- Play to your strengths. Everyone has their unique talents. For example, I am not interested in understanding how my computer works or what I need to do in order to fix it when my screen goes black. Instead of spending hours trying to locate the source of a hardware issue, I would rather delegate the task to someone in the office or pay an IT person to resolve it. I am a speaker and a writer who is much better at communicating than technical troubleshooting. Identifying core aptitudes as well as what is a better fit for someone else will save you time, aggravation and energy.
- Make the effort to show up. Woody Allen says that 80 percent of success is showing up. People in the know often recognize the significance of fostering new connections. Saying yes to a professional networking event or attending a company-wide gathering may unlock what you have been waiting for. Use the occasion to form an important association that could gain you a client and put you in good standing with your boss.
- Dive into the uncomfortable. If you always do the same thing, you will continue to get the same results. Having a routine is certainly not a bad choice but do not overlook seeking out different situations which can lead to unique opportunities. I recently spoke at a company in far West Texas. Getting there was a challenge as there were no convenient flights, therefore, driving was the only logical option. My schedule was tight and taking this session was going to stretch my comfort level in more ways than one. However, my gut instinct told me to accept the invitation and give it 110 percent. I woke up early and reluctantly ventured off before at dawn. Upon arrival, I was greeted with banners and a welcome committee. The entire day was full of great conversations, star treatment and even a few new clients who booked me on the spot for future training sessions. Declining the initial invitation would not have been to my advantage. I would have missed out on meeting many wonderful people, not to mention unanticipated future business.
- Ask for what you want. Relying on luck to bring you advancement is a risky bet. If there is something you have been meaning to try or a place you would like to visit, go after it! Not in a helter, skelter fashion but with thoughtful preparation and a meticulous action plan. Find out what steps you need to take and where to direct your inquiry. If you know someone that can help with an introduction or provide inside advice, do not hesitate to ask. As you inch towards your goal, you will feel empowered and build momentum. Even if your initial vision does not materialize, you will be closer to your next breakthrough.
- Do not get discouraged. Not every attempt will award a win. However, you can definitely guarantee failure if you do not try. Give yourself permission to fine tune your delivery or change your strategy. Often our original plan is revised as we figure out what it is we value. One job leads to another and one courageous moment opens doors we never imagined. Keep your eyes open for the chance to learn, grow and develop your skills. Sometimes you move forward by taking immediate action and other times you succeed by methodically standing still for a moment while you regroup and observe the lessons learned in the process.
You may also find Diane's Six Traits of a Good Leader helpful. For more business etiquette tips, visit Diane's blog, connect with her here on The Huffington Post, follow her on Pinterest and Instagram and "like" The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook.