Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

10 Tricks to Make People Take You More Seriously

By James Ball | Sep 27, 2016 | Candidate Tips

Office ClownEver feel like no one takes you seriously?

Do your ideas get ignored? Questions get ridiculed? Do your co-workers patronise you?

It happens to the best of us; often when we’re just starting out on our career path.

Today, we’re discussing 10 ways to stop this from happening, for good…

1. Dress to impress.

I know, I know, this is “obvious” right? (You’d be surprised).

Different offices have different dress codes, but if you’re struggling to get taken seriously, it could be that you’re coming across just a little bit too casual.

Your outfit may be “cool” and “trendy” but is it really radiating the “serious professional” vibe you were hoping for?

Getting suited and booted may well boost your professional profile.

Recruiter Pro Tip

If you suddenly show up to your casual workplace dressed in a full on suit, people may be a little bit confused, so it’s important to judge your actual company.

What I will say is that even casual dress can be smartened up if you want it to.

Oh – and never wear flip flops to the office.

If you’d like some proper tips from the fashion experts, check out this infographic from T.M Lewin.

2. Actually know your stuff.

Sorry guys, no one is going to take you seriously if you don’t actually know what you’re on about.

If you want people to take you seriously then you need to get serious; do some research, always be prepared for rebuttals and if in doubt, don’t speak in the first place.

It’s also a good idea to get your general knowledge and current affairs up to date too – they’re bound to come up in conversation and you don’t want to look completely clueless.

3. Be confident.

I know, this is easier said than done – especially if, like me, you’re a nervous person.

But people are guaranteed to take you more seriously if you’re more confident in your assertions, your mannerisms and yourself.

Would you trust someone who seemed unsure about something?

4. Power-pose!

Of course, one of the simplest ways to come across more confident and sure of yourself (and therefore more serious about your ideas and work in general) is to adopt a power pose.

  • Stand up straight, head held high, with your chin level and your face pointing forward.
  • Keep good eye contact – don’t stare at the floor!
  • Don’t make any sudden movements…
  • Give a good, firm handshake.
  • Sit up straight (no slouching) and be still (no fidgeting).

Have a practice.

5. Watch your words.

The same goes for your words and language. Ditch the…

“I think so,” “erm,” “I’m not sure,” “what do you think?”

If you’re not sure yourself, how can you expect anyone else to be?

Be extra confident with your tone, inflection and phrasing.

And honestly, if you don’t know that much about something, don’t bring it up! Like we said in point 2, research and prepare thoroughly before bouncing around an idea.

Check out this blog on how to make yourself seem more confident!#

6. Don’t joke.

Are you a nervous joker?

Your desperation to make people laugh and like you will be pretty obvious and you might even end up coming across as unprofessional (are you ever serious?!)

Don’t get a reputation as the office “clown,” “joker” or “prankster” – it’ll stick with you forever.

While you’re at it, you should also watch your negativity, cynicism and sarcasm which can come across negative and like you don’t even want to be there.

7. Stop exaggerating.

You must know someone who does this…

“Oh my god, I literally almost died last night.”

“It was the worst experience ever.”

“I ate a cow at lunch.”

Or are YOU the someone?

If this kind of thing sounds familiar, then STOP! Quit using hyperbole and over-exaggerating your stories; it makes everything you say seem silly – and people will get used to not taking you seriously.

When the time comes to actually be serious – you’ll already have some making up to do.

8. Don’t lie.

And, obviously, the same goes for lying.

If you get a bit of a reputation as a liar then people just won’t trust anything you say.

9. Don’t get (overly) emotional.

I know, I know, we’re human. It’s hard to be 100% detached all the time.

But if you’re the kind of person who…

  • Gets offended by everything.
  • Loses their temper all the time.
  • Cries and the smallest thing.
  • Moans and groans constantly.

Then you really do need to buck up your ideas.

It will make you seem unprofessional and (if I’m 100% honest) like you’re not cut out for the job.

Recruiter Pro Tip

If you do find that you’re constantly over-emotional at work, then perhaps it’s time to consider moving on to pastures new?

Life really is too short to hate (or even dislike) your job.

Click here to read our article about being happier at your workplace.

(Or click here to check out some of our current vacancies…)

10. Do what you say you’ll do.

Last but definitely not least – always follow through with what you say you’ll do.

If you become that person who promises the world but never-ever delivers, people will stop going to you for anything and will forever be forced to take your words with a pinch of salt.

If someone asks you to do something and you know it’s pretty much impossible, then be honest.

It’s far better to be upfront and admit these things than to make and break a promise.

Would you like to read more?

If you’d like to read more about becoming a serious member of your business, check out these great articles:

Or if you’d like to receive a quick weekly update from us, with our latest blog post, then click here to subscribe.

Good luck.

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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