BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE
If you sometimes have a hard time speaking up because you are not sure how to phrase your message, here are some ideas that may help you.
- Make your position known and ask for what you want.
- Present a logical and compelling case for your position.
- Get your ideas heard in a group.
- Hold firm to your position when necessary.
Be Proactive and Establish Support
- Build a strong foundation of trust so that you are an influencer.
- Encourage others to feel good about your ideas.
- Build alliances that allow you to work together and offer support to each other.
State Your Observation First
Observations can be seen as facts. Things that can be seen, heard, or taken through your senses. Facts are objective, cannot be argued, and help the other person understand what you are saying.
State Your Thoughts and Feelings
Begin each of your statements with ‘I’ to indicate that they are your own thoughts and your feelings.
State What You Want The Other Person To Do
Make statements about your needs, rather than solutions. Stating needs opens the door to generating alternative solutions. Stating solutions can close that door. For example: “I would like you to be on time for meetings” is a statement of needs. Whereas, “I will call you five minutes before meetings start to make sure you will be on time” states a solution. The first statement naturally leads to a discussion of options on how to meet the need. The second statement closes off discussion of other options and places the responsibility for the problem on you.
When sharing your ideas maintain eye contact, a serious expression, firm voice and moderate rate of speech. Avoid aggressive gestures, or non-verbal gestures that may be interpreted as anger or impatience.
Practice your clear, concise messages before delivering them to others.
Always think clearly, and quietly when you have some alone time, before you decide to deliver your message to others.
Find a Way Where Both Parties, or Groups Achieve a Win/Win Outcome
- Ensure that your own position does address other peoples’ needs and priorities.
- Negotiate persuasively.
Listen clearly to the other person’s response to your message. It is important to hear them out. Do not be impatient to offer your point of view, so hear, listen and digest what is being said.
If something upsets you it may be a good idea to ask for a few minutes to take in what has been said, because your emotions may take away from your thought process.
Always ask for feedback. This is a positive request and offers the other person a chance to be completely honest.
Whether you work with a large team or alone, being able to communicate your message is very important. We can become stressed and feel like an outsider if we can’t understand why others do not appear to listen or care about our purpose.
People who speak up may be seen as a trouble maker, or someone who wants to get to the top faster than others. Once again this is an observation, and may not be the true facts of the matter.
Believe in yourself. Stay true to who you are, knowing you work with others and you are thinking about their needs and priorities, as well as your own.
Linda Ockwell-Jenner is truly one of a kind! As a survivor of cancer not just once, but three times, her determination to overcome all kinds of challenges defines her. Linda has put this energy to launching and managing two highly successful businesses. Learn more about Motivational Steps and The Small Business Community Network.