For many people, being able to speak up for themselves and have their voice heard and respected is something that may not happen very often. Especially if you’re someone who has been historically put to the side by others, either culturally or personally, it can be challenging to know how to break out of this role. But when your opinion is needed, be it in a professional setting or when speaking to your adult children about what assisted living facility you’d like to spend your last years in, it’s vital that you know how to be heard.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for getting your voice heard and respected.
Don’t Apologize For Speaking Up
For people who don’t often feel like their voice is being heard or respected, it can be uncomfortable to try to call attention to yourself and make people take notice of you. Because of this, you might be tempted to apologize for speaking up as one of the first things you say. But when you do this, you automatically encourage people to not hear you or take you seriously.
To combat this, make it a goal to consciously not to apologize when you’re needing your voice to be heard. This can more easily be done if you know beforehand what you’re wanting to say and have a plan for how you’ll say it. Then, once you’ve gotten the attention you need, share what you have to say with confidence and without remorse.
Learn To Ask Questions At The End Of Your Contributions
Sometimes, the moments after you’ve finished speaking can be uncomfortable for those who aren’t used to speaking up. You might wonder what people are thinking about what you said and how you sounded to them.
Luckily, these are questions that you can ask as a way to keep the conversation going and transition things back to the other people you’re speaking with. So after you’ve spoken your piece, ask people if they think your ideas would work, if they see any problems with your suggestions, or how they can help you get your idea moving forward. These questions will require them to think about what you said and address it immediately.
Know That Being Liked And Being Respected Are Different
When someone has a hard time speaking up and getting themselves heard, one of the biggest underlying fears is that people won’t like what they have to say and, by extension, won’t like them. But if you really want to be respected, it can be helpful to disassociate these two things.
People can respect you without liking you, and people can like you without respecting you. But if you want what you’re saying to have an impact on them, you may need to forgo being liked for being respected.
If you’ve been having a hard time being heard and respected when you speak, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you overcome this.