If you are new to a company or industry, it can be challenging to know when to speak up and how to command a room. This challenge is amplified when operating remotely. Without the ‘in-person’ touch to your daily or weekly meetings, it is difficult to know when to assert yourself and when you may be overstepping your grounds by doing so. In one-on-one conversations, a lack of social interaction and clarity through feedback still occurs. For many employees, this can hinder the level of passion they have for their work, leading to a decline in productivity and results.
Here are three tips and tricks you can implement into your routine today:
Speak Up for Others
If you have introverted tendencies and do not feel comfortable speaking first, start by being a good listener. When others are talking, don’t spend your time planning what you should say next. Instead, stay actively engaged in what they have to say, or you may miss out on essential details that affect your ideas. For more on uncovering the art of listening and its role in your success, click here.
Introverts are commonly observant, courteous, and strategic. If you give others the chance to speak their mind and show an interest in what they have to say, they will do the same for you. Additionally, if one of your great ideas stemmed from a thought shared by your co-worker, share it. Brainstorming new ideas gives way to new solutions, and giving credit to others can go a long way in affirming one another.
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. -Napoleon Hill
Prepare for Future Conversations
When you have an upcoming meeting, it is critical you research the topics on the agenda. Brainstorm solutions that you can bring to the table from both broad and specific lenses. Even if it’s not you, a co-worker can take one of your ideas and run with it (or vice versa). For example, if you have a meeting set to discuss budgeting plans and new goals for 2021 within your department, don’t go in blindly. Instead, research previous years’ sheets and documents to determine what adjustments can be implemented and why. Having these points ready will show that you are invested in the topic, attentive, and well prepared. If you fear you will have nothing to say, write down a few statistics and questions to have ready when you are called upon during the meeting.
Speak with Confidence and Exuberance
If you lack confidence in your capabilities, take time to reflect on your career path and how you got to where you are today. Organizations want to hear from their employees. If they didn’t want to, you likely would not be in the room. Everyone receives help along the way, but through time and hard work, you have cultivated a level of expertise that gives you the right to share your insights. Now share it! But remember, assertiveness does not have to be accompanied by aggression.
Feeling prepared? You know what needs to be said and how to say it. If you are unsure of how many opportunities you will get to speak, you must make the most of your time. Quickly arrive at the point you are trying to make and provide your reasoning. Although you must keep an open mind to other’s thoughts, don’t get caught rambling on or taking a defensive approach to your opinions.
“It does not require many words to speak the truth.” – Chief Joseph
Bonus Tip – Be Aware of your Body Language
Positive body language goes beyond having proper posture. Don’t be a statue. Show yourself to be alert and engaged in conversations and ready to speak your mind.