You’re not “fine”.

Many professionals I talk to lament that they don’t get the acknowledgement, opportunities or promotions they deserve for their hard work. When I ask if their bosses or other company leaders are aware of their key contributions, I get mixed responses. While it isn’t effective to constantly “brag” about yourself and what you have done, if you don’t tell people it will take them longer to figure it out, if they ever do.

How many of us say, “fine” when asked how we are doing at work. “Fine” means satisfactory. In other words, it means you don’t need anything because you are “fine”. You are not “fine”. You probably at any given moment need, support, recognition, exposure, etc… But no one will know that you deserve it, it you tell them you are “fine”.

Instead, tell them what you are doing, or have done in a concise fashion. “Shellye, how are you?”, “I’m great, we just launched the updated website.” Or “I’m exhausted, we’ve been working around the clock to get the deliverable completed for XYZ customer and it just went live”. Or “I’m relieved, we just submitted the final edits on the contract so the deal will close this month” Or…. The key here is to answer the question while sharing your contributions. Don’t waste the opportunities these greetings present. During the course of a day, you’ll be asked multiple times “How are you? Or How’s it going” by people at all levels.

At my prior company MetricStream, there was a director who did this extremely well. Whenever I saw him, he answered my greeting with energy and shared anecdotes that left me with the impression that he was successfully building his business. It didn’t matter that he was 3 levels down from me, the CEO at the time. I had a high opinion of him that his quarterly results reinforced.

The old adage, out of sight out of mind is true. By letting people know about your contributions and successes, you increase the odds that they will remember, and you will stay top of mind when it comes time for recognition, new opportunities etc… So how are you? You are definitely NOT “fine”.

Nkoyo White RobinsonComment