How confident are you at Speaking Up? If you missed tips 1 – 3 you can find them here.
Tip Four If Speaking Up fills with you with dread take some time to pay attention to what you automatically start to think about. There is a good chance that you are giving yourself a very negative message that is actually draining you of confidence. The dominant emotion around not feeling able to Speak Up is fear. Fear of looking stupid, of the consequences, of hurting someone, of being seen as arrogant…all sorts of reasons. Take time to try and identify yours, then neutralise it.
Tip Five If you have to say something at work that could be perceived as criticism be very careful how you phrase it. Adopt some of the principles of child rearing (although I’m not suggesting you go into parent mode!) By that I mean, work on being very specific about what it is that you find wrong. This sounds like it should be easy but because we often feel nervous about saying something critical emotions can get the better of us. Describe behaviours, not personal attributes. For example, if you don’t like the fact that I use the word ‘darling’ rather a lot I can do something about that. If you tell me I am a disrespectful person I am crushed and all of me is criticised. I’m also more likely to come out fighting, or at least respond defensively. Be specific.
Tip Six Pick your time and place carefully. If you’re on a ‘career boosting’ mission you’ll need to network a lot and make your presence felt. Be selective about where you can best spend your time – you don’t want to get known a someone who will turn up at the opening of an envelope… :>)
However, if you are potentially ‘blowing the whistle’, or giving critical feedback, you need to give long hard thought to when and where. It’s almost never a good idea to do it anywhere except in private. Depending on the seriousness you may need to make sure you have a witness, or a way of registering that you’ve made the issue known.
Tip Seven Start with the end in mind. By which I mean, what is your reason or purpose for speaking up? If you want to advance your career then you adopt very different tactics from if you want to stop some bad practice, or highlight a wrong. Once you know where you want to be at the end of a conversation/interaction it will help you take the right steps.
No one cares as much about your career as you. Take charge and be in control.
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Posted on March 23rd, 2016 by Jane