Anne-Marie Fox Consulting
Finding your voice at work
Have you ever walked away from a meeting with your boss so deflated because you couldn’t ask them what you wanted to?
What about walking out from an important meeting where you felt you had something to offer, but didn’t feel that you would be able to get your point across?
Did you really want to go for that job, but you are afraid of being laughed at? Or have you been afraid of asking for a raise/promotion?
Has someone else said exactly what you wanted to say when you didn’t feel confident in saying it?
Or what about when you are in a group of friends and you don’t agree with someone, do you let them take over or do you feel like you have a voice?
For so many of us, finding our voice is something we need to really work on. There have been so many times I have thought “if only I had said that…” or “why didn’t I ask for that….”
A lot of my clients find it so difficult to find their VOICE; and I know it is such a common issue for so many people. The good news is, we can all work on it. Once you have mastered it, you will see how it will lead to so much positivity not only in your work environment but also in your personal environment.
OK, so now what?
You need to focus on this voice of yours….here are some tips to help you get started….
Believe in yourself. This is powerful, but once you have the belief in yourself you will see the situations differently and will be viewed differently.
Be Prepared. Come fully prepared to all meetings, even the ones you feel you might not have much to contribute. Give yourself a pep talk before the meeting, memorise a few key talking points so you can contribute if the opportunity arises. Practice saying the words out loud to yourself beforehand. (this can really help if you tend to cry in stressful situations)
Research. Know your audience, if you have a proposal/presentation/review or are just part of a group working on something, have all your research done, knowledge is power.
Ask for what you want. ASK for what you want…it is that simple. ASK. What is the worst that can happen in this situation, really think about that? I still remember someone gave me that piece of advice and it totally changed the course of the meeting. I love it!!
Know who you are. You need to stick with who you are and be your authentic self, the confidence that you will exude when being authentic to yourself will shine through. Knowing your values are so important here.
Stay on point. Speak only for yourself and not for others, be specific and give examples.
Take ownership. You pick the time for the meeting. If you have something you need to sort out, ask for a meeting on your time/your terms.
Stop talking. Listening is more important that talking. Be prepared to tolerate the awkward silence that sometimes comes when waiting for a response. If you are thinking about what you want to say instead of listening, then you are not really listening at all. Most people listen with the intent to reply instead of listening with the intent to understand. Know this difference and change the way you listen.
Rejection: Look at rejection as something to always learn from. When you walk away from a meeting or confrontation that didn’t go the way you wanted it, ask yourself what you learned and what can you do differently the next time.
Don’t be so serious. Try and remain light-hearted when you can, use eye contact, smile when talking and if the situation permits, don’t be afraid to add a light-hearted comment now and again.
Find a mentor who you can learn from. Look to someone in the team that you admire and watch how they handle situations. Ask them for advice, how they got to where they are.
If this is something you struggle with, I can help you – feel free to contact me for more information and a call to discuss. firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne-Marie Fox Consulting