Do you sit in meetings with tons of AH-MAZING ideas (in your humble opinion) that never actually make it out of your brilliant mind?
Too many women in the workplace – despite their credibility and intellect – have lost their voice. More women have a seat at the table now more than anytime in our country’s history. If we sit there silent, we might as well have stayed home that day. Whether you are afraid of the risks of speaking up or lacking some confidence, there is a way out.
If you are kicking yourself while reading this, please no bruises. Today you are getting a crash-course on how you can get your voice heard in the workplace with three non-confrontational tips.
- Pose Your Thoughts as Questions
Express your idea or thoughts in the form of a question. Start off your great idea with phrases like “Have we ever considered?” or “Is there a reason why we wouldn’t want to ….?” With this method, you not only get your idea out, but also force people to process it and respond. People are primed to respond to questions, so the idea will definitely get airtime.
- Craft a Disclaimer
Get your thoughts out while preempting any grenades your co-workers’ are ready to throw. You may not be as experienced or have worked with the team as long, but that does not make your idea less valid. When dealing with this self-doubt, craft a short disclaimer. State something like: “We may have already considered this in the past, but….” or “Hey, I know I’m new to the team but, from what I have seen….” Before someone can shoot down your idea, because “you’re too new” or “too green” you pre-empt them by acknowledging that fact and continuing to voice your idea anyway.
- Piggy-Back off of another Good Idea
This one is an oldie but a goodie. If you truly do not have any ideas of your own to voice, no worries, just Piggyback off someone else’s! When you hear a great idea, or thought, piggy back by adding an additional benefit not previously stated. You stay engaged in the conversation and gain an ally in the meeting. Everyone likes someone who supports them.
Regardless of which method you choose, ensure that you stick to the facts. Do not get baited by emotionally charged debates. At work, we all have the same goal, to get the work done as happily, ethically and efficiently as we can.
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Adwoa Dadzie is a Director of Human Resources and Corporate Career Strategist. The views expressed in this post are Adwoa’s and do not reflect the views of her employer. Follow her on Twitter @adwoadadzie3, Instagram @adwoadadzie, Periscope @adwoadadzie3, or visit her at adwoadadzie.com.