Speaking Up At Work – How To Do It

Speaking Up At Work

There are many people out there who are perfectly fine with making their voice heard at work. But at the same time, there are also people who are too afraid to speak up, or simply lack the confidence to put forth their views.

This can be incredibly detrimental to businesses and their work, as there is the chance that fantastic ideas that could have a positive benefit for a business could be lost. There could be an idea worth thousands, or maybe even millions, of pounds or euros that will never see the light of day because the person who has it may be unwilling to speak up.

It’s very easy to simply say that someone should just speak up, but it is an entirely different thing to actually achieve that. Self-confidence, or even anxiety about speaking, is not something that can just easily be overcome. However, that should not stop you trying to learn or attempting to make yourself more comfortable with the idea.

Something that is important to note, is that not every situation is the same. So we’ve come up with some tips that will hopefully help you to find your voice at work.

Fear That You’re Wrong

Meetings can be foreboding but try to be yourself

Meetings can be foreboding but try to be yourself

So you have this amazing idea that you’re just positive will help the company in a positive manner, but you’re far too afraid to speak up about it in case you turn out to be wrong. But at the same time, what if the idea turns out to be right? You’ll never know if you were wrong unless you vocalise your idea or opinion.

Even if it does turn out to be wrong, don’t take it to heart. Plenty of ideas get shot down across the country each day, but there are also plenty of ideas that get taken up. You should take the experience and turn it into a positive opinion, you spoke up and your higher ups listened to your idea.

Speak Early

If you’re afraid of speaking up in a meeting, then it may be preferential to just bite the proverbial bullet and get it over with as soon as possible. Just say what you’re thinking at the start of the meeting to get it over with. This will not only mean that your opinion is out there, but it may also have the added benefit of making you look good and pro-active to your colleagues.

One of the problems of not speaking up at the start, or even as soon as you have your idea, is that the longer you wait, the less inclined you will be to speak up. Before you know it, the meeting could be over and your idea will never have been heard.

Prepare Yourself Beforehand

If you know the topic of the meeting beforehand, then it may be advisable to spend time finding out as much information, facts and figures as you can. This may help you to formulate an idea and if you are armed with the relevant information then you will be able to back your idea up to make it look more appealing.

You may also be more inclined to want to speak up if you are well informed about the topic of the meeting. There may be a question that only you may know the answer to.

Think of Questions

There is always the chance that you will not think of anything that could be beneficial to the meeting. This is also fine; there is no point in forcing yourself to come up with something terrible just to speak. But if you find this to be the case, then try to think of some questions to ask your fellow colleagues.

You may ask something that turns out to be incredibly important. Everyone thinks in different ways and there is every chance that you might ask a question that nobody has thought of.

Just Keep Trying

The most important way to learn how to speak up is to just keep trying. For some people, throwing themselves into the deep end and forcing themselves to speak up may work perfectly. For others, it may be a case of small steps that lead up to conversations in the future. But the important aspect is to simply try.

There may be a chance that your company encourages new ideas or thoughts by incentivising them, or simply by making it clear that creativity is appreciated. Google is very famous for encouraging their employees to come up with new ideas and they are very open to anything an employee thinks of.

Employees are able to directly email their leaders and the company has initiated lots of company policies and areas that listen to what employees have to say. Many times, ideas are actually implemented and there is always the chance they can become a staple Google instrument.

Try not to be too afraid, if you are in the meeting then it is obvious that the other people in the meeting want to hear your opinion. You have been invited for a reason and should try to take advantage of that at all costs.

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Sarah Jubb

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