Guest AuthorShital Kakkar Mehra

Why do you need to speak up?

By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO

As an upwardly mobile manager, you will be spending a sizeable chunk of your time at work in business meetings – both internal and external. These meetings offer you a wonderful chance to create impact as you highlight your area of expertise and gain visibility for your ideas. You will be voicing your opinion at the workplace when…

  • Working with teams across the world: Owing to cultural diversity, colleagues across the world may have conflicting opinions which may not match your views. Instead of dismissing their views based on your biases, take the courage to listen to an alternate opinion.
  • Promoting or sharing new ideas: Have the courage to present a new idea or view-point, opening people’s minds to think out-of-the-box, benefitting the company. A boss can simply say ‘It will be a good idea if everyone in this meeting shared their individual views’, changing the outcome of a meeting. 
  • Standing up to authority: Being ethical in the face of authority takes tremendous courage and required living with the consequences. If you feel strongly about your value system, stand up for what you believe it.
  • Changing with innovation: Taking a risk by innovating with a new product or a better way of doing things leads to courageously breaking old thinking patters and accepting change. Also, it requires learning to put up with the uncertainty and pains of implementation.
  • Communicating an unpopular decision: All leaders have had situations where they have to remove underperforming employees or shut down a division. It takes courage to communicate the reasons in a transparent way, while retaining your integrity.
  • Handling customers: There will be times when the service or product offered by you is faulty. Display the courage to agree with your client and display patience when dealing with the repercussion.
  • Giving credit to others: This trait requires tremendous self-esteem and a healthy ego to appreciate others for the right reasons. Also, it brings out the best in your team members and peers.
  • Observing inappropriate behavior: By speaking up, you set the boundaries on what is acceptable and inacceptable behavior. This sends a strong message that you refuse to be doormat to your boss/ team.
  • Asking for a raise:  Asking your boss for a raise can be tricky. Keep data points handy on why you deserve the raise and communicate your career goals effectively to your boss / organization. 
  • Requesting for personal time: To create work-life balance, set aside time for yourself or take time off to spend with family. It takes courage to send the message that you value your commitments, both personal and professional. At times, you may want to work from home owing to a personal problem or for better productivity – muster the courage to state your reasons for doing so.
  • You are wrong: Display humility by admitting to your mistake in front of the boss or by stepping down from a project. This shows your vulnerability and sends a powerful message that you are open to saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can do this better’ or ‘It was an error of judgment’.

Republished with permission and originally published at Shital Kakkar Mehra’s LinkedIn


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