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If I were to ask your colleagues how they perceived you at work – what would they say?

What words would they use to describe you? You can always ask them if you are curious.

How do you want to be perceived by others? Is there a gap between who you think you are and who others actually see?

I have found that these are great questions to ask and they often provide some very interesting responses and can also be a catalyst for self-reflection. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are introverted or extroverted, task-oriented or people-oriented or if you are a manager of a team or an individual contributor. We all have the ability to have a powerful image at work.

Why would we want a power image at work?

When we stand in our own power, we get better results. We attract higher levels of engagement from others, gain more respect and generally speaking, have a more fulfilling work life.

People like to associate with those who are doing well. They can learn and grow from them.

What does personal power actually look like? How does one stand in their own power? The secret is one simple word – CONVICTION. 

Act with conviction and by that, I mean not being afraid to express your beliefs or opinions. If you are unsure, then verify your position by gathering the necessary facts to support it.

Speak with confidence and share your perspective. Treat your opinion as a valid contribution to a discussion. This is not about thinking your idea is the only answer. It’s being open-minded and willing to share your ideas. They may or may not be used in a final decision. It doesn’t matter. You participated which shows engagement and commitment on your part.

You have your own personal style for how you present yourself, such as the clothes you wear or the words you choose. Be confident in your choices.

It’s ok if someone else has a difference of opinion. Do not back down and change your personal style because someone doesn’t like it or agree with it. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Be independent – let your own light shine through. Let your own unique characteristics show through.

Absolutely no one has your history, your perspectives or your experiences. That is what makes you, you! When you let your true self shine through, you inspire others to do the same.

Don’t give away your power to others by enabling them to make all the decisions that impact you. Don’t give away your power by backing down when someone says something different. Don’t hide in a corner.

Be you. Express yourself your way. Share your thoughts. If you are unsure, find a mentor whom you can ask for guidance. Keep your head held high.

Here are some of the common attributes of people who stand in their own power. How many of these apply to you?

  • A belief in yourself
  • Knowledgeable in your work
  • Voicing your opinions and ideas
  • Effectively responding to conflict
  • Not internalizing others’ responses
  • Engaging in conversation with co-workers
  • Managing emotions, especially when upset
  • Dressing professionally
  • Demonstrating a positive attitude
  • Smiling and making eye contact

An exercise you can try is to think about something you know very well, perhaps something you are very passionate about. Describe it to someone else and when you do this, notice the conviction in your voice, your words and your body language.

Practice demonstrating that level of conviction at work – a little bit at a time.

You can start by deciding the image you want to have, then work towards it. A trusted mentor or coach can help support you as you take yourself to the next level.

Your personal power comes from recognizing your uniqueness, strengths, and expertise and looking for opportunities to use them at work. Everyone has personal power!