It can be difficult to get someone to pay attention to you. As the father of three daughters, I know what a challenge this can be. Sometimes I feel invisible. So in my case it came down to a question of survival – I simply had to master this or I would have become a walking ghost in my own home – an apparition delegated to take out the trash and bring home the cash.
It’s one thing if you don’t get your “props” at home. It’s quite another issue if you are overlooked and undervalued by your boss or co-workers when it comes to work-related issues. That’s a sure-fire career killer and make it very difficult to advance at work. It requires immediate action. Here’s what to do if you suffer this plague.
1. Positive Vibration
Feeling ignored is no way to live and it absolutely will translate into problems on the job sooner or later. But this is just a problem. And as most problems, it has a solution. You learned how to ride a bike without training wheels didn’t you? You can do this too. It’s not a disease or decree. Have faith that you can and will change this dynamic. Onward.
If people are ignoring you it’s either because they are jerks or it might be because you are putting up an obstacle. Since you can’t read minds or control other people, you have to focus on things you have some control over and try to get rid of any obstacles that may exist This includes items as mundane as how you dress and personal hygiene. Nobody is going to tell you if these are issues so you’re going to have to take a good hard look at yourself and determine if you have to clean up your act. Even if you think you are OK on this front, it never hurts to make sure your personal appearance is top flight.
Let’s assume that you change your socks, brush your teeth and graduate from charm school but still you get the cold shoulder. (I’m also going to assume that you are have an attractive personality and don’t repel others with rude remarks and gossip. Nothing says “avoid me please” like offensive behavior.)
If this is the case and your opinions are still ignored at work you can solve this problem by providing more value in your relationship. People always want to know what’s in it for them. When they invest time or money they want to receive a benefit. All you have to do is figure out what the other people need and provide it. Fortunately, it’s very easy to do.
3. The Power of Questions
When I want a little TLC from my kids, I ask questions about something they find important. Ever notice that if you ask your children “what’s new?” they become zombies? But if you ask them about Justin Beiber (or the equivalent) they become super animated and can go on for hours. That’s because you are engaging with them on a level that is important to them.
Think about your co-workers or boss. What work-related issues are important to them? How can you make their jobs easier? How can you help them become more successful? If you want to become important to other people help them become important or successful. In order to do that you only need to learn two things:
- What’s important to them?
- How can you help them achieve these goals?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, ask. Just sit down with them over a cup of coffee or Red Bull and ask. It’s as simple as that. And once you have a good understanding of what the other person needs, get into action. You don’t have to solve the problem but you should become part of the solution. If you do all this and you still don’t get anywhere you may be around miserable people and I’d consider changing your unhappy career or job.
Getting others to pay attention to you at work is important for your peace of mind and professional success. In order to get someone interested in you, get interested in them first. Find out what they want to achieve and learn about the obstacles that stand in their way. Then, help provide a solution. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll become a VIP in these other people’s lives if you do.
What other tactics would you recommend to solve this problem? Have you ever had to face this challenge? What worked? What didn’t?