6 Tips that will enhance your acknowledgement at work and lets your voice be heard!
A common complaint I hear from women working in Corporate America is that their ideas, their opinions, and their input are rarely heard and applied. It can be incredibly frustrating to dedicate your time and energy to your work, to give serious thought to how to improve the company, and then not be able to convey or implement those brilliant ideas.
And, let’s face it, even if you’re not a working woman who wants to force change up through the ranks—we all deal with this issue at home whether it be with our spouses, our children, or anyone else for that matter.
If you find yourself repeating points over and over again, or constantly bringing up the same topic, check out these tips for how to have your voice heard once and for all:
Intuitively Listen—When you want to be heard, you first need to listen and choose when to speak. Take time to understand what the person you are trying to communicate with is thinking and feeling. Does their body language reveal that they are open or preoccupied? Are they speaking quickly and constantly or are they in a more respective state? Is the energy stressful or calm? Presenting your ideas when the listener is in a calm, open, and focused state is key.
Create Peace—If the listener is never in a place where they are receptive, or if you can’t wait for that time to come, you can help them get there. Listen to the point they are trying to make. Repeat back to them (in your own words) what you hear them saying. Validate that how they feel is understandable. This will allow them to clear whatever stressful thoughts are running through their minds so they can be more focused on your words next.
Speak Thoughtfully—How you say something is even more important than what you say. Speak confidently, clearly, and concisely. The quicker and more direct you can be, the more likely you are to be heard. Of course, don’t confuse directness with being harsh. If you’re addressing a sensitive topic, bringing it about in a constructive manner will go over much better than criticizing or complaining.
Request Validation—When you are finished, ask the listener for an opinion about what you’ve said. Make it an open-ended question so they are forced to answer with more than "yes" or "uh-huh". You might say, "What is your biggest concern with that approach?". If they can’t answer right away, they may not have been completely paying attention and you’ll need to repeat. But, at least you’ll know for sure they’ve heard you the second time because now they are on the hook to reply.
Remain Receptive—Listen to whatever points other people are making, respect their thoughts, and remember what they say. As with anything in life, you get back what you put out there. If you want people to "hear" you, you need to "hear" them.
By choosing the appropriate time to speak, speaking clearly, requesting validation, and remaining a good listener—you’ll have people remembering your words in no time. Now, agreeing with them may be another story ...
If you find yourself struggling to get your point across, or your ideas are rarely accepted and applied, send me an email. A few quick tweaks to your approach may be all you need.