Home > Post A Week 2013, The Work Day > 7 Suggestions for the Shy at Heart

7 Suggestions for the Shy at Heart

“Some of us lack the self-confidence to say anything in meetings, especially when higher-ups are in the room. Here’s how to change that.” Anne Fisher

Friday, May 31, was my birthday. A birthday is one of those milestones that naturally lends itself to self-reflection, goal setting, and a bit of criticism. As far as self-reflection is concerned, I admit that I am naturally shy and also introverted. I am getting to the age that I accept and at sometimes defend my introverted nature. As our highly stimulated, stress-filled world races forward, the qualities of an introvert can be an oasis of tranquility in the midst of a stormy, busy environment. So being introverted is okay with me.

Being shy, however, continues to be a struggle for me, so I thought it ironic that this article, Shy at Work? 7 Ways to Speak Up, by Anne Fisher appeared on the CNN website on my birthday. (I act as if all of the good stuff is for me if it falls on my birthday!) The content of the column is a reminder that challenges can be overcome if we are willing to work on them. If speaking up, whether at work or in social gatherings, is also a challenge for you, these suggestions may help build your confidence and allow you to make the contribution that lies just below the surface. Here are a few:

1. Don’t underestimate the value of your ideas. Chances are, someone else around the table is thinking the same thing. Why should someone else get the credit?

2. Be among the first to speak. The sooner you speak up in the meeting or conversation, the more confident you will feel about your contribution. Your sphere of influence has a better chance of growing. The next thing you know, the chair will be asking for your input.

3. Ask questions. If a statement seems a bit too daunting, try asking a question. Probe. That nagging question in the back of your mind could lead to an important—almost overlooked—detail.

To read the column in its entirety, here is the link: http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2013/05/31/shyness-work-speaking/.

We shy people may not end up as stand-up comedians or the life of the party, but gee, at least we can use these strategies to raise our hands when we have something to say.

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Fisher, Anne. May 31, 2013. Shy at work? 7 ways to speak up.
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2013/05/31/shyness-work-speaking/

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