Who are you?  What role do you play? What do you represent?  Your thoughts and how you express them in the workplace can answer those questions for your coworkers and not leave a big question mark sitting at your desk.  You are a valuable part of your company, and by properly expressing yourself, you can show your team what value you really bring to the table and you can perform at optimum levels. .

Why don’t more people tell us what’s on their mind?  Most think that keeping silent is the best way to get ahead, or win at office politics.  Some just want to survive with their current employer.  For many people, fear and insecurity silence them for good.  But what should an employee really be afraid of?  Perhaps it should be the others at the table defining your role and identity for you.  Maybe it should be not fulfilling your potential for being a rock star employee. Francesca Gino, an associate professor at the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit of Harvard Business School says, “Authentic self-expression at work leads to reduced turnover and increased performance and job satisfaction.” But, expressing yourself in the correct way might be the most important element to achieving your goals.

When expressing yourself, striking a balance is essential.  If you keep silent, you risk going nowhere, but if you over-express you run the risk of ruining your reputation.  Managing yourself is key regarding how and when you say things.  Have the goal of  “assisting” not “attentioning”.  If your tone is warm and your words convey an open-minded attitude, it can help others speak up and those boring meetings with gaps of silence can become places with great ideas and brainpower.  If you pause before talking to form a clear, concise thought, you will be respected and your points will be taken seriously.  Jodi Glickman Brown, a communications expert suggests having a few useful phrases in mind to help you effectively interject your thoughts into the group.  Here are a few tools to help you out in different situations.

  • If you have an idea you can say, “Is it worth revisiting…” this and similar phrases allow you to contribute to the conversation without being commandeering or overriding the conversation.  This question is informal and conversational so you can be heard in the best way possible.
  • If you disagree with what is being said, keeping your opinions bottled up can be very difficult. Using a phrase such as “I want to throw out a curveball here and…” can allow you to disagree, but not make things tense or awkward.
  • Did you ever tune out at just the wrong moment and become slightly fuzzy on what exactly is going on? Saying something along the lines of, “Sorry if I’m behind the 8-ball here but I’m a little confused about…”.  Don’t be embarrassed, you most likely aren’t the only one daydreaming about happy hour.

 

If you enjoyed any of these tips, please click here to visit the article “How to Speak Up in a Meeting” by Jodi Glickman Brown.  It has wonderful tips to help you express yourself in almost any office situation.

 

Olivia Fay once said, “Before an intimidating conversation, I always remind myself that I will be the same person before and after the conversation, no matter the outcome.”  Speaking up at the right time and in the right way will benefit you and your coworkers, and it can put the spark back into your career.  Make the resolve to start today!  Dressing well will impart confidence, if you need some outfit ideas, just click here or here for one of our popular Outfit of the Day posts.

 

Article written by Michelle Cady-Cook.  She is the Director of Marketing and part owner of Cady Reporting (a WBENC company).  She is a sustaining member of the Cleveland Association of Paralegals, and is currently serving as Chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Green Initiative Committee and Chair of the Follow Up Committee for the National Network of Reporting Companies (NNRC). She has been officially involved in the legal community for over 10 years.  Within the framework of Cady Reporting Services, she partners with locally owned court reporting firms across the country to continually improve the practice of litigation.

Cady Reporting Services is located at 1468 W. 9th St. Cleveland, OH 44113.  Our court reporters and videographers personally serve the state of Ohio, and we daily schedule court reporters and other litigation support services through our partners in the NNRC.  The National Network of Reporting Companies is your personal connection to coverage wherever and whenever you need it.