You have an opinion and it deserves to be heard. If you don’t express it, you could be pigeonholing your career. Become a workplace contributor by speaking up in office meetings. Here’s how to do it with poise:
- Sit in a different seat.
Offices may hold meetings in the same format and at the same time every week. This does not mean you must fall into the routine of taking the same seat. Just as taking a different role on a project will help you see a different perspective, so will taking a different seat give you new insight to solving a problem. Isn’t this what you need to affect change?
- When you agree with someone’s opinion, take it a step further by adding your own twist.
It can be stressful to be the first person to speak up. The downfall of not speaking up is an opportunity lost. Chances are that great idea you failed to vocalize will roll off the tongue of someone else. If this happens to you, agree with the input AND sprinkle on more perspective of your own.
- Let your head thoughts become table thoughts. This may lead to a brainstorming session.
Many of us feel we must wait until our thoughts are crystal clear and perfect before we can say them. This is not true. Transferring thoughts out of your head and onto the table where others can hear may lead to a productive brainstorming session. It will feel good to be the catalyst of that!
- Challenge someone else’s opinion, gracefully.
This is an area where most of us may feel threatened. Remember you were hired for the talents you bring to the organization. State your deviation while being clear and concise. Only you will know if your organization can handle what you have to say.
- Be ready to support any idea you put forth.
Always be prepared to take further action on your ideas. How many times have you seen a co-worker suggest a great idea and look surprised when she is placed in charge of it? Don’t be that person. Suggesting ideas comes with great responsibility.
Don’t pigeonhole your career by not speaking up at meetings. Own your ideas, voice them, and don’t be afraid to refine them once they are out of your head. After all, you are a part of the organization.
Your alternative is to remain silent, but no one will hear you.