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How to start speaking up for yourself at work

It’s no secret that people who speak up at work are viewed as more likeable by their peers, enjoy higher status and are perceived to be better performers by those more senior than them (Burris, 2012; Weiss & Morrison, 2019).

 

Often staying quiet and ignoring your feelings is an adaptive response to blending in and not wanting to draw attention to yourself. This strategy is only helpful if you do not have an opinion or the required knowledge to participate in the conversation. Otherwise it is working against you. 

 

3 Reasons you may fear speaking up for yourself

1. Unsure of what your contribution could be

Often, you are invited to meetings because the organiser believes you have something to contribute. So, if that is unclear to you then it’s important for you to understand what they believe it might be. This could be particularly helpful in preparing for a meeting and understanding when you are expected to contribute to the discussion, if...

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10 Signs you’re not standing up for yourself at work

How many times have you got cranky with yourself for not speaking up? Or perhaps, you chose not to say something in an effort to avoid a difficult conversation. In my experience working with smart, well-mannered people, this is a common problem. 

 

Jenny loved her job. She thought her manager was a wonderful person and she’d learnt so much working with her over the years. Her ability to know exactly what the clients wanted and how to provide it to them with it was real art in action. She made it look so easy. She always knew the latest trends and how to squeeze an extra dollar from assignments, even though clients initially said they had limited budget.

 

There was just one problem with her manager. She was opinionated about everything and she always told Jenny exactly what she should do in each situation, even when she hadn’t sought advice.

 

Jenny thought part of being a good employee meant putting up with her manager’s constant and...

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Why most defence mechanisms fail

In psychoanalytic theory, a defence mechanism is an unconscious psychological process that occurs to protect a person from anxiety-producing thoughts and feelings related to internal conflicts and outer stressors. The goal of these defence mechanisms is to separate the person from the unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts. They help people to distance themselves from threats or unwanted feelings, such as guilt, anger or shame.

 

Defence mechanisms are a natural way of being for humans and other animals. For example, sea slugs (main pic) squirt out their own intestines to make a veiled escape. Birds like peacocks and turkeys ruffle their feathers. Small animals like bugs and frogs carry poisons and colours on their backs to scare away predators—or punish stubborn ones. When it comes to people, unconscious patterns of behaviour provide protection against perceived threats. Unfortunately they also have the impact of separating us, when all we want is to connect in the...

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Never worry about anger again!

In one of the processes I take my clients through to uncover hidden values, I ask them about the last three times they got angry. Some clients can quickly identify those occasions, and some cannot. For those who can’t they share that they are rarely angry. They go on to disclose that they rarely yell, scream, hit or exhibit hostile behaviours towards others. Those are examples of aggression, not anger.

 

Anger is a normal human emotion that we all experience from time to time. And like other emotions it has a purpose, and as a result we can express it in a variety of different ways. Anger is an intense feeling of displeasure. It ranges from feeling annoyed about not being able to find your car keys when you are running late to feeling betrayed by someone you trusted. It is also an emotion you can feel when you observe an injustice or identify someone you love is being treated unfairly.

 

Like all emotions it is characterized by a suite of behaviours, somatic...

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