3 Tips for Getting Your Voice Heard In the Workplace
For women in the workplace, it can at times be difficult to feel like your voice is being heard. Or that your opinion matters as much as your male counterparts. All too often, women are either pigeonholed as being too harsh in their demeanor or being too soft. But successful women don’t all fall into these two categories.
It’s important to know how you can be effective in your position without playing these roles. Because both of them likely won’t get you your desired results anyway. So to help all those women who feel neglected in the boardroom, here are three tips for getting your voice heard in the workplace.
Start Outside of Work First
If you have a hard time speaking up for yourself and expressing your thoughts or ideas in a confrontational environment, getting your feet wet in this arena at work may not be your best bet. Margarita Tartakovsky, a contributor to PsychCentral.com, suggests starting the process of being more assertive outside of work where the stakes aren’t as high for you.
This could include correcting a server who gets your order wrong at a restaurant. Or saying “no” to an offer you don’t want to take. Or even striking up a brief conversation with a stranger at the store. All of these things will get you more comfortable. Soon, you’ll be talking to people in situations where you might otherwise be uncomfortable expressing your thoughts or opinions.
Know the Difference Between Being Aggressive and Assertive
While being assertive in the workplace is a positive thing, it’s important to know the difference between being assertive and being aggressive. For people who aren’t used to being assertive, practicing this trait might come off as aggressive until you’ve honed the skill.
Paolina Milana, a contributor to TheMuse.com, shares that when you’re speaking assertively, you’re authoritative yet respectful. Communication becomes more aggressive when you sound accusatory or defensive. If you feel that you’re walking a thin line between being assertive and aggressive, try reigning in your tone.
One of the biggest detractors from being heard in the workplace, especially for women, is being too apologetic about things that you shouldn’t actually apologize for. But for women, it just comes naturally to apologize if there’s been miscommunication or hurt feelings. While this may make you feel better, it won’t help your standing in your company.
Lisa Washington, a contributor to AllWomensTalk.com, shares that when you are too apologetic at work, you convey a lack of confidence in yourself. This makes it hard for people to listen to and trust you. So to be better heard and respected, stop apologizing so much.
Start Getting Your Voice Heard!
If you find that it’s hard for you to be heard and taken seriously at your job, use the tips mentioned above. You, too can become more assertive and get what you want at the workplace.