Three Reasons Why Introverts Don’t Speak Up (and How to Speak Up Anyway)

Outspoken people do not see what the big deal is about speaking up in a meeting. Quiet people do not see how speaking up could be anything but a big deal. In an article for Fast Company, Robert Chen discusses what silent souls can do to motivate themselves to speak up.

Open Your Yap

There are three major reasons why you may not speak up. The first is that you want to be respectful of others, especially if you are new to this particular meeting. The problem is that people will not fully understand who you are, what you do, or why your perspective is important until you start talking. You do not suddenly become more important in meeting #4, after you are known as “that random person in the corner.” Always try to prepare at least one thing to add to the scheduled conversation.

The second reason you may stay silent is that you feel you have nothing worth adding; all the good points have already been made by other people. From time to time, this rationale is actually reasonable—people hate when a meeting is prolonged by someone’s four-paragraph version of “I agree.” But it is important that people know that you do have ideas, so Chen literally recommends just speaking up earlier during meetings, while there are still ideas worth presenting. Hard to argue with that logic.

Lastly, you might not speak up because you are afraid of saying the wrong thing. In this situation, recognize that it probably is not the end of the world even if you are wrong. But if you really want to be sure, then ask senior colleagues in advance of the meeting what they would like you to discuss. The more you talk and contribute, the more trust you will gain from colleagues. Then they will be even less inclined to hold it over your head if you happen to say the wrong thing.

You can view the original article here:

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