I ran across an interesting statistic the other day. According to
management researchers Kathleen Ryan and Daniel Oestreich, 70 percent
of the people they studied from various industries and job titles
were afraid to speak up at work for fear of repercussions.
I guess I shouldn't
be surprised that number is so high, especially during these difficult
times when everyone is so paranoid about losing their jobs.
But, from my experience
working with clients and companies, I've learned that the best time
to speak up is when times are tough. Companies are desperate for ideas
and ways to generate new revenue, improve customer service, streamline
operations and reduce expenses.
The key is knowing
how to speak up and using the techniques I outline in the article
I encourage you
give them a try. The next time you find yourself hesitating to offer
an opinion or suggestion at the office, don't hold back. There's more
upside - and less downside - than you think.
All the best,
Speaking of speaking up, I always welcome your comments (good and
bad) about these monthly newsletters. Shoot me an email if you have
any suggestions to make them more useful and informative. And I promise
there will be no repercussions!
Recently, a client
confessed to me: "I have difficulty asserting myself to my boss
and co-workers and often feel inferior. What can I do?"
My client isn't alone. We're taught early in life to be polite and
to not be arrogant or conceited. However, having a healthy view of
your strengths and being able to convey them to your superiors is
neither conceited nor arrogant. You need to learn to do this to set
boundaries, to get promotions and raises and to gain respect for your
Here are some
ways to help you speak up at work:
Consider projects you have worked on and what gifts and talents
you used to make them a success. Look at your daily tasks and see
what strengths are manifested there. List all of your achievements
and accomplishments no matter how small they may seem. Seeing them
in front of you will help to remind you just how much you truly
are capable of. Then look at what you are good at and truly love
What You Do Best.
Find ways to create work around these things. Communicate with your
employers so you can focus on what you are best at. Keep your focus.
Remind yourself often of what you are good at and focus on how to
and Review Your Successes.
Schedule weekly or monthly appointments with yourself to review
your successes and look at how you've contributed. Set goals to
use your gifts more effectively and more frequently in your work.
Once you get in touch with your strengths, you will gain confidence
and allow them to come forward. It will be easier for you to ask
for what you want. If you stay focused in fear, you will remain
stuck and not be able to assert yourself. Focus instead on the positive,
empowering feeling that comes from knowing your strengths and what
you contribute to the company and you'll find it much easier to
move forward. Remember, if you don't believe you are capable of
something, how can you hope to convince anyone else that you are?
Afraid of Conflict.
It's okay to disagree. Just don't be disagreeable. Be respectful.
Be a good listener. Focus on facts, goals and objectives and not
personalities. Try to find areas of agreement and build on them.
to Say "No."
When you feel someone is imposing on you, explore other options
with them. Find out what they want or need and offer suggestions
or possible trade-offs. For example, "I'll put together the
budget figures for you if you handle next month's safety meeting."
Look for ways to turn a "losing" situation into a solution
that benefits everyone.
EXECUTIVE COACHING: Garfinkle Executive Coaching provides individualized,
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CAREER COACHING: You spend one-third of your life at
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perfect job that aligns with your passions and natural talents. http://www.dreamjobcoaching.com/coaching/career/
SPEAKING: Frequent speaker at keynotes, meetings, conventions
and seminars. He will energize your keynotes, meetings, conventions
and seminars with his compelling and inspirational speaking style.
EMPLOYEE OUTPLACEMENT PROGRAM:This
proven 9-step program provides unique, personalized services to displaced
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