By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC
[email protected]

Think about the best boss you’ve worked for in your career. What made them so great? This person likely created a positive and supportive working environment that encouraged you to learn and grow.
While this sounds like it should be easy to accomplish, only 33% of employees feel engaged and happy with their work. You can change this statistic at your company by changing the culture.
Be someone that others want to work with. Your positive attitude and example will make others want to work with you.

Master the BLT
No, we aren’t referring to the delicious sandwich. The BLT factor stands for believability, likability, and trustworthiness. Your professional reputation should embody these three traits. That way, when people think of whom they want to trust to get the job done, your name is at the front of their mind.
While the ability to get the job done is important, people are more likely to pick the friendly person over the less cordial. So give yourself the edge by not only having the skills but also the personality.

Have Empathy
You don’t have to agree with someone’s opinion to empathize with them. You can thoughtfully consider their feelings while politely disagreeing with their stance. By respecting others and trying to find common ground, you create a positive and proactive work environment.

Be Reliable
When people prove to be dependable, they become the first call when an important project comes up. To further your career, you want to be the first name people think of. This way, you get the most important projects that arise in the future.

Be Honest
Integrity is a rare commodity in the business world today. All successful relationships require a certain amount of honesty, though.
Use your best judgment to determine when transparency is appropriate. Sometimes, owning a mistake or missed deadline will garner more respect and understanding than trying to deceive.

Engage with Others
Pay attention to your body language when you communicate. Your crossed arms or hands in your pockets indicate that you are mentally shut off. Instead, make eye contact, nod in understanding, and mirror the other person’s body language.
Show that you are engaged by asking sincere and relevant questions. Make the questions open-ended so that they require more than one word to answer. Then actively listen to the answer. By showing genuine interest, you’ll earn appreciation and respect from those around you.

Be Openminded
Everyone is afraid of rejection. If you exhibit open-mindedness, people will be more likely to want to work with you. Your accepting nature and kindness will put them at ease.
Don’t immediately judge other’s ideas based on your preconceived notions. Consider where the other person is coming from before you react and respond.

Ace Your First Impression
We all make immediate judgments when we first meet people. Chances are you’ve made a few bad first impressions in your career. While they can be tough to overcome, you can breathe easy.
According to a Yale study, humans want to forgive. That means you can get a second chance at a first impression.
The first thing to do is self-evaluate. Acknowledge the misstep the next time you are around that person. Don’t try too hard, just honestly address the issue and demonstrate your true intentions moving forward.
You can also use this misstep to learn for future first impressions. This way, you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Follow the Golden Rule
All of these tips can be summed up in one simple rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. By doing this, you earn the respect of those around you as someone they can trust, respect, and depend on.
These are all qualities that people want to be around during work or otherwise.

Let’s get to work!
If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at 203-323-9977 or [email protected]