Thursday, February 07, 2013

Speaking Up In A Meeting

"If you are quiet in a group setting, it doesn't necessarily mean you are shy, but it does mean you might be an introvert," says Michael Woodward, an organizational psychologist in New York. To use Working Style terminology, if your style is Reflective rather than Impulsive, and you're asked a question you haven't considered before, you may experience a lot of activity in your amygdala, the part of the brain that registers fear and processes emotion.

To overcome this biological reaction, it helps if you:
  1. Prepare as many ideas, angles and scenarios before the meeting.
  2. Practice the words you might say in the meeting. Speak them out loud, repeat them several times until they feel familiar in your mouth.
  3. Get to the point as succinctly as possible, but don't rush your words.
  4. Sit up straight and speak in a confident manner - often people don't notice what you say, but how.
  5. Belly-breathe before the meeting. This will calm you and help you find a deeper timbre to your voice.
  6. If you want to introduce your idea in a low-key manner, you might like to use words like "Have we thought about...."
  7. If you disagree with something but aren't comfortable with confrontation, say, "Just to play devil's advocate..."
P.S. What is your Working Style?

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