By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
While speaking up in a meeting has several gains, the biggest benefits are:
- Improves your visibility
- Gets you instant feedback on your thoughts and ideas
- Projects you as potential leader with visible Executive Presence
Like any other skill, you have to gain confidence by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, a little at a time. By learning how to increase your assertiveness, you can increase the candor and flow of dialogue in the organization. While most people confess to feeling good after standing up for a person or a cause, it’s a tough act.
- Understand the political landscape so you don’t end up being collateral damage. Showing courage sounds heroic, you need to understand the terrain before you jump in and commit career suicide. Know the value system of the organization and see if your views match them. Listen and observe your workplace dialogues. Sounds counterproductive, right? By listening to all the conflicting views shared by stakeholders, you can prepare better before you stick your neck out.
- Preparation is key: Going into battlefield unarmed and without a plan will make your attack weak. On a similar note, going into discussions with a well-thought-out agenda increases your chances of being effective. Study the facts as that is your best & strongest defence – it’s tough for any boss to argue with facts. Keep the facts handy during the meeting as it will help you stay razor sharp and not ramble. Plan well as timing is critical – consider the consequences and how you will have to live with them afterwards.
- Show Conviction: Have faith in your ideas and believe that you are on par with the others on the table. Also, be confident that you are capable enough to bring value and make a difference. As Marie Curie, the first female Nobel Prize winner, said, ‘We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and this thing must be attained.’
( Read more this topic on Executive Presence in the best-selling book ” Executive Presence: The POISE formula for Leadership”, India’s first research-based model on this critical leadership skill. Amazon: Executive Presence: The P.O.I.S.E Formula for Leadership eBook : Mehra, Shital Kakkar: Amazon.in: Kindle Store)