Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to speak up without giving your power away

On The Glass Hammer blog, this post on 10 ways to be more powerful advises women to express a point of view, something many women avoid to spare themselves trouble. The post notes that that approach just diminishes your effectiveness over time:
Every time you leave something that you feel strongly about unsaid, you take away your own power. You listen to the critical voice inside that says, “that wasn’t that important anyway,” “maybe that’s a stupid idea,” “I’ll let someone else say it first.” The more you listen to that voice, the louder it gets.
The post includes lots of useful advice, including the preparatory steps you need to take so that you'll feel ready and confident when the time comes to speak up.  I'd add that you should frame these types of statements starting with "I" -- it's a confident, powerful construction, and has the advantage that no one can contradict what you're thinking or feeling on a topic if you are solely speaking for yourself.  (Check out my lists of the 5 weakest speaker statements and the 6 strongest speaker statements--the latter group all start with "I.")

In the video below from Empower Women Leaders' YouTube channel of mentoring videos, Hala Moddelmog, president of the Arby's Restaurant Group, shares her insights on "being yourself in a male culture," with more tips based on her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

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