Historically, women have found it difficult to participate in high-stakes meetings or boardroom conversations because of our gender. We, as women, are beginning to have a place at the table as a result of the significant shift in this area, but we continue to grapple with how the room will receive our voice.
This self-doubt about how to portray oneself can result in freezes and missed chances, especially in a setting where we’ve been trained to take a step back and listen. Knowing exactly what to say and not say in these situations gives us the freedom to speak freely from our zones of brilliance about everything else.
“May I Add…”
Instead of requesting approval to incorporate your incredible ideas and breakthroughs, express your truth directly.
You may position yourself to keep the conversation moving forward with your ideas leading the way by saying, “I adore that [referring to the prior notion voiced] and would add…”
You risk missing out on the chance to contribute your ideas if you wait for someone else to start the conversation since the next person has likely already started speaking.
“Did You Notice on the Page…”
My judgment is that your objective in using this strategy is to quietly direct everyone to the point of reference on a certain page of a briefing or report. That they will be gently steered in the way you want the conversation to go.
But why pass up the chance to make your argument quickly? Try substituting: “When you look at page…” With this question, you are providing yourself room to relate your attention to your major argument while also pointing your audience in the direction of your area of interest.
“I’m Not Entirely Certain…”
It could be tempting to say you’re unsure when you’re actually not. It might be crucial to be open and honest about your lack of competence at work. However, how you phrase this claim is as important.
You are turning attention away from yourself and the areas in which you might offer by putting the spotlight on your uncertainties. Being able to say, “While this is not my area of expertise, I am sure that we could loop in [name of potential contributor], as this is their strength.” would be preferable. Here, you may still contribute to the team’s advancement and demonstrate your resourcefulness.
“Go Ahead, Please…”
Periodically, I am without a doubt guilty of all of the aforementioned offenses. Women are encouraged to give up their positions of authority, share, and show respect for those around them out of a desire to be pleasant.
Even if some of these qualities are highly great, in situations like this one, you are forced to wait behind someone else. Instead of using this tact, smile graciously before attempting to finish your thought.
Because it relies on the other speaker, this case might be challenging. I believe you may further tweak this using your instincts.
”What did You Say Last Week, Exactly?”
I am a major supporter of this strategy since it screams accuracy and doing your research before speaking to the public! It also permits the person you are referring to to continue the conversation after you have shifted the conversation’s attention away from them.
Instead, use language like “After considering your argument about [generic statement]…” or, if it sounds too confusing, “While I am having trouble recalling the specifics of your point about [subject], I remember that it encouraged me to ponder…” This strategy will let your team follow along and provide clarification afterwards.
Your capacity to be heard at work and contribute to critical meetings might drastically improve if you have mastered these five little modifications in direct communication. Because this is what our forefathers fought for, don’t allow the past prevent you from achieving what you deserve right now.