Speak Up At Work
In Attire, Conduct & The Workplace By christopheropiela

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After the meeting, the branch manager asks you your opinion about the plans for the campaign or client strategy or whatever. You disagree vehemently. Awkward! Speaking up about your objections and opinions at work can be daunting. But it’s necessary in the process of reminding your workplace simply that, “hey, I’m here.” 


Here are a few tips to help…


  1. Think Before You Speak  – Yes, this is age-old advice.  In fact, mothers have been giving this advice for centuries.  Your mom too, no doubt.  And they were all right, for simple reason of trying to make you avoid looking like an idiot.  Be sure to do it!  Simple as that.
  2. Object With Questions – Voice your opinion by asking questions which make others think about the issues, and then leading them to your thoughts. This is a disarming tactic, placing the ball in their courts rather than requiring you to play defense.
  3. Speak Up! – Most of your opinions won’t threaten decision-makers; hopefully, they sit secure in their leather chairs. When you say something about the marketing plan or raise issues and obstacles you foresee, you show initiative and confidence. And if your idea scores major points with the boss, you’re securing your job for the future.
  4. Don’t WaitMost opinions have a short shelf-life. If you wanted to raise an objection, the time to do it is not when you see the problem you knew was to come already doing it’s damage. Plus, someone else may be thinking the exact same thing…and when they say it first, and it’s good, they win.
  5. Confront One-on-One – Respect a person’s pride and the very basics of professionalism by asking for a private meeting if you need to voice a large or personal beef.  This ensures privacy and space to resolve the issue. Not to mention staying out of the public eye of co-workers.


You may feel nervous objecting to a superior’s plan, or even raising questions.  And truth of the matter is you should be!  They pay you!  But remember, they are also paying you to do your job well and help the company reach its goals.  And that includes being the eyes, ears, hands and brains of the team.  So simply process the information before you give in your two cents, take a deep breath and jump in. You have many smart things to say.

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