Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to impress your boss and team?

Would it not be great if you could impress your manager and team by putting in just a little more effort? Here are some ideas for building a great perception of you. Note that 3 out of the 8 ideas relate to communication, very important to impress others.

1. Maintain stable work timings
It is important for others to know when to reach you. You can make it easier for them if you are always in office, say before 9 a.m.. Maintaining fixed in-timings shows commitment to work. When you are on vacation, make sure that you set up an Out of Office message notification with information of another person to contact, if urgent.

2. Ask lots of questions during meetings
If you are attending a meeting, you might as well ask questions. Use the 5 W's (What, Why, Where, Who, When) and How to frame questions to get more information for you and others. Asking questions during meetings shows that you are engaged with the topic and eager to understand more.

3. Volunteer for high-visibility assignments
Volunteers are asked for in meetings or written communications. Be eager to take up a task that only one person can do, but which will benefit the whole team. Also, look for small tasks that nobody else is doing. And complete them.

4. Communicate regularly
Whatever you have completed and are doing at present, be sure to communicate it regularly. If you maintain data about your daily tasks, it will be possible for you to communicate daily. Then summarize weekly, monthly and even annually, and communicate those summaries also.

5. Communicate using the correct vocabulary
Different companies and teams have different preferred vocabulary. If you use the specific terms preferred by your manager and team, your communication will be easier to understand. Also, these words show that you are engaged with your team and company.

6. Keep building material for later communication
Have you seen well-structured emails from others with a number of original thoughts? And wondered how much time and effort they spent on creating that email? You, too, can do the same. For important emails, instead of writing whatever comes to your mind and shooting off the email, collect your thoughts in the draft first. Don't send it. Keep updating the draft when you get any good ideas. Soon enough, you will have a worthy email that will impress others.

7. Ask for inputs
When you create a project deliverable (test plans, test cases, automated test scripts etc.), always ask for review comments from your manager and team. You may not get review comments every time. But, whenever you do, it is a good input to refine your deliverable. Also, this shows your commitment to quality.

8. Say "Hi"
Finally, take a couple of seconds to wish your colleagues whenever you meet them. This helps others think of you as a courteous and approachable person.

Please let me know if you liked these ideas and the benefit you got from them.
Image Courtesy: renjith krishnan /