Shy by nature, Alice finds it difficult to speak up in meetings, even when she has a valuable perspective to share. She has been advised by her boss to be more talkative, but in spite of good intentions, Alice rarely speaks up. She often thinks of a great thing to say just after the meeting has ended. How can the Alices of the world find their voice?
- Practice when it’s low threat and easy to do. Begin with being more vocal in small groups or with people with whom you feel comfortable.
- Say something in every meeting, even if it is agreement with what others express.
- Prepare. Anticipate the issues, prepare your ideas, and find some way that you can add value.
- Lift others up. It may be difficult to toot your own horn, but you may find it more comfortable to speak up about the great work of others.
- Use more forceful body language. Sit up straight, lean in to the person speaking and make eye contact. Believe it or not, your body influences your mind, and you’ll not only look more commanding, you’ll feel it, too.
- Don’t try to be like other people. If you’re naturally quiet, that is fine. Look for ways to interact that are both authentically you and stretch you a bit.
Being a forceful, dazzling person isn’t a requirement of leadership. But if people don’t know who you are, what you stand for and what you can do, they certainly will not follow you.
Need to pipe up, or have a great idea about how to be more vocal? Comment below or message us.
Photo from Dollar Photo Club.