The Visibility Factor is an enthusiastic career guide for people looking to be noticed at work while remaining true to themselves.
Executive coach Susan M. Barber’s practical career guide The Visibility Factor suggests ways to become more recognizable at work.
Barber’s easy-to-follow guide is designed to create opportunities for showing one’s colleagues and superiors their capabilities. Though it’s targeted to leaders in large companies, its principles can apply broadly, with specific tips for applying the same information to individual workers. Discussions of the common reservations Barber encountered as a coach, including low self-confidence and fear of standing out, are included as illustrations; Barber addresses each such reservation in clear terms, naming actionable steps for confronting them and suggesting methods for positive reinforcement.
Anecdotes about workplace encounters are recounted in thorough detail, beginning when clients were in places of low exposure and building through their development of the requisite skills for being noticed. Barber also covers the rewards of following her program, naming success stories that came through following her RISE process (reflect, ideate, select, and evaluate).
Each step of the process is covered via detailed information, a complementary tale of a workplace encounter, reflection questions, and practical advice; in this way, understanding about the program, and ways to apply it to business or individual development, comes naturally. In essence, the program as a whole is rooted in self-reflection; Barber motivates her audience to step out of the “shadow of invisibility.”
This is a warm and encouraging career guide. In it, becoming visible in a way that matters requires staying true to oneself, including to one’s self-defined goals and desired outcomes. Such authenticity is called essential to getting ahead in one’s job: increasing exposure has to come in appropriate ways. Throughout, Barber makes it clear that RISE is an invaluable alternative to blind adherence, or to hard work that’s done with no measurable goal in sight. Prompts to help with improving one’s self-awareness contribute to the sense that Barber’s is a holistic program.
The book addresses the fact that there can be many obstacles to increasing one’s exposure—including growing comfortable with the realities of being exposed themselves. Knowing this, Barber discusses how she encourages her clients, telling them to be authentic and realistic at all times. Her combination of relatable stories and supplemental, actionable material is strong.
With its concise wrap-up and introduction of next steps, including other books and programs to consider, the book’s ending is also supported with narrative evidence: Barber highlights a client who achieved her goals because of her thoughtful application of the RISE program to her work. This helps to make The Visibility Factor an enthusiastic and convincing career guide for people looking to be noticed at work while remaining true to themselves.
John M. Murray
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