3 Tips to Help You Get Ahead at Work

3 Tips to Help You Get Ahead at Work

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Leadership Skills session run by CTN Communications, one of London’s leading creative communications agencies. They specialise in Leadership Consulting, working with world leaders in business, politics, media and public life, helping them to thrive as leaders through effective communication. They have worked with everyone from senior leaders at Barclays Bank to G8 leaders, so it was a real honour to be part of a session led by the wonderful Anita Hamilton, Leadership Coach and Marketing Director at CTN Communications.
One of the key common traits of great leaders is their ability to communicate. Whether verbally, through writing or simply through their presence, the best leaders are effective communicators whose passion is infectious. But of course there is a journey to be taken to get to a leadership level in the workplace. Thanks to the workshop, I have come up with 3 key areas of focus which will help young professionals learn to communicate like future leaders.

1. Content. Not only do you have to know what you’re talking about – you have to believe in it. Being inconsistent loses you credibility, so it is important that you know what your key messages are and you stick to them. For example, if you are an entrepreneur, you should have a strong view of your what your enterprise is setting out to do and why anyone else should care. Your arguments must be convincing, concise and true to you.

2. Delivery. This can take a lot of practice. You don’t need to go to finishing school or elocution classes, just think about the way you present yourself. And not just the way you speak – the way you dress, the way you groom yourself, the way you walk, the way you sit/stand – it all affects how people view you and receive your message. That’s not to say you should practice every detail in the mirror until its perfect…just be aware of minor adjustments that can be made to give you a more impactful presence. For example, if you slouch, make an effort not to. If you drag your feet, stop it. And when it comes to actually speaking, the age old advice of speaking much slower than you think you should holds true.

3. Personal brand. Nobody wants to live in a world of Stepford Wives. And nobody wants to be forgettable. So don’t be afraid to inject your personality into everything that you do. It is possible to be professional and personable at the same time! As the boundaries between work and life continue to blur, feel cautiously comfortable about letting your activities outside of work sneak into your professional life. For example, at every job interview I’ve had, my cheerleading has been one of the main topics of conversation. I captained my own team as well as being a member of 3 teams so, while cheerleading is wildly different from the corporate environment in which I work, parallels can be drawn and I will be more memorable than someone who didn’t show their fun side!
‘This is all great advice but it’s not telling me how to get ahead at work’ I hear you say. Wrong.
Working Girl London Anita Hamilton

‘You can improve your success in the workplace by developing self-awareness and key skills in communications. Confidence is a major issue for many women – and men too – which can limit progress at work. Being able to communicate effectively and understanding the importance of personal brand helps to support competence and ability. These skills can be acquired and improved upon with the right coaching and the results are often transformative.’

Anita Hamilton, Leadership Coach and Marketing Director, CTN Communications

So there you have it. Build up your confidence, find your story (the content) and stick to it, work on your presentation, let your personality shine through – and the world is your oyster!

Do you have any other communication or other tips for getting ahead at work? I’d love to hear them in the comments!