Struggling to make yourself heard at work? You’re not alone.
Research has found that about half of all employees don’t regularly speak their minds at work.
But if you want to grow your career and have a better work experience, you’ve got to speak up. When people know what you stand for and what you can contribute, you’ll get more opportunities and build more connections.
Try these five strategies to put yourself out there and make yourself heard at work:
- Speak up in meetings. Your biggest opportunity to speak up is in meetings. Be confident–you were invited for a reason and not just to sit back and agree with everything. Prepare what you need to say and don’t be afraid to jump in. If you need a nudge, be the first one to talk before it gets too chaotic or put yourself on the agenda so they have to listen to you.
- Join a committee. Nearly every organization has committees for everything from improving engagement to planning parties and welcoming new employees. Find something that matches your talents and interests and go all in. Actively participate, have an opinion, and volunteer for assignments. A smaller group may make it more manageable to be heard and help your presence be felt around the company.
- Participate in the intranet. Many companies have some sort of intranet for employees to chat and share experiences and ideas. Make your voice heard online. Start conversations in the employee chat or answer questions in the forum. Being assertive online can translate into real-life confidence.
- Ask questions. If you struggle to share your own ideas, make your voice heard by asking questions. Speak up in meetings by asking questions to clarify what is being discussed. Visit your manager or a colleague with a question about a project or a possibility of what could happen. Asking questions asserts you in the action and makes sure you are heard.
- Offer a solution. People don’t want to hear what’s wrong–they want to know how to fix it. Instead of raising complaints, offer solutions. Look around the company and find a way to solve an existing problem. Show that you are valuable and have a positive attitude. It just takes one great solution or idea to launch your career. Be a problem solver and share those ideas in meetings or in a one-on-one.
Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard at work. Choose one of these strategies to start small. Believe in yourself and what you have to say!
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