If you have an introverted personality, are new to the job, or share space with a lot of loud and prominent personalities, then it is not easy to speak up at work. You have to look for particular moments. It’s the only way to get started and get yourself heard. You have to pick your instincts to make a name for yourself in your circuit.
Even if we have a groundbreaking pitch or an opposing idea, we have all felt a lot of fear when attempting to speak up at work. We don’t want to conflict with the higher-ups. Even more so, we do not want to be in bad books and get fired. But the thing is, you have to realize that you were hired in the first place to share your insights, speak up at work to share experiences and points of view in the mix. You were not selected to suppress your feelings.
Good leaders will expect you to disagree with them and speak up at work; they’ll think of it as a good thing. Here are some things you can do to break the confidence barrier and speak up at work:
Speak up at work to Get your word in
It is inevitable to feel intimidated if you’re in a gathering of a lot of prominent personalities, but that’s where you can cash in and make a name for yourself. Make sure you’re not upstaging or interrupting anyone to speak up at work. You can wait for the right moment or your turn. You can use non-verbal communication like gestures to ask for your turn to speak and get noticed.
If there was an important message you couldn’t deliver to the table, you can reach out to the key personalities afterward to get your opinion in as long as the matter is fresh.
Don’t Get Defensive
It’s human nature to be defensive, and when we’re presented with an alternative opinion, we get in the back seat. This crosstalk is an attempt to get clarity on the topic and thoughts. Don’t just agree with them in fear of a debate. This way, each time, your colleagues will oppress you. In fact, you should speak up at work to either oppose or support the discussion.
If, in your mind, you’re on point, defend that thought process. It doesn’t matter if you’re referring to a higher-up if you think this is the better way. So be it. Don’t keep defending your opinion if you within yourself have realized your mistake, or there’s a better idea on the table.
Prepare your talk
To speak up at work, you need your message to be clear in your mind. Speaking off the top of your head in a high-stakes situation is not well-reputed. So, take the time to deliver your message. Think before you speak. Even if your opinion had merit but not many shreds of evidence to back it up, it would be of no use whatsoever.
Speak up at work often
One way to have the confidence to speak up at work is to speak often. This way, your colleagues will know that you can embark on your opinion. You’ll have a name, and everyone will notice you. When you speak often, you’ll have the ability to venture well-reputed constructive criticism.
Learn how to disagree gracefully
Speak up at work does not mean if you have said something that will surely be right. Even if you have prepared a pitch for a long time, you can still be wrong or not in context with the work. When these situations turn up, you have to disagree gracefully-no need for the ego to kick in. You have got to look at the bigger picture.
Be respectful to higher-ups
The most intimidating thing to speak up at work is while talking to your higher-up execs. You need to follow the proper protocols while speaking to them. It also depends on the company’s culture and the nature of your execs. Some good leaders have an open-door policy for everyone to come and share their opinion, and some might not like it. So, pick your spots.
Prepare yourself and seek exposure
The best way to prep yourself to speak up at work is to get exposure. Tech Jobs Fair has gone virtual this year, too, after its success last year. It presents thousands of its attendees the opportunity to interact and get jobs from hundreds of companies.
This Virtual and In-Person Job Fair is an excellent opportunity to boost up your confidence and get to talk to people with different mentalities.
It can be a simple concept to speak up at work. But in reality, it isn’t elementary. You have a lot of questions going through your mind, will I offend someone? Will it affect my reputation? Or worse, can I get fired for saying this? You have to cross this bridge, and when you do, it’s all green and fair.
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