind that it’s not going to happen overnight. Building influence is like building a house, it takes time and continuous work. Start by not talking negatively without providing a solution to the problem. Honestly sympathize with others without joining their complaining and encourage listening to other points of view to fully understand their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. If you’re interested in learning more about influence, check out Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Here are some simple ways you can build your influence while sharing your knowledge.

Make it Their Idea
People are much more likely to agree to do something if they think it’s their idea. You can warm them up by leading them with questions that will prompt a “yes” answer. This will encourage a problem-solving attitude instead of a defensive one, which makes them more open to your idea.

In the case of making someone believe your idea was their own, provide a lead by sending an article that discusses the idea you had, and then ask the manager or co-worker what they think. Most of the time, offering advice can come off as competitive or abrasive. Casually asking others their opinions can help soften your statements.

Make it a Challenge
On the opposite end, some workplace cultures rely on competitiveness and sometimes you should use that to your advantage. Appeal to co-workers or supervisors by giving them a challenge. Having a fun competition between colleagues will give both of you a common goal and can give you the opportunity to bring your ideas to the surface.

Make Some Drama
Sometimes your idea has to have a certain “oomf” or zing to really get noticed and catch the attention of others. Look for ways to dramatize the idea to create excitement around adopting it. When you want to make a point, tell a story. It will stick long after the facts have been forgotten. That’s because a story or dramatization involves the listener or observer. Stories add their own experience and imagination to the story. It is a mutual activity that builds a bond between the story teller and the audience. Enticing someone to adopt your idea creates a far stronger commitment than compelling them.

Generating influence and creating a culture of sharing knowledge sometimes isn’t easy. There isn’t a three-step program that will get instant results, but if you follow these guidelines, give it some work, and have patience, you can earn your co-workers’ or manager’s willingness to learn from you. What are some ways you’ve shared what you know at work?

Quick Ways to Put Some Sizzle in Your Cold Job Search

Heat up Your Job SearchOld Man Winter is saying goodbye. The bitter cold wind is going away, flowers are blooming, and people are trading sweaters and snow boots for shorts and sandals. The ski trips and winter activities have come to an end, and many graduates will be starting their job search.

Your job search may have gone cold during the winter months while dealing with holidays and other distractions, but now that spring is here and summer is soon approaching, it’s the perfect time to heat up that sluggish job search. Here are some quick ways you can bring a little sizzle and spark some new life into your job seeking efforts.

Catch up with Old Contacts
Maybe you haven’t had the chance to keep up with a few contacts in the past few months. Now that the weather is warming up, it would be a great opportunity to schedule a quick meeting outside a coffee shop, ice cream parlor, or deli to catch up. Even if they don’t have any leads, it’s always a good idea to stay fresh in their minds in case they find one.

A summer barbeque is a good reason to fire up the grill and invite old friends and new people to a gathering. You never know who you’ll meet and what new leads they could have.

Give Your Attire a Makeover
Does your interview clothing have any holes, missing buttons, stains, or tears? If it can be repaired, fix it yourself or get someone who knows what they’re doing to help. If it needs to be cleaned, send it to a professional cleaner to take care of it. Make sure you’re not missing any key pieces to your wardrobe if you need professional attire. If on a budget, you can find good quality items at resale shops as long as you’re willing to look for them.

You may also want to consider purchasing an entirely new wardrobe if you have the budget. You always want to look your best, and new, fresh attire can give you that boost of confidence you need when interviewing or attending professional events. Some discount stores may offer great deals in the summer for recent college graduates.

Review, Renew, and Revise
Have you updated your résumé recently? Think about what you’ve accomplished in the past few months. List any new skills you’ve acquired, training you’ve completed, or any other relevant information that has changed.

You can also consider changing the format of your résumé. After catching up with your contacts, ask them what they think about your résumé to see if they can offer any input. Try researching some résumés that stick out to see if you can still display relevant information, but express your professional experience as well.

Call for Help
You can also reach out to people in your industry network by scheduling some informational interviews.  During the summertime, it’s actually easier to meet with decision makers since their schedule typically isn’t as tight and they can be more generous with their time. Informational interviews not only help you become better at answering questions and perfecting your elevator pitch, but also allow to be more visible to decision makers.

If you’re frustrated doing things on your own, consider hiring a job coach or contacting a staffing agency. Job coaches can provide good, real-world advice on ways to improve your résumé, cover letter, and interview skills. There are also free services offered by staffing agencies that can provide helpful guidance in your job search.

The weather is getting hotter, so should your job search. For whatever reason, if your job search has gone cold, now is the time to light the fires and set your job search ablaze! What are some ways you’ve added some sizzle when looking for a job?