Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Let’s talk personally about a topic most women are familiar with -- speaking up!
So, ask yourself right now: Do I speak up?
Speaking up comes in many forms. It means advocating for those around us. It means not standing back and allowing others to take credit for our ideas, dominate conversations or interrupt us. It means not allowing others to tell us we are too emotional or (my favorite) tell us we can’t do something because we are female (this is not always overt). It means saying what you mean and asking for what you need and want.
This is where I call the B.S. card on us women! I am not saying others do not have responsibility, however, WE are the problem.
I recognize that a lot of us grew up in an age where we were taught to be meek or mild, no doubt. I do think though we have done a lot of people a disservice by not being ourselves and using our voices.
How so? Let me explain. We have not pushed hard enough to voice our thoughts because of fear. Time to figure out why.
Ask yourself a "why" question about how you speak up. Why don’t I talk with “so and so” about their lying to me? Why don’t I tell my brother he is condescending? Why do I let my mom guilt me? Answer your why and then ask yourself another why. Typically, the first answer is not the core answer, so ask it again and expect a more detailed answer from yourself.
Once you answer your why, then it's time to figure out what to do about it because we all know changing behavior does not just happen on it's own.
Start by planning out your conversations. Write them out specifically.
Follow this format:
1. Describe the situation (with facts only, not your interpretations)
2. Talk about how the situation impacts you (emotions and opinions)
3. Ask for what you need and want or say “no” to a request
4. Give them a reason to give you what you want. i.e. “this would make me feel more secure in our relationship” or “it would make me want to stay with the company.”
After you've planned, it's time to have the conversation. Be aware of any attempts from the other person to throw you off course, by using “but you did this” type of statements. Steer the conversation back to what you are asking for by saying, “I hear you and I am willing to talk about that when we are finished with this topic.”
And make sure you deliver your message with confidence. When you do not appear confident, people will doubt or not trust what you are saying.
You are a FABULOUS human. Time to own it and time to act like it!