Getting your voice heard at work might not be easy, but it is essential if your goal is to get ahead in your career. Here are 5 strategies to help you.
Job satisfaction is usually linked to doing a job you like and feeling fulfilled by the type of work that you do, but the reality is that job satisfaction can be found in other things as well. Job satisfaction is also about feeling valued and respected in your workplace and more often than not, this is not the case for people who are introverts.
Introverts usually find it hard to be heard at work as their more quiet nature doesn’t allow them to be loud or assertive. Instead, their quiet nature forces them to hang back and observe as everyone else speaks and shares ideas. Their reluctance to get involved and share their ideas often makes their coworkers think that they have nothing to contribute, but the reality is that introverts are clever strategists with excellent ideas.
The only way to get ahead at work, however, is by making your wonderful ideas heard, and although it may seem impossible to get your colleagues to hear you out, it’s essential that you learn how to get your voice heard at work.
Why Is It Difficult For Some People to Get Heard?
Not everyone finds it hard to get heard. In fact, some people call attention to themselves just by entering a room, while other people get their voices heard because they are loud or assertive.
People that get heard are typically somehow above others, in the sense that they have high status or leadership roles. For example, you will find that in most cases, CEOs have no trouble getting their voices heard whether they are introverts or extroverts because people are hardwired to pay attention to leaders.
But, it’s not only people with power who manage to get their voices heard. You may have noticed that in highly competitive environments people who have no power or no idea what they’re talking about manage to get themselves heard easily. By simply being loud, they can monopolise the conversation.
But, it’s important to speak up if you have ideas that you believe are worth being heard, not just because they can help your organization, but also because they can help you get ahead, as well as increase your job satisfaction.
Increasing your visibility may be the only way to help you get ahead if you are an introvert who finds it hard to exhibit leadership. Sharing your ideas could be a unique way to get your ideas heard and thus promote yourself.
It’s important that you learn how to get your voice heard during work meetings as meetings can help your coworkers understand the value you can contribute.
Below you will find five different strategies that can help you get heard at work. You can use all of them at the same time so make sure that you start using them sooner rather than later.
1. Link to What Others Have Said
This strategy can help you get heard by even the loudest of your coworkers as it will help you grab attention by acknowledging what others have said before you. Even if you don’t agree with what other people have said, always find something to compliment or to keep an open mind about as it will make it easier for others to pay attention to what you are saying.
This strategy can also benefit you as it can make others respect you. By acknowledging what other people have said, you are essentially showing respect to their ideas, and this could easily inspire them to respect you and your ideas.
2. Speak With Conviction
Sharing your ideas can be difficult, especially if what you are about to say disagrees with what someone else has already said, and this may cause you to be more reluctant to speak, or it may even make you more self-aware. But, you should never start by saying things like ‘I think’ or ‘I don’t mean to be difficult’ as it makes you sound like you are questioning your authority which could cause people to devalue you.
Make sure that when you are about to share an idea you speak with conviction and assertiveness. Ensure that your voice is steady and that your sentences are well-structured as this will make other people pay attention to what you are saying.
3. Insist On Being Heard
You will often find that people have no issue interrupting you to say what they think and if you have a hard time getting your voice heard this could easily mean that when people interrupt you, you never get the chance to finish what you are saying.
Although you can’t do much about other people interrupting you, you can insist on getting heard. If you follow through with this strategy, you’ll see that soon, people will stop interrupting you, and you’ll be able to finish what you are saying before anyone else contributes anything. But to do that you first need to make sure that other people know that you are being interrupted.
For example, if someone starts talking while you are talking, don’t stop, simply continue talking over them and they’ll soon realise that you were talking first. Also, don’t be shy to comment on the fact that you can’t be heard. Remember that in heated conversations, people will often forget their manners, but if you maintain your calm and call them out, there’s a good chance that whoever interrupted you will apologise and allow you to finish.
4. Get Your Voice Heard in the Beginning
Most introverts feel that they need the time to pluck up the courage to start talking, especially when it comes to work meetings. This makes them very hesitant to voice their opinions at the beginning of meetings which can make them very self-conscious, especially after they hear other people talk and realise that they may have opposing opinions. Because of this, it’s advisable to make sure that you get your voice heard right from the start.
Challenge yourself to express an opinion at the beginning of the meeting as this will help establish yourself as an active participant. It will not only make other people respect you more, but it can also make it easier for you to continue contributing ideas.
5. Ask Intelligent Questions
Introverts have observant natures which help them realise things that other people take longer to realise, however as they are more reserved than extroverts it can be difficult for them to voice those thoughts. A strategy that could help you cope with this problem is to ask intelligent questions rather than give a speech about what you think. By asking intelligent questions, you can push others in the right direction, and help your boss realise that you are always one step ahead.
These strategies can all help you make your voice heard, but the key to ensuring that you get heard is to make sure that you are not too self-conscious about talking at a work meeting. Remember that you should always share your views and opinions as they can help both you and your organisation get ahead, while they can also increase your job satisfaction.
Do you have any other strategies for making yourself heard at work? Share them with us in the comment section below.