If you want to make an impact in the workplace then you will have to share your opinions with your co-workers and your boss. How you do this is important as done wrong you might risk coming across as abrasive, or you might find yourself being talked over and your ideas being drowned out.
Here are five ways to share your opinion at work:
#1 BE RESPECTFUL
You might not always agree with your colleagues, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t share this with them without putting down their thoughts or feelings or telling them outright that they are wrong. If you are gracious and show a certain level of humility when communicating your thoughts then people are more likely to listen to you and consider what you have to say.
#2 DON’T BE A DOOR MAT
In many industries women can still unfortunately find themselves being talked over. Don’t be afraid of confronting someone who consistently talks over you or dismisses your ideas in meetings – be firm, polite and assertive, making it clear that although you value their opinion you have the right to be heard as well.
#3 LISTEN MORE THAN YOU SPEAK
This might seem like a strange piece of advice in an article about sharing your own opinion but listening more than you speak can have two positive effects. Firstly, it allows you to make sure that your opinions are clearly formed with all of the available information taken into consideration. Secondly, it allows you to mention other people’s comments, opinions and ideas, making it clear that you have listened to their contributionwhich in turn means they are more likely to listen to yours.
#4 DON’T TAKE OPPOSITION PERSONALLY
It’s a simple fact of life that we may not always be in agreement with one another, so it is important not to consider any disagreements over opinions in the workplace as personal attacks. Debate is positive, as it allows you and others to consider alternative viewpoints.
#5 STICK TO RELEVANT TOPICS
Sharing your opinions about work is one thing, but sharing your political, religious or moral convictions can lead to tempers flaring and can damage your reputation, making it less likely that people listen to you when you have ideas related to work. Keep it professional, and don’t get drawn into flame wars!
All in all, it’s important to be heard but for the right reasons – stick to these tips and your colleagues will get used to listening to what you have to say as they will know it is usually worth hearing.