You know that your team does great work. You’re invested in what they do, day in and day out, and you know the value they bring. You know the benefit their successes have delivered to the organization.
The question is, does everyone else know?
If you haven’t made the effort to promote your team’s work, it may well be that they don’t. Even if they benefit from the work you do, if they don’t know about the part you play, it will be hard for you or your group to get ahead at work. It can also make it hard to ensure you’re consulted on key decisions or get the resources you need to function well. While it may seem like quietly doing your job should lead to appreciation, it’s not always the case.
Want to make sure everyone knows the critical role your team or group plays? Read below for four steps to raising visibility.
Step 1: What does your team do?
Imagine that you are presenting to everyone you talk to. Can you distill what your team does in one or two short sentences? Think of your team in these terms -- are you performing a critical task or stewarding a key area? Delivering a specific output? Working on a particular project? Practice articulating what your team does in terms of these critical soundbites and leave the smaller details out. Try to give anyone you contact with a strong, memorable sense of your group’s role in the organization. To do that, you’ll have to keep it tight and simple. Practice until you have that statement (with conversational variations) ready on the tip of your tongue.
Step 2: What do you deliver?
Once you’re able to deliver what you do, practice sharing the message about your objectives and outcomes. Try to think big picture and avoid being too literal here – you’re not talking about exactly what you do (i.e. a spreadsheet) so much as the business value (i.e. sales forecasting). If you’re working on a project, what’s the planned outcome or the expected benefit? Can you state it in a phrase or two?
Step 3: What is your team's value?
Now add to your message with the key statement -- your value. Once you have clearly articulated your activities and output, you need to be able to share their value. Think of this in terms of serving the organization’s overall well-being. Do you provide insight? Maximize profits? Minimize risk? Reduce work effort? Think of yourselves as specialists, Ask what are you doing that makes things better for everyone, and state that clearly.
Step 4: Share your victories and achievements
For some of us, it can be uncomfortable to “toot our own horn” and talk about our achievements. For the sake of your team, put that aside and plan to market your successes. It’s important to make sure the whole organization knows at a high level what you provide and how well you get the job done. This will benefit each of you individually and as a group in ensuring you have the attention and resources you need from those higher up.
By following these four steps, you can create a mental template to help you raise your visibility and share your team’s value and success. You probably know all of these things about your group -- the key is to make sure others do by practicing your ability to clearly and quickly share that information. One final caveat: Once you’ve created your new message, be careful not to overshare or overmarket! Be clear with your message but not overly repetitive -- you don’t want to seem like you’re boasting or overly fixated. Make your message consistent but don’t wear on people. Now, go ahead and raise your team’s visibility!
Joel Garfinkle is an executive leadership coach who recently worked with a senior vice president who needed help promoting the impact and value of his team. Garfinkle produced and utilized this four-step process, which resulted in the entire organization taking notice of the success they delivered to the company. He has written seven books, including "Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. More than 10,000 people subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work newsletter. If you sign up, you’ll receive the free e-book "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"