Bummed out that you weren’t being heard at today’s meeting? Frustrated in the way you got overruled by a co-worker, once again? Or disappointed when you weren’t listened to when you were trying to speak up at work? Office politics can be tricky. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Time to give that confidence a good boost. With these pointers you can rock any kind of office meeting. And remember: no guts, no glory, right?
Do your homework
You’re out of college – we know. But in order to be taken seriously during a meeting, it’s important that you come prepared. Most of the time everyone at that table has a busy schedule, so make sure you have your proposal, idea or pitch ready to go. With the proper arguments or statistics to back it up. This will also boost your confidence during the meeting – since you know the points you want to make. Of course, practice makes perfect. So, there’s no shame in a little test run for your roommate, sister, boyfriend or stuffed animals. Ready, set, go.
Yes, you might not be cheering for this one, but taking the time to reflect on yourself is quite important. It’s the perfect opportunity to observe and analyse your behaviour and thoughts and learn from them. Eventually grow as a person. It might not always be all fun and games to be confronted with any undesirable thoughts or acts, but it’s a great way to get them aligned. Moreover, it can be very empowering and give you the self-confidence you need to step out of autopilot mode. Snap out of that ‘going with the flow’ attitude during every meeting and realize your voice is worthy to be heard. Look back on your actions and ask yourself: what could I have done differently? Why wasn’t I heard? Next time break your habitual ways and speak up when it’s your time to shine.
Look for the gap
Sometimes during discussions, you might feel like your co-worker is from another planet. You just can’t seem to understand each other’s point of view. What to do? Look for the gap and find common ground. Acknowledge that the other person seems to have already had their mind made up, but ask if they can have an open mind instead. Don’t forget what meetings are for; there are to create meaningful ideas and fuel creativity and productivity. And you’re bringing something to the table too.
You’ve got this
Be confident. Believe that your voice can be of added value, it represents your significance for the company. Skip filler words when you’re pitching an idea and whatever you do, never downsize them. Per example, when you start your pitch with: ‘sorry this will probably be foolish, but…’ This kind of apology language immediately diminishes the confidence of the recipient in you and your idea. And you haven’t even started pitching it. So, ditch the insecurity and grow the confidence. You deserve to be here. So own your seat at the table, don’t just sit in it.