Don’t Let “Being New” Stop You From Speaking Up - Deepstash
Don’t Let “Being New” Stop You From Speaking Up

Don’t Let “Being New” Stop You From Speaking Up

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The Newcomer And Speaking Up At Work

The Newcomer And Speaking Up At Work

There are so many benefits to speaking up at work and making yourself heard: You gain visibility, increase your influence, and enhance your credibility and social capital — all of which are needed to succeed at work. Yet, many young professionals don’t speak up.

But as a newcomer, you also want to prove that you aren’t completely raw. From understanding how meetings are run to reading your boss — being new requires a level of focus to unlearn the norms of your former job and train yourself on “the way things are done” at this organization.

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What We Get Wrong About Speaking Up

What We Get Wrong About Speaking Up

What you don’t realize is that when you’re early in your career or new to an organization, you are often a great source of information, as you can more easily identify inefficiencies that longtime employees overlook.

  • We believe we are novices and don't want to rock the boat.
  • We believe speaking up is just a one-time event. In reality we have to speak up every day to make any real change happen.
  • We believe our ideas have to be new and innovative for us to be heard.

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Do Your Homework

The first step to effectively speaking up is doing pre-work. Think about who needs to hear your idea or opinion, and why would it matter to them. Speak with other team members, peers, or mentors who have been around longer to gain their perspective before bringing your idea to your boss (or another stakeholder).

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See The Idea From All Aspects

See The Idea From All Aspects

Not all ideas have to be shared at a formal meeting. Sometimes, a lunch with the team member or a coffee catch-up with your boss is a better option.

When considering the time and place to speak up, think about the following:

  • What frame of mind is the other person in?
  • Are they working on a project that may have them thinking about the issue that you want to speak up about?
  • Are they having the mental bandwidth?
  • Who else needs to be around to amplify your ideas and to give it credibility? Are they available?
  • Is it the kind of idea that will catch your boss by surprise, or would it be 'on topic'?

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Take Action

Take Action

  • To speak up and make it count, you need to do some pre-work. Think about who needs to hear your idea or opinion, and why would it matter to them. You could also speak to your peers to gain perspective.
  • Next, think about the time and place to bring up your idea, as well as your tone. Should you speak up during the meeting, or have a one-on-one instead? Is your manager tied up with other critical issues?

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Framing Your Suggestions

Framing Your Suggestions

Learn how to strategically frame your suggestions. Are you pointing out everything that’s wrong or suggesting ways to improve upon a process or system?

Share your idea not as the “only perfect solution” but as an alternative perspective.

You could say:

  • I would like to build upon/add to what you said…
  • I would like to present another perspective that might help us refine…
  • I see the benefit in what you’re suggesting, but maybe we could consider making the following additions to that and here is why…

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Humility

Humility

Present your idea as an alternative, sharing the pros and cons, and connecting it back to the larger team goals.

An inclusive voice shows both confidence and humility.  Confidence portrays that your arguments and logic are backed by supporting rationale, evidence, facts, and persuasive examples. 

Humility, on the other hand, is shown by presenting your idea as an alternative, sharing the pros and cons, and connecting it back to the larger team goals. To practice humility, use collective pronouns such as “we/us/our” versus personal references such as “I/my.”

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CURATED BY

alana_

Unapologetic reader and proud communicator. Chocolate and coffee everyday.

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