Let’s be honest. Women tend to have a harder time evaluating their worth or the importance of their message or story. I’ve been there. Sometimes all you can hear is that little-voice saying that you don’t really deserve to be heard or that your story isn’t worthy. “Now’s just not the right time”.
There’s never a right or wrong time, there’s only now. Just imagine if you waited for all the traffic lights to be green before you drove to work, would you ever get there? Of course not! I see a lot of women not speaking up or out, beautiful, bright women who are held back by crippling fears.
Perhaps, you’re just a bit shy and don’t like to rock the boat. You’re not a fan of bringing undue attention on yourself and you aren’t a political person. There is nothing wrong with being shy, in fact, there are several benefits to you and others by being introverted. But how many opportunities to speak out have you let slip by? Where haven’t you called on your inner resources to speak up and drive your point home?
In order for women to drive forward their own passionate professional and personal causes, speaking up and out is essential. By forming a clear message and striving towards the objective with unadulterated confidence, we’re able to further our own agendas and ascend to higher levels of capability, courage and strength.
Just saying, “Speak up” doesn’t really help, does it? That’s why I have devised this recipe that I’ve found to work when it’s tough to get yourself heard. It has two key ingredients: Connection and Clarity.
If you aren’t the type to simply shout your ideas out, make sure you’ve nailed these two key ingredients first and then speak up with the confidence, knowing that you are prepared.
Connection is a key ingredient to making yourself heard. And let’s face it, we all crave connection, so it’s time for you to recognize that you do in fact have a tendency to connect with people on a deeper level. You might feel like you don’t connect to that many. Perhaps you’re merely interested in delving into the inner workings of your colleague’s psyche and have a great need to truly understand them and where they’re coming from. That’s great!
This interest in understanding someone and the pursuit of connection actually gives you the advantage that you need to really get yourself heard. How exactly? Because you’ve taken the time and effort to get to know and understand them, when your turn comes around to speak up – people will reciprocate and listen. It’s true! Without even realizing it you automatically engender trust and subconsciously craft the delivery of your message based on the understanding you have of who you’re talking to.
For most of us, the easy part of the recipe involves connection as it usually comes quite naturally. The second and equally important part is clarity. Here’s where some of us might find ourselves stuck- finding clarity in your message can be quite a tough nut to crack!
Why? The answer, my dear, is crystal clear. It’s because we doubt ourselves so freakin’ much, it’s ridiculous!
One moment you think you know exactly what you want to say, and the next you’re freaking out because you’re not sure that it’ll actually be something of value. Perhaps what you want to say brings up a strong point of contention and you’re just not feeling up to stirring the pot and disrupting the status quo. Or it could be that when it comes to your turn to speak up you’re all passion and no focus. Doubt has a nasty way of making us second-guess ourselves constantly.
Clarity sounds kind of elusive now, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be. In order for you to have a clear message, you need to make sure that what you’re trying to communicate is being led by a greater goal or bigger picture. And this is the key. It has to be bigger than you!
What do I mean? When you’re in your own head, you’ll find it easy to back down. Because to you, it’s really not worth it. And just like that, there goes that pesky little-voice of doubt rearing its ugly head again. But (and here’s a big BUT) when you’re doing it for your family, community, country or the world, then you’re speaking out and standing up for what you want for others.
And we as women need this, so much! Why? Because communicating a clear message that is motivated by a greater goal and bigger pictures keeps us accountable to the people we’re marshaling our interests and capabilities for. Women are all about inclusivity and naturally enjoy doing things for other people. We revel in watching those around us succeed. When others win, we win. That’s our game and it’s best that we use this unique trait to our advantage. Find a cause that’s bigger than you and let that drive the clarity and confidence of your message.
Yes, getting clear on your message may take time and effort. Is it worth it? Absolutely! But only if you have a drive that’s bigger than yourself, that you can clearly associate the success of you being heard to the success of a project or linked to others benefitting.
Like any good recipe- the proof is in the pudding. So take a step back and realise that there’s a bigger picture at play here. Your voice deserves to be heard because you never know who you might be helping by telling your story. By connecting with those around us we cultivate strong interpersonal relationships and foster loyalty. And since you’ve taken a keen interest in where they’re coming from, they’ll want to hear what you have to say. By cutting the fat and making sure our message is clear and matched up with a greater goal or purpose we put our story on a higher level and become accountable for standing up and speaking out.
So put that little-voice on the back burner to simmer and follow my recipe of clarity and connection the next time you want to make your voice heard. By speaking up and out you’ll be creating opportunities for yourself and others to marshal your interests, passions and capabilities in order to create a well-defined path towards a future filled with accomplishment and success.
Want more? Watch these videos, as I delve deeper on the importance of clarity and connection.