5 Tips That Will Help You Speak Up At Meetings

For some, speaking up at meetings is easy, but there are many who languish in silence yearning to be heard. If you’re the silent type who knows being heard will help your career, Mindtools offer these suggestions.

Have confidence in your own value. You’re in the meeting, so you must have something to offer. Ask questions. If talking about your own ideas is too scary, ask about what others are saying. Speak up for others. If you can’t bring yourself to talk about you, you might find it easier to praise or help someone else.

Keep it short with no apology. Opening with “I’m sorry, but” weakens your position. Start strongly with “I’d like to say…,” or “Can I just add…”

Avoid starting with the phrase “I disagree.” It makes people feel confronted and annoyed. Instead, try “I wonder if we might consider…”

Speaking up and getting noticed is important if you have aspirations of moving beyond your current position. So find your voice and get noticed.

Real Damage Caused By Managing By Fear

Managing by fear is widely recognized as an outdated concept that does more harm than good. According to Organizational Anthropologist Judith Glazer, advances in neuroscience show it to be quite damaging.

Cortisol floods the brain whenever a person is triggered by fear. This leads to a heightened need for self-protection and a loss of the ability to think rationally, and be empathetic and cooperative. The search for comfort and consolation ensues as the need to think or talk through bad feeling surfaces.

The effects of this cortisol bath can last up to 26 hours. But a prolonged state of fear will result for anyone repeatedly exposed to a punitive management style. Glazer suggests that the more effective approach is to unlock the brain’s dopamine state through appropriate, well-deserved, sincere praise and support. This, she says, will open up new pathways for the employee to access new skills and talent.

The Benefits Of Managing With Praise

Organizational Anthropologist Judith Glazer says inspiring managers should understand how the brain reacts to fear, and how it reacts to praise.   When subjected to fear or embarrassment, our brain goes into self-protection mode. Our ability to reason shuts down for about 26 hours, and productivity tanks.

She says honest, well-deserved praise sets up a pattern of motivation that opens up new pathways to new skills and talent. Praise triggers neurotransmitters that release specific chemicals that impact confidence and self-composure. These chemicals give people the ability to sustain working on projects — even under stress. Their increased intention and attention keeps them engaged to the end.

Instead of replacing employees who aren’t cutting it, or punishing them for not achieving, Glazer recommends that leaders learn practices that trigger skill-building neurochemicals that can turn good employees into great employees.