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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Career Tips
So you’ve been on the new job for almost a month now, and no one in the office seems to notice you. You are becoming frustrated and disheartened. The feeling is growing that perhaps you ought to seek employment elsewhere.
Without standing on your desk or wearing a funny hat to work, how can you get your colleagues to recognize you?
Medium.com contributor Jennifer Capestan says, “Welcome to ostracism. A land where your imagination is tortured every day.”
People at work can be cruel and destroy you for no particular reason. “It’s not about you being sensitive,” she adds. “It’s strictly about being ignored.”
Be Strong: Let Go of the Anger and Assert Yourself
Her suggestions? Be strong and simply face this fact as it is. Then let go of the anger and speak your mind when the opportunity presents itself.
Nine Ways to Assert Yourself with Your Colleagues
Writing in Forbes magazine, Avery Blank, an attorney and business strategist, goes further in advising how to overcome the problem. She suggests nine ways to gain recognition when you’re ignored at work. A company meeting is a good way to start.
1. Get on the agenda
Before the next office meeting, ask the organizer if you can speak on a particularly relevant subject. Getting on the agenda ensures that you will be seen and heard.
2. Sit at the table
If you are invited to a meeting, don’t undermine your importance by sitting in the back of the room. Take a seat up front so you can be seen by the other attendees.
3. Don’t look at your phone
Put away all your electronic devices and focus on the people in the room. When you make the effort to listen to others, they will be more likely to listen to you.
4. Take up space
When you take your seat, don’t fold your arms or cross your legs. Keep your arms shoulder length apart and rest them on the table or on the armrests. The bigger the space you take up, the more confident you will appear.
5. Look into their eyes
Eye contact demonstrates confidence. When you are speaking or listening to colleagues, make eye contact. When you do, you show them respect and they are more likely to respect you.
If you do not agree with an expressed idea or have a question, speak up. Take advantage of the opportunity to be heard. Don’t talk to hear yourself talk. Speak to gain understanding and acceptance while adding value to the meeting.
7. Put on your listening ears
If you’ve been quiet for any length of time, demonstrate that you were listening by providing a summary of the discussion or suggest a new line of thought that coincides with what others have said. These listening strategies will help you get recognized when you speak.
8. Walk around the room
When you speak, stand up. Move to the front of the room or to the other side of the table. Let people see you and that you are comfortable addressing them.
9. Lightly touch a shoulder
If you want to respond to something your colleague next to you has said, lightly and briefly touch that person’s shoulder. This non-verbal act of confidence helps to transfer the group’s focus to you as you acknowledge the person to whom you are responding.
Being ignored is no fun. But consider that you are as new to them as they are to you. Sometimes all it takes to break the ice is a friendly gesture – bringing a box of donuts to the office one morning to share with your colleagues or passing around free passes to a local theater performance.
You could see your colleagues’ icy demeanor thaw as quickly as ice on a 90-degree day.