“Every idea I bring to the table gets shot down!”
“No one listens to what anyone is saying”
These are responses from different women “jumping ship” after a period of working at their company. What is all this about?
I have spoken to many women who have taken a back seat because they believe their truth is unwelcome or falls on deaf ears. So their job satisfaction and engagement level begins to dwindle. For most women, the rejection or lack of expressing their truth is a blow to their sense of self. I have often heard women utter the word “regret” in this area which means it is highly personal for them.
“I’m not saying anything anymore – last time I did I was shut down”
“I brought this up at least 3 times and it was dismissed, but when Paul brought it up – the idea was welcomed with opened arms”
“They totally femaled me”
Many women have reported that their opinions and inputs are not as welcomed as their male counterparts. And they are less rewarded than their males counterparts. Could there be an underlying cultural weakness within your organization? What does this have to do with self confidence? A lot, it is researched that women have less confidence than men in the workplace.
Confidence is one of the skills that holds women back because they leave this up to chance yet it’s the skill that can be built by yourself.
Confidence will propel you to face situations without knowing for sure what will happen yet having a knowing that whatever it is can be handled.
Confidence is “Action” – it is not a thought, nor a feeling.
You must take action to be confident not be confident to take action.
Here are some tips to help you build your confidence around communicating your ideas so they are heard.
Communication does not start with being understood, it begins with understanding
Learn to speak your truth - Your truth and essence is your pathway to freedom. At whatever level you are, speaking your truth would help you professionally and personally
See the opportunity in challenges – ask yourself different and better questions to open you up to develop and practice your skills.
Identify what you are comfortable with when it comes to communicating your ideas (comfort zone). Maybe it’s communicating your idea only once or to one person and you go silent and the rest of the meeting takes place in your head.
Identify what is right outside of your comfort zone that you are not doing. Maybe it’s speaking up when your idea gets dismissed; perhaps asking a question (stick with What/How questions).
Commit to taking that action in the next week
Take notice of what happens when you venture out of that comfort zone – it’ll be uncomfortable, yet notice what you accomplish and the feedback you receive
Do it again – identify your area of comfort now as #4 and identify something else you can do right outside of the zone and commit to doing that the next week.
It takes baby steps to build confidence. Focus on the small steps – they eventually become a thousand miles. Develop a practice of building your confidence daily so you can speak your truth and you are on the path to being a more confident and authentic woman, productive employee.
If this article resonates with you. Please share, and leave a comment below. Ready to learn about your Wheel of Fear and how to get off. Schedule a quick chat with me here.