You’re great at your job, you just happen to be a little on the shy side. No problem, right? Your boss probably recognises how hard you work and the effort you put in — all those long nights and the spreadsheets, and you practically reinvented how your job is done.

But then a promotion becomes available…and you’re passed over for someone else, someone who definitely doesn’t work as hard and who certainly doesn’t have the same skills. Why?


Believe it or not, your shyness could be to blame.

Your boss knows that an employee’s ability to build relationships, network and have empathy for both colleagues and clients only adds to a company’s success. Those who are able to do so have great value thanks to their soft skills — sometimes they’re even valued more so than those with technical skills.

It doesn’t sound exactly fair, but think about it. Why don’t you socialise with everyone else in the break room? Why do you choose to be a loner? While there’s nothing wrong with being on the introverted side, it can hurt your career, and typically these kinds of choices to not socialise at work comes from a deeper fear of rejection. Again, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it does exist.


So, how can you rise above it?

Here are three ways you can get into that social frame of mind, so you can start making a better impression on the boss and have a greater chance of winning the next big promotion that comes up.

1. The Personal Soundtrack

We all have those songs that pump us up, inspire us, our “walk out” songs so-to-speak. Creating a personal playlist to use to improve your mood before a dreaded social event might sound cheesy, but you’ll be surprised at how well it works.

2. Power Poses

Your body language shapes who you are, and power poses can affect your testosterone, cortisol and overall confidence. Put simply, stand with your hands on your hips, up straight, making your body appear larger and your brain is left thinking you’re the most dominant animal in the room. Experts say if you stand this way for two minutes, your natural biology will kick in, giving you an instant confidence boost.

3. Practice Chatting

Making small talk can be excruciatingly difficult for some people, so they just have to practice. This is especially the case on the way to an important networking event. Chat with the Uber driver. Chat with the person next to you on the train. Just chat with someone, at least two or three people, and you’ll find yourself easing into starting conversations and small talk naturally.

Remember to look at their eyes and not on their feet, read here on the power of eye contact.


Sounds easy, right?

That’s because it is, and it’s all part of the Engaging Executive Programme. Learn more about the ENGAGE model by signing up for the totally free video series, full of simple tips like that can make a major difference in your career trajectory. For a short clip, check out what we do with this Vlog.