Speak Up

Update Captain Admin | Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This is the next part in our series that focuses on the best skills for communication. Our last post encouraged you to listen more, but there are also times when speaking up isn’t only necessary it’s critical....

Yes, we know we just told you to keep quiet, but now we’re going to give you a few pointers on when it would be a good idea to voice your opinion. When communicating with others, we can all agree that listening is one of the best skills you can have for effective communication. But it’s also important to speak up when appropriate and do it in a manner that does not condescend, anger, or belittle your peer, co-worker, significant other, etc.

Themuse.com’s article on executive presence, elaborates on the key elements of operative communication that will help you achieve your goals in any meeting. “You’ve heard it before—to be taken seriously in a meeting, speak clearly, firmly, and loudly enough so that people can hear you. And avoid trailing off at the end of a sentence or using fluff language like “I hope to have this done” or “I think it will get results.”

The ultimate goal is to make everyone around you feel like he or she is the only person in the room, according to themuse.com. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Helpguide.org says:

  1. Don’t rush it. Make face-to-face contact when possible.
  2. Look for humor in any meeting situation. Humor can lighten the mood in a room.
  3. It is ok to disagree, but talk it out. Really get a feel for what the other person is trying to convey.
  4. Don’t hold your breath. Constricted breathing can increase heart rate, and in turn, increase stress.

Most importantly, always be considerate of another person’s feelings. Be completely aware of what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Ask yourself, “Is this necessary for the goal of this conversation?” and “What is the best way to say something without being too harsh?” Keep the mood light.