Recently I was in a meeting when a topic came up that I feel strongly about. Working in the trenches, I felt that implementing this specific procedure could present challenges for our team so when it was brought up, I spoke up. It felt natural and my argument came across as clear and well thought out.
I was successful in that moment because of a few key factors. Here are some guidelines to utilize the next time you need to speak your mind.
- Exercise your knowledge on the subject at hand. Know your topic before you make your case for or against it. If it’s a brand new issue that is being brought up, don’t immediately list the reasons it will or won’t work. Take some time to research and ensure you have thought through all sides. In my case, it was something that had been on the table before, so I had time to organize my thoughts and research how it fit in to our workplace goals.
- Make sure it’s
the right place at the right time.I presented my case in a meeting with other members of management. I felt it was appropriate because the decision would have an effect on them and I wanted to give them the opportunity to add their feedback. There will be times when it would not be appropriate to bring up your side in front of a whole group. Know your audience and whether or not it would be something better discussed in a one on one meeting
- Back up your case. I acknowledged that the process did hold some value but argued it was not one that would be beneficial to roll out in a uniform manner across the organization. I highlighted the areas where it could produce an obstacle and offered alternate solutions to handle those situations.
As we progress in our careers we become more confident in our voice. Don’t be afraid to use yours.
Photo credit: iStockphoto
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