Upping your game

Stephen RitchieIt doesn’t matter if you’re running up the career ladder, walking your pathway slowly, or if think you have already reached the lofty heights of the top, there is always room to up your game. It’s important that we constantly try to make ourselves more exceptional and more memorable: it allows us to develop as people – both personally and professionally – and as a team.

Upping your game takes hard work and commitment. Unfortunately, there is not a quick fix for people with busy lives; it takes dedication and self-motivation. However, you don’t have to make huge changes to improve; sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.  If you really focus on three things – communication, clarity and confidence – you will start to see the results.

Communication: Richard Branson says: “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” I agree and I think we can go one step further: I think it’s the most important skill anyone can possess. It’s the foundation for everything we do however, as you’ve probably experienced, miscommunication – however small – happens all too often.

Sometimes the people who think they are the best communicators are not. Like anything, if you already think you’re perfect, you don’t give yourself much room for improvement.

With this in mind, notice how you communicate: do you always get your intended message across? Does your communication create an exceptional and memorable experience one guest at a time?

  • Be aware of your body language: even your posture conveys a message – make sure it’s the message you want to convey;
  • Be clear and concise: keep to the point, and don’t waffle;
  • Keep it positive; focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t;
  • Tell a story: use images and make it memorable!

Clarity: In language, yes, and also be clear about what ‘upping your game’ looks like to you. Have a clear destination: what and where do you want to be in one, two, even five years’ time?

  • Set your goals for both work and home life: keep a log on these objectives and follow them up;
  • Have regular meetings with your peers or managers to help you reach your goals;
  • Remember your development is your responsibility: own it!

Confidence: “Successful people have fear. Successful people have doubts. Successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings get in the way of their success.” T. Harv Eker

  • Write down something every week you are proud of;
  • Welcome mistakes and feedback, then you have something to build on;
  • Don’t compare yourself to others – we are all exceptional in our own way;
  • Walk and act like you are there already: stand tall and look confident because no one knows what you feel inside!

The theory is simple – putting it into practice is the hard part… it’s also the bit that makes the difference. So… what will you do to up your game?

Stephen Ritchie is a learning and development advisor for Mitie Client Services

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