Are you one of the last ones to speak up in meetings? Do you feel you're missing opportunities to further your career because no one knows what's going on inside your head?
If you're an introvert--more comfortable spending time thinking in your head than talking in meetings--learn to speak up and be heard by utilizing this simple strategy to make it easier to share your ideas.
Introverts need time to think. If you're an introvert, when you fail to speak you know it isn't because you don't have anything to say. There's a lot going on in your head. The problem is you don't like to speak before you've had time to carefully craft your thoughts. Recognizing this is the key to speaking up more. When you acknowledge you need time to reflect before you're willing to publically share your thoughts you can plan ahead and provide yourself the necessary quiet time prior to meetings.
Ask for the agenda. For the introvert, being forearmed is essential. If your boss isn't in the habit of providing an agenda ahead of time, ask for one. When you know the topics to be discussed you can give yourself time to gather your thoughts. Come to the meeting with at least three written points you can contribute.
Anticipate getting caught off-guard. Anticipate getting caught off-guard by having a pre-formulated response that turns your preference to think before you speak into a benefit instead of a liability. "Rather than coming off half-cocked I need to think about this and get back to you."
"It's not what you tell them…it's what they hear." Red Auerbach
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