Managing yourself creatively

Make Yourself the Subject of Conversation

As old as gossip and new as tomorrow’s headlines, this technique enables you in effect to create a corps of publicity agents for yourself.

How can you get yourself talked about?

First, by talking to the “influential” in your life, those people who, by virtue of their positions, authority, and contacts, can help you get noticed. They will vary according to your needs, but generally will include community leaders, your superiors, people who know your superiors, friends or neighbors, and so on. Have an idea for a civic project? Talk it over with local administration. Tell the editor of your hometown newspaper. Know how to increase good will for your firm? Mention it to your boss. Things get around.

Second, invite recommendations and testimonials to your abilities. Thus, a colleague of yours working in a different department was delighted with the services your group has offered to him to meet his departments’ specific needs. He telephoned the head of your group and told him so in glowing terms.

When he was through, your boss said: “I appreciate this very much and all I can say is that I was glad to be able to do what I did do. But I’d like to make a suggestion. You can help me a lot if you put this in a letter and send it to my boss”. Your colleague took the hint and put his praise in writing.

“That letter of commendation”, reports your boss, “was read not only by my superior, but was passed around the office. It gave me a big boost”.

Next time somebody of importance compliments you on something you’ve done, suggest he pass the word along where it will do you additional good. Asked in the right way, most people enjoy doing favors for others.

Finally, don’t be afraid to take sides on controversial issues. This doesn’t mean that you ought to involve yourself in office politics, petty feuds, or tinderbox issues like religion. It does mean that you ought to think through and form opinions on issues that affect you as an employee and a citizen. Today, when companies are growing more aware of their social responsibilities, such employee involvement is generally encouraged. If your industry finds itself in the middle of the pollution problem and you have strong feelings on the matter, get them off your chest. If you approve of your company’s hiring policy toward minority groups, go on record as favoring it. If you’re against the new reorganization plan, articulate your arguments. The City Council doing something you don’t like? Discuss it with friends and neighbors. Once you get yourself identified with a particular cause or point of view, your name will tend to come up when that others discuss cause or point of view.