Sitting in a meeting and hesitating to speak and have your voice heard in a room full of your colleagues? Hesitant to bring up ideas, ask a question, disagree with others' viewpoints, or simply nervous because you've nothing productive to contribute?
Holding off on speaking because you don't want to upset others or you're just not confident enough is a terrible feeling, especially when you're in a group of loud-talkers. Not only you'll dread meetings coming up but will also have foreboding about overthinking your responses and ending up rambling.
Elevating your visibility in a meeting is crucial to avoid coming across as disengaged or even apathetic. Especially, in this remote-first world where video conferencing has taken over the traditional around-the-table meetings. The remote work has made it even more irksome to make your voice heard at pivotal moments during the meeting. Therefore, we have compiled three solutions that can enable you to leave a good impression and consequently directly correlate with your career success.
In Albert Einstein's famous words, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity is not only a prominent factor to excel at meetings but also plays a key role in excelling in your career. It enables you to be more active rather than being passive. You're more open and develop the tendency to look beneath the surface in order to observe or discover new ideas or possibilities. So, next time, when you're in a meeting and want to make sure your ideas or viewpoints are heard by the rest of the team members. Then don't be afraid to be curious by asking probing questions. For instance, you can ask the presenter, "Hey Alex, that's an interesting point. How did you reach that conclusion?" Now, you’ll be more engaged and will also allow others to notice you as an active participant. Resulting in a positive outcome.
You want to make sure that you come across as responsible, capable, and intelligent. When you appear genuinely confident, you leave a good impression that is directly associated with the high standards and quality of your work. It is crucial to be more affirmative to convey more authority. Give your words more power and avoid a few of the phrases to maintain your composure and demonstrate more confidence. Make sure you're getting an opportunity and not missing out on one. For instance,
"I am just a new team member" can be changed to "I am new here and I want to know more about the point that you just presented." "I hate to bother you but can you explain the third point" can be changed to "Can you explain the third point when you get a moment." "I agree with your viewpoint but I don't know" can be changed to "I strongly agree with your viewpoint(along with the reason)” / “I might differ from your viewpoint (along with the reason)."
When you’re nervous you’re likely to speak faster. You don’t want to come across as someone who’s unsure and not capable. That’s why make sure to speak slowly and methodically. You can do so by summarizing your thoughts in three points. Also, there is a power in a pause. So, always try to add a brief pause when discussing your viewpoint with the presenter.
Now is the time to stop playing small. Understand that you’re qualified, effective and you matter. So start investing in building up the confidence/courage to speak up and make sure everyone knows that you got a lot to offer.
(This copy has been written by Anupriya Singh, and edited by Sarbani Mohanty. You can reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.)
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