It’s fair to say that often, we hold back from sharing our voice. Whether it be in meetings, with our managers or team members. The reason for this can be so many things.
Do any of the following reasons for this sound familiar to you?
- I feel intimidated by others
- I don’t feel respected
- I’m afraid of rejection or confrontation or of rocking the boat
- I want to blend in and not draw attention to myself
- I’m afraid of looking stupid
- No one will listen anyway
These statements are all thoughts. They are not necessarily real or true, but they form part of a potentially daily dialog we have with ourselves. These dialogues can eventually lead us to believe that the statements are indeed true. Overcoming these negative mental thoughts can really have a huge impact on you as a person and your career.
In some cases, it’s a matter of giving ourselves permission to speak up and have that voice. If this resonates with you, and you feel that perhaps you have been holding back and waiting for permission to come, don’t wait
Imagine, if you stopped the negative mind talk and gave yourself permission to speak, how would you feel?
Tune into the want you have, that feeling you can imagine right now and don’t wait, because you deserve the success that could follow. There is only one you. You are unique, and as such so is your voice, however the benefits of unleashing your voice are there for us all.
- Sharing your thoughts will start to get others engaged and interested.
- You’ll get noticed, in a good way that could help your career, get extra responsibility, start new projects, maybe even get a promotion.
- You’ll earn greater respect. People like to hear other people’s thoughts, and those who share in a professional manner really do get respected.
- You’ll contribute in a valuable way, it will feel good.
- You’ll become more involved which makes working life that bit more interesting.
- And as a consequence, you’ll learn so much more
Feeling stifled and unheard is really quite frustrating, no matter how much you say to yourself that you don’t really care anyway. You have a brain, and some really valuable experience and knowledge. We sometimes don’t take the time to see that we really do know things and over the years we’ve learned from our experiences and gained real knowledge. This knowledge is there for you to use and share. You deserve a voice, and you’ll find the more you use it, the more comfortable it will feel.
Five key benefits of sharing your voice at work
You become known
People with a strong voice tend to be perceived as influential. These people are also considered first for positions of leadership, and to lead meetings or projects. Having a strong and influential voice attracts other influential voices and as such strengthens your position.
Don’t make the mistake that many do and speak for the sake of speaking, if a thought is inside you that this could be useful or important, believe in yourself and speak. People get a reputation for saying something just so they’ve said something, or trying to be the loudest.
This leads me nicely into the next point of personal branding, because what you’re known for will really impact upon your brand.
A consistent valid voice can really strengthen your brand. You will become known for certain competencies. As this develops your colleagues will grow and trust you more and more.
Your brand will actually define your competencies. Perhaps you’ll be known for getting things done, or finding the bottle neck or perhaps as the engagement guru. You will become to ‘go to’ person.
What is it you’d like to be known for? Jot down what comes to mind.
Think about your strengths and how you could effectively show those in meetings and during presentations. If you are a problem solver, perhaps you could share thoughts to investigate the challenge, maybe you could offer to investigate. If you’re good at seeing risks, raise them with a solution. This way you avoid being the pessimistic one, and become the proactive one!
It’s all about delivery, so think ahead, what do you want to have a reputation for?
This is all within your power.
People advance quickly in their careers because they understand the art form of speaking up and having a balanced voice. This is not simply about saying anything as we touched on before, what is communicated should be relevant and of value to earn trust and respect.
Sharing your voice could achieve things such as:
- Helping the organisation to grow and achieve targets
- It could challenge the status quo and bring positive change
- Could Encourage innovation and new ways of working or something better for the customer
- Adds value to the work you do and could achieve greater engagement
- Demonstrates leadership skills
When you share your authentic voice, you convey your strengths. As such you demonstrate how you think and what capabilities you have. You could well be approached for a new challenge that is right up your street!
But, what is really being authentic? It’s letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing the person we are. This brings that trust and loyalty we’re looking for, because people can relate better to authentic behaviour.
Greater job satisfaction
When you feel yourself, it’s less stressful and leads to greater job satisfaction. Some recent research from Rice University, the University of Houston and George Mason showed that hiding who you truly are at work is actually linked with lower levels of job satisfaction.
Being yourself, authentic, makes you feel better so it’s great not only for your work performance but your well-being too. When you bring your real self to work you are more engaged and excited which means that you’ll feel more confident about sharing your voice.
If you’d like a consultation about your professional branding please contact me
For fourteen years Danielle worked in the male dominated industry of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Danielle’s work took her not only to all corners of the UK, but onto European and International destinations with prestigious brands such as Coca Cola, Tesco, Oxford University Press, Stanley Black & Decker and Panasonic. She achieved her ambition to one day have a global remit.
Throughout her career she has been dedicated to personal development and growth. A particular triumph was growing into her own authentic confident version of herself which catapulted her to win two industry accolades in 2013, one of which was the Everywoman DHL Award for Innovation and Sustainability.
Danielle believes that if we are growing, life will present challenges and obstacles, but it’s up to you if you accept them. Before acceptance there is fear. This will always be there. It’s the feeling of the impossible task, that you’re not good enough or that you will fail. To know the outcome, you have to take action and try.
This ethos lives in Danielle’s work as a confidence coach, trainer and author. Danielle has captured her knowledge and experience on this subject in her book Confidence through Courage. Using her valuable experience as a success in her industry, she helps others to push themselves over the boundaries of fear to find the inner confidence to achieve personal and professional success. Danielle inspires people to change and achieve through learning confidence!