June 1, 2011
When Silence Isn’t Golden
You’re sitting in a meeting when a coworker makes a suggestion about a new project you disagree with. You sit there boiling with great ideas, but fear of making a misstep in front of the entire office silences you. How to know when to go out on a limb?
“Suspend your need to be right or perfect, have fun, learn and contribute,” says Mary Stoddart, VP of WOLF at Best Buy.
“Tell yourself you’ll [be prepared to] speak up in the next meeting and do it with a topic you are familiar with. You’ll feel better about yourself, improve your confidence and likely make a meaningful contribution to your organization.”
“What’s the worst that could happen?” asks Stoddart. “What's the possibility when you try? It's an easy choice. Jump in!”
Ready to take the leap?
When taking risks, experts say don’t be afraid of mild embarrassment, ruffling people's feathers and possibly failing.
To find your voice, Women’s Media recommends speaking up and offering suggestions during weekly meetings, attending client lunches and taking cues from presenters while increasing your opportunities for public speaking.
Researchers emphasize acting the way you want to feel. Don’t take things too seriously and allow yourself to make mistakes.
Bonus PINK Link: Speaking up at work is one of many ways the role of women is evolving.
By Muriel Vega
"Most of the time, a high-risk situation won’t kill you
because you are stronger than you think." Amy Ozols