It saddens me that so many people with valuable and useful things to say don’t get heard. And yet their colleagues speak up and speak out with no problem at all – sometimes eloquently and succinctly, at other times…. well, you know the rest!
Here are 5 possible reasons your voice is not being heard – and what to do about it:
1. Problem: You’re not speaking in meetings! So many talented people tell me they don’t want to speak up ‘for fear of looking stupid’ or something similar. Solution: Find a way to say something – just one thing to start with. How about: ‘This is new ground for me, so I’d like to understand this a bit more’; or ‘I’ll be able to give a more well-thought-out response when I’ve done xyz’ or ‘I’d love to know a bit more about that’ and so on. Once you’ve opened your mouth once, it’s easier to do it another time.
Many of us struggle to agree goals with our team members around ‘behaviour change’ or ‘interpersonal/people skills’.
We might say something like ‘I’d like you to be more proactive’ or ‘more of a team player’ or ‘more assertive’.
But these statements are way too vague and open to interpretation.
So, let’s get rid of the ambiguity with my two-step process.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you want Sue to improve her communication skills.
Ask yourself: What’s the impact of Sue’s communication skills on you or others?
Say it out loud or write it down as if you were telling a story or talking to a friend.
You might say:
‘Sue’s great but she’ll never use two words when twenty will do. She’s unprepared a lot of the time and she waffles so we get confused and lose interest. She seems completely unaware that people are looking at their watches and switching off...
I’ve been reminded of a phrase this week for a variety of reasons and as a result of numerous conversations. There’s definitely been a theme emerging!
The phrase is this: ‘You teach others how to treat you’.
It’s a bit of a variation on the theme of ‘treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’:
Here’s what I mean:
Some time ago, I worked with a wonderful lady who was the team comedian. Which is all very well, but she wanted a promotion and nobody could imagine her in a more senior position – after all, she was the team joker and they couldn’t always take her seriously! She eventually had to leave the organisation and re-invent herself in a new role - (not losing her humour...
Last time I wrote about the safety blanket of Busy-ness.
This week I want to share with you four key things to help you or your teams throw off that safety blanket! I wrote the article for Strategic HR Review a while back and thought it was worth a re-share! I do have permission to share it with you! (The article starts on page 2.)