I am chatting with many people these days who are not speaking up!
So, I asked a client, “Why don’t you speak up?”
She said, “I have a fear of being interrupted. It can be embarrassing. I also fear being judged. What if people think what I am saying is dumb?”
Do you resonate with my client’s thoughts?
Let’s analyze these comments and put them in perspective.
First of all, the people interrupting you are probably extroverts. They likely don’t even realize they are interrupting you, so don’t be embarrassed. They are not interrupting you to be rude. They are interrupting you to share their thoughts. They are interrupting you because they process out loud.
So, let’s be clear.
Some of us process out loud.
Some of us process in our own heads.
Neither of these methods is good or bad, right or wrong. They are just different.
So, don’t avoid sharing your thoughts for fear of being interrupted. If you are interrupted, say, “Hold on one second, I just wanted to finish my thought by saying….”
Then continue to speak up and share your insights.
What about being judged?
Is that a legitimate reason to keep your thoughts to yourself?
I would argue that it is NOT!
In most cases, your colleagues are so preoccupied with their own thoughts and ideas that they are not giving much thought to your comments. I promise you.
So, be aware of your inner critic.
Your inner critic is that voice in your head that plays negative messages over and over again. Your inner critic is not real. Notice when your inner critic appears and consciously shift your thinking so that you are kinder and more positive towards yourself.
Also, trust in yourself and your abilities.
Don’t allow the possibility of being judged to stop you from sharing your knowledge and ideas. You know yourself better than anyone else. You know when you have a good idea. So, share it. You know when you are right. So, speak up and share your perspective. Don’t let perfectionism stop you from sharing your gifts with the world.
So, do you need to speak up more?
Why are you holding back from sharing your thoughts and opinions in meetings?
Trust me, your opinion and thoughts are never wrong.
They are always worth sharing.