“I’ve lost my mojo and fear speaking up when I should,” confessed Janet who recently stepped into a new position. She’s not alone – I hear this theme often whether delivering programs to attorneys or administrators. Too many individuals avoid necessary, yet uncomfortable conversations. Just like any fear, the more we avoid it, the larger it looms. That’s why I’m offering these seven strategies to help you speak up and speak your truth the next time you feel that your voice needs to be heard:
- Clarity is Key. Ask yourself, what do I really want? For example, are you speaking up to correct a misunderstanding that could lead to litigation or to heal a relationship riff? Once you have clarity about what you want in this circumstance, your focus and follow-through will be stronger.
- Tally the cost. Need motivation? Consider the price you’re paying for not speaking up. What are you missing out on doing, experiencing or having as a result of staying silent? Is the price you’re paying worth it?
- Get a grip. Could you handle it if the conversation didn’t go your way? What do you actually believe will happen as a result? In reality, you’ve handled everything that has ever happened to you thus far, so you will be able to handle this too!
- Script it. Write what you want to say and practice, practice, practice. This will help you NOT choke in the moment. Remember, there’s a world of difference between speaking your truth and speaking your mind. Only when you choose your words wisely to show respect to another are you speaking your truth.
- Start small. Begin by speaking up in small steps, perhaps to your dry cleaner who overcharges and didn’t remove the stain or saying no to a demanding friend. Practice saying what you mean and meaning what you say, without being mean.
- Envision a win. In your mind’s eye, visualize a successful outcome to the situation. Too often we waste mind time imaging everything but a positive resolution. Put your focus on what you want to see happen.
- Ready, Set Go! Confidence only comes from taking action. No shortcuts. Choose the right location to best express yourself. Personal conversations require privacy.
We can only get what we really want in life if we learn to speak our truth. YOU can do this!
Colette Carlson, CSP is a keynote speaker and human behavior expert who knows the difference between trendy topics and timeless truths when it comes to successful business practices. Clients include Microsoft, Boeing, P&G and her work has been featured in Success and Working Mother Magazines. For more information on her keynote seminars or additional articles, visit www.ColetteCarlson.com