“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people to get what they want.” Zig ZiglarHelping other people includes helping your boss get what she wants, the way she wants it. Being visible is about getting recognition, compared to merely doing the work. Click To Tweet
The math is simple:
#1. Merely doing the work = getting more work to do while others take the credit.
#2. Getting recognition = getting promoted/hired away.
Getting recognition doesn’t mean you have to become a chatterbox. You can be more visible by adding value to the complex flows of information, often buried into the Tsunami of Emails at Work. It’s easier than it appears.
Notice what information (the relevant and important parts) is now flowing through your computer and dominating meetings. Look for ways you can add more value to that same information…. usually by condensing it and serving with a dash of your own expert opinion.
No one wants to read a lengthy email — make it easy for others to grasp what they need to know — even if you didn’t write the original message.
The way I’ve gained visibility is to be the first to generate quick summaries of meetings, relevant conversations, and presentations (given and attended.) You’ll generate more visibility and people will actually see you as knowing more than you really do.The guaranteed way to make you more visible without attending even more meetings: add value to the messages already out there. Click To Tweet
4 R’s Add Value to any Email or Report
You can be the one to find easy ways to cut back on the madness and misunderstandings in many communications: Reduce the word count, Relate content to the audience, Re-arrange the data, and Rank your recommendations. Remember the secret formula: Add Value using 4 Rs: Reduce, Relate, Rearrange, and Rank.
You can also use this process to condense your notes from a conference and send out as a touch point to your community.
- The benefit from reading your message is in the subject line of your emails….0r the consequence of not reading it.
- Your briefings rank points or items from most to least important.
- You put yourself in your boss’ position, then format and organize your reports so he can best leverage them. (Ask if you have rearranged the way he prefers.)
- Provide organized summaries of lengthy reports or certain meetings.
- Add “No response needed” to subject line, when that is the case.
- Use spell check!
It’s not just reporting everything you’re supposed to; it’s inserting your analytical skill and communication savvy into each significant email, voice mail, and any sort of message or report.
If you’re not sure how to do any of this, just ask a mentor or your boss (or email me), “What can I do to make X more valuable to you?” X can be your emails, reports of any flavor, or a presentation.
Once the person recovers from the shock of hearing such a question, you might get some interesting feedback. (Note: it may help you if you pretend the recipient of your message doesn’t understand English that well. Given that people hardly read or listen these days, it’s not an outrageous stretch of imagination.)
6 Easy ways to add value to emails:
1) Call to action (what you want the recipient to do) is in subject line.
2) Brief summary of issue. Insert a heading “brief summary of issue.” Trust me, you have to spell out what you’re about to say or write!
3) Offer action steps as you see them. Number them and keep ’em short.
4) Spell out your recommended response and briefly state why.
5) End with “If you agree, email with “yes” if not, please advise action step”… or something like that. Even when you pick up the phone to ask about something, using this format can help you get your point across faster.
6) Pretend you get paid for every word you REMOVE from the message.
Making it easier for others to respond will actually leave you more time for other things. If you look for ways to make your messaging easier to understand, faster to answer, you’re adding tremendous value. Click To TweetYou’ll visible as someone who “gets it” and who can “handle it” and your name will come up in those critical conversations.
P.S. If you’re an introvert, here is my 30-minute webinar on How to Stand Out in a Crowd of Talent.