Introverts Can Prepare to Step Out of the Comfort Zone) to motivation. This morning the TODAY show put focus on Why It's Hard for Women to Speak Up in Meetings. The question is, if you know there is a reason for why you behave certain ways, does this give you an excuse to continue doing so?
When I was teaching high school speech class, moments before students would get up to present I would hear them say, "But it's hard!" As though this is an excuse to not take action.
Yep, it's hard to get out of bed, it's hard to hear no, it's hard to speak up in meetings, to attend networking events and to give public speeches, yet that's a silly excuse for not doing so. Preparing for it to be hard while coaching ourselves to do it anyway is half the battle. Soon we find what was once thought hard is now easy.
I cringed when I saw the title of the news magazine for the above focus on women in meetings. We don't need any more reason to not speak up. What we need are reasons to speak up and direction in how to accomplish it.
Reasons to speak up
1. We have ideas that need to be heard
2. We provide sensitivity
3. We understand the value of letting all voices be heard
4. We create diverse perspective, that in the sharing, benefits the group as a whole
5. It gives us confidence
Similarly to introverts, women are thinkers as well as feelers. Women stand just as much of a chance in offering substance as men.
How to speak up
1. Plan for it
2. Practice it
3. Do it again
Although we make it harder than it is, it may FEEL hard, but it's fairly simple to speak up. Sure, there are times you will fall into the common pattern shared above, but focus on the reasons speaking up will serve a purpose. You can let your voice be heard.