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Tips For Being Influential In The Workplace

The workplace is a very competitive environment so who better to advise on influencing others / standing out from the crowd than a trained performing arts professional. Often it is the little things people forget that can really help to get ahead:

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1. Be prepared: Conceptualise and write down notes to give yourself a brief overview of the main objectives you want to deliver. This will calm the nerves and get you back on track if your mind draws a blank during the meeting/presentation. It is also very important to actively rehearse too. It is the practical rehearsal that will give you the edge and make you aware of any nervous habits you might have including playing with your clothes or biting your lip.

2. Check the tech: Make sure that your technology is up to the task ahead of presenting/ a meeting. Ensure your equipment is as prepared as you are!

3. Activate your conversations: Ask questions, actively look and listen, participate and speak clearly. Engagement in the conversation will make you more memorable and hopefully lead to more advantageous outcomes for everyone. Remember, if you listen, they will listen to you.

4. Engage with energy: We have the power to influence others so be the one who creates positive change. This can be by the way you enter into a conversation, a room or a meeting.  Good strong energy can be your confidence booster and can change the mood and tone of the whole meeting including other participants.

5. Create a great shape: Lift up through the body, open the shoulders, engage with your eyes and gestures and create length through both legs. Your posture and stance can have a real effect on how you interact with other people and how people perceive you. Think and stand big!

6. Sounding off!: The voice and the body work together to create a powerful presentation of your objectives, so find your pitch, pace and volume to work with your situation.

7. Watch What you Wear: Being comfortable and confident in your physical presentation can increase your confidence and lead to better interaction with others whether it be colleagues, clients, upper management or suppliers.

8. Back yourself: You deserve to be there so own your space. Remind yourself that if you have done the work, you have a right to be there so believe in yourself.

By Kylie Bonaccorso, an expert in body language and vocal communication, two skills which she utilises in her role as a NIDA Corporate Performance tutor. Kylie has been a teacher, lecturer, actor and director for over 20 years and holds a Diploma of Education and a B.A. Theatre Studies and Communication from the University of New England.

Workers are from Earth

Female fans of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus author John Gray were given pause for thought during his recent trip to Australia.The relationship “expert” told women to be “more gracious” in the workplace, “less emotional” and “learn to speak (the) male language'”.

Gray, who has made a fortune by promoting the differences between the sexes,was in Australia to launch his new workplace coaching franchise.

He told Susie O’Brien of the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne that “the Mars-Venus approach says that what men value is not the same as what women value – there are two completely different styles.”

“Once you understand this, you can facilitate communication, trust and positive motivation among staff,” he said.

Oh and women should learn to take it on the chin if someone else takes credit for her work.

“If a woman’s idea is stolen at a meeting, she should ensure she is not seen as a loser by taking it badly. Men, even if they are rejected, will put a positive spin on things and women should be more graceful so they turn a negative into a positive,” he advised.

Well, I’ve worked in Australia, Hong Kong, the US and the UK yet somehow I’ve managed to miss all those men who are fine about having their ideas


Other gems from Gray include:

* That men “often” viewed “emotional behaviour” from female colleagues as a weakness.

* That women need feedback more than men do.

* That men work more independently than women and don’t like to be micromanaged.

* That men should listen more and talk less – to women anyway.

During my more than 15 years in the workforce – four of those as a careers editor – my own generalisations would be that:

* Australians don’t like to be micro managed – gender doesn’t come into it. I have found that most people prefer to be given a task and then the space to get on with it.

* Conscientious people welcome feedback. I have managed both genders and found no difference in their needs regarding feedback.

* Both men and women need to be recognised and rewarded for their professional efforts.

* No one likes to have his or her ideas stolen.

* Australians rate workplace “flexibility” and “time off” as highly as money or even above. It would appear that what men and women “value” is pretty much the same.

* Both men and women are capable of getting emotional when they feel passionate about their work. And why is that so bad?

* People should be willing to listen to their colleagues – not just talk to them. Listening is not a skill only men need to develop and use.

Now do we really need special coaching sessions to learn this sort of stuff?

Column by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne.

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Job Working conditions Round-up (contd)

Not so great was a national nuclear science agency ordered to pay a manager $35,000 for failing to offer her part time work options when she returned from maternity leave.Australian Industry Group chief executive Tim Piper said the Federal Magistrates’ Court imposed penalty should make all employers aware of the need to accommodate workers with families.

“In any case, it makes good business sense to retain existing employees, given the ageing workforce and the high cost of training,” he said.

Access Economics recently told a summit in Sydney that growth in Australia’s workforce would plummet from 170,000 workers a year to only 125,000 for the entire decade of the 2020s.

That means your power as an employee is only going to grow. Remember that next time you are feeling undervalued.

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing:

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