How to Maximize Your Potential in the Workplace in 2014

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How to Maximize Your Potential in the Workplace in 2014Fingers crossed, the recession truly IS history, and employment numbers are continuing to rise. Still, most of us have a friend or two who have been laid off – and haven’t been able to find a comparable job. Companies continue to downsize, merge or call it quits – sending out round after round of pink slips. How can you secure (as best you can) your place not only at your current company, but also position yourself for an even better role, should you be made redundant?

Meanwhile, plenty of other companies continue to grow, hire and promote from within. The sky’s the limit; there’s plenty of growth potential. You like your job, and you want to grow with the company, taking on greater challenges. So how do you position yourself as a front runner for a higher position?

Career coaches all provide the same basic tenets: work hard and smart; keep learning (particularly with regards to ever-changing technology); find mentors both within your company and outside your company who have greater knowledge in your field than you; build a network of peers (LinkedIn groups are great for this); don’t be shy about promoting yourself, volunteer for high-profile projects, and so on.

All of these are very valid and helpful tips, but there may be a number of core issues in play within yourself and your job place, that may be hindering you. Occasionally they come to the forefront in the form of a difficult customer, a stubborn employee who just can’t be motivated, a team who fails to work well together, or a boss who turns a deaf ear. If you find yourself in this spot, perhaps it’s time to bring another tool to your career arsenal: a professional assessment instrument that develops critical interpersonal skills. People who work on developing strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their careers and personal lives. Employers want to hire people with strong interpersonal skills; they want people who will work well in a team and be able to communicate effectively with co-workers, customers and clients. These people are capable of becoming “peak performers.”

Professional assessment tools such as the DiSC Profile will help you understand behavioral types and styles, both your own and those you work with. It clearly outlines some of the ways people are unique, and then teaches you how to adapt to the various styles so that you can best communicate and be understood. If you’re a manager, the tools can teach you how to identify needs of different people in your team and manage conflict and resistance. If you’re in sales, the professional assessment tool such as DiSC will teach you how to read the unique needs of each customer and adjust your sales process for each one, building long-term relationships.

And if you’re job hunting, there are special tools for you, to help you discover your strengths, learn how to “read” your interviewer and adapt your style to his or hers, communicating effectively and hopefully landing that new job.

Each of these tools is designed to help you assess your own communication style, behavioral/personality type, and inherent strengths and weaknesses. They will also help you to pinpoint the various other styles in those around you so that you can adjust your words, tone, gestures and other body language in order to succeed. People who understand their strengths and limitations are able to adapt to the needs of others in ways that lead to maximum effectiveness. Many of these tools such as a DiSC Assessment are available online, along with the help from a certified trainer.

Networking and staying up-to-date on ever-changing technologies is more important than ever, but don’t be afraid to use professional tools for supplemental help along the way.

About the Co-Author

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Intesi! Resources provides professional assessment tools helping thousands of employees and individuals maximize their career potential through better self-awareness, communication, conflict resolution and management skills. Resources are available for job hunters, employees, sales teams and management. An Everything DiSC Authorized Partner for Wiley’s (formerly Inscape Publishing) DiSC Profiles and other training materials, Intesi! offers a certified DiSC Trainer to train and aid your discovery process with confidence and accuracy.

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