I get intimidated by my boss at work and tend to stay quiet most of the time. But there are some problems that I think need to be pointed out. I am not comfortable speaking up about these things, but I think I need to. Do you have any advice on whether it’s wise to speak up at work and the right way to do it?
It is a well-known fact that people who speak up at work get more opportunities, more raises, more promotions and generally go farther in their careers. More doors open for people who are assertive, confident and open.
Speaking up shows people that you trust yourself and this makes them trust you too. If you don’t speak up, and stay quietly in the background, it will eventually hurt your career. People could make incorrect assumptions from your silence, about who you are and what you think. You must speak up to define yourself in this job and show your boss you are invested.
You are probably afraid to speak up at work for one of these three reasons:
1) You may suffer from a fear of failure, which is really about being embarrassed or looking bad. You may have a lot of fear about making mistakes. You may believe it is safer not to act at all, but this is the truth … no action is worse than a mistake.You should read my article about this fear.
2) You may suffer from a fear of confrontation. You may feel inadequate in difficult conversations. The problem is people lose respect for this kind of "chicken" behavior. With a little professional help on communication skills, you could easily get past this.
3) You may have a fear of success, which means you play small and shoot low because it feels safer. You may be afraid of the responsibilities and commitments that come with raising the bar. The problem is, people can subconsciously feel this fear and they tend to honor it, by passing you by. Read an article on this.
People will respect you more for having thoughts and ideas, and being brave enough to share them. Even if they disagree with you, they will respect you for having the confidence to speak up. You will also respect yourself more.
Here are seven steps for confidently speaking up at work:
1) Ask yourself “Why am I bringing this up?
3) Ask questions about their opinions and ideas first. Listen and validate their thoughts and feelings about it. This shows that you are open to their ideas and makes them feel respected.
4) Ask permission to share your thoughts. Would you be open to letting me share a few thoughts on this? Asking permission shows people you honor and respect them.
5) Speak up in a respectful way.
7) All you can do is speak your ideas in a respectful way. How they process that information, and respond to it, is out of your control. At that point, let it go and don't take it personally if they don't agree.
You can do this. Let us know how it goes!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a life coach and speaker who specializes in repairing self-esteem and teaching the principles of fearless living.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.