Stop Silencing Yourself
Ever sit in a meeting longing to express your idea on an issue but ultimately chickening out? While some workers seem perfectly comfortable contributing to a conversation, others lack the confidence to speak up in a group setting. Some worry that colleagues will immediately find flaws in their plan or think what they are saying is dumb. Others don’t want to present their thoughts until they’ve had time to fully flush them out, which often doesn’t happen until well after the meeting.
As good solutions often arise through collaboration, don’t wait for “perfection” to get the ball rolling. Have confidence that your thoughts deserve as much consideration as those of your co-workers and that bouncing around ideas contributes to the overall good of the organization.
As this article notes, sometimes courage can be found by introducing what you want to say with a kickoff phrase that lets people know you want to be heard but does not suggest a formal commitment to the idea. Some good ones to try include:
“Have we thought about . . .?”
“Did anyone mention . . . ?”
“Another option we may want to consider is . . . .”
“Is it worth revisiting the idea of . . . ?”
Even if your idea is dismissed, give yourself a pat on the back for trying – and keep at it. Sharing should become easier the more you practice the skill, and your co-workers are going to start noticing that you’re a person who can be counted on to bring thoughts to the table.