Sometimes in order to get more, you have to give more. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, one of the ways to increase your work enjoyment level is to share more of yourself (even if you don’t not feel like it). I’m not talking about your personal life. I’m talking about your amazing work-related insights and ideas!!
Next time you are in a meeting or group conversation try observing your behaviour.
- Are you focused on the topic at hand or are you thinking about something else?
- Do you notice that you actually speak less than the other meeting participants?
- Do you hold back from sharing ideas because of thoughts like, “other people have already said this”, “I’m not the expert on this, better leave it to someone who knows more”, or ” I’m worried this isn’t relevant or doesn’t make sense”?
If you find that the answer is yes to some or all of these questions. Here are a few things to try.
- Go all in! Even if the topic isn’t a passion of yours or you feel that it’s not directly related to your job, try to put all your focus on it (at least for the duration of the meeting). Allowing yourself to really focus on the topic at hand will not only lead to greater insights and ideas, it will also actually reduce your stress level because you won’t be split trying to focus on one thing while speaking to another.
- You may find people who add their thoughts and opinions to EVERYTHING annoying. I’m not suggesting you speak JUST to hear the sound of your own voice. However, typically, the longer we remain silent in a conversation the harder it becomes to break that silence – this means that if you haven’t spoken at all during the conversation it will be more difficult for you to speak up even when you have a brilliant insight to add. Even if you don’t “know the answer” or “have the solution” try offering an observation or positive feedback on what another person has said. Your colleagues will find your contribution supporting and you’ll find it easier to stay engaged with the dialogue.
- Switch your focus from “me” to “it” (or the topic). Often when we hold back on speaking up it’s because we are worried that we will be judged. We become hyper-focused on “performing well” and this has a negative effect on our courage and motivation to “put ourselves out there” through sharing our thoughts and ideas. Rather than focusing on you, focus on the topic at hand. Focus on what you observe, know, and wonder about it. Focus on understanding the problem that needs solving and work on the solution. This switch in focus shifts you into being part of a collaboration and frees you to share more freely because it takes the pressure off you.
While some of these might feel a bit awkward at first, I know that if you give them a sincere try you’ll quickly be surprised by how they improve your day.
Get support to figure out and use the natural strengths you possess today so you can confidently speak your mind and jump on more opportunities more easily!