Posted by Karen Anderson Peters on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 00:00
This marks the third guest blog in a series of posts on improving your leadership presence from The Leadership Style Center, a business focused on helping women become more effective leaders.
You got the job! You are excited, eager to start and, yes, you are a bit anxious.
First day job jitters are inevitable, even when cloaked in enthusiasm. Regardless of where you fit into the corporate structure, from top-level financial executive to staff accountant, you want to put forth the best of who you are.
You want to come across as a team player while communicating competence in your new p osition. How? Verbal presence—a conscious focus on being aware of how your verbal interactions impact others—can help you to be authentic, effective, and accessible. Visual presence is one of the most overlooked components of becoming an effective leader, according to The Leadership Style Center .
Here are a few hints that could help to ease the uneasiness of first impressions.
Ignore suggestions that you should “just be yourself.”
What does that mean anyway? Ever notice when you attempt to be yourself, you are anything but? Over-thinking every word in an attempt to be “natural” actually eclipses the process of being natural. You come across as wooden. Instead…
Focus your energy on others.
Demonstrate interest in those with whom you will be working by asking questions that stimulate connections around the job and what their experiences have been. Ask about what ideas they have for your first project or how your position can help the office run more smoothly.
Listen more than talk.
Nervousness often causes us to chatter away! Take a few even breaths. Repeat in your mind one key word that the other person has spoken that represents a bigger thought. Just one. Remembering that one idea will let others know you think what they have to say is important.
Ask open-ended, yet specific questions.
T his enables another to answer with substance, rather than just an easy “yes” or “no.” It is in the detail where we learn the most about others.
Remember, all business is personal, even if it isn’t always apparent.
Colleagues are most comfortable when they can relate on a personal level, just not too personal, especially at first. Friendliness can go a long way in breaking the ice. Notice photos in their office or cubicle. Comment about that cute baby or the obvious fun of a white water rafting trip.
The secret? Direct your energy outward. Your inner jitters are likely to disappear.