Are you afraid of speaking up at work?

| February 20, 2018

Do you find yourself being afraid to speak up at work? Well, most people feel the same. There should be a good reason(s) to that the risk and speak up.

Reasons to take the risk?

  • You won’t overcome your fear. (Join Toastmasters International)
  • You want more influence and a promotion.
  • When you speak up, do it in a way they can hear it. Start with your part in the problem. Never attach the person, ever!
  • You want more job security. Organizations value feedback that will speak up and save or make them money.  
  • Should there be a merger and only one person will survive, they’ll pick the person who is the most outspoken in a constructive way,
  • You want people comfortable around you. Who would you rather hang out with, someone who you know what they’re thinking or the enigma?

Harness your fear.

Jessica was the only woman invited to an influential group made up of all male engineers and managers.

Her self-talk was, “I’m the only woman, I’m younger than anyone in the room and I’m the only person without a technical background.”

She overcame her fear by speaking the truth. “I assume I’ve been invited to this meeting because I bring a perspective that is different from anyone in the room. My concern is you will judge me on my differences and not benefit from my perspective.”

Questions are better than just talk.

They are few and far between but have you ever been in a situation where someone asks a question and it unscrambles a complex situation and adds focus?

Think of questions in advance, memorize them and when the timing is right, usually when the conversations went off point, ask your question is a quiet unassuming way.

Now that the conversation is on track, you can sit back and listen.

Be a difference maker, speak up and stop gossip.

The conversation may start with, “Don’t tell anyone else” or “I can’t believe was ____ did.”

You interrupt and say, “Before you continue the story have you told _____________ what it is you have today? They could learn from you on how what they did impacted you. Would you like someone talking about you behind your back or would you like to hear and improve?

Prepare to speak before you speak.

Prepare what you are going to say before you say it. After all, preparation is the key to success. Write down your ideas and sources and examples how they can be used. If you are still afraid, come with scenarios of how the other party may react. This way you can have extra examples prepared to help dispute their argument.

Do you need more help becoming a Difference Maker in your organization? I’m the trusted business advisor, executive coach, career guide, and leadership consultant you’ve been looking for. I’m here to listen to you and help find solutions for your frustrations. Please contact me today at 858-692-0438 to learn how I can help you!