E2W coach Kat - Make an impact - have an opinion
Katie.Dix / 27 Jun 2019
Make an impact – have an opinion
Oscar Wilde is quoted saying: “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions.”
Pause and re-read. Harsh isn’t it?
Certainly made me sit back and question where I’m following or repeating others vs. challenging the status quo.
Unfortunately there’s plenty of examples of group think in corporate life. You know - the people who always agree with the boss, or make obvious generic statements like ‘make sure it’s futureproof’, or swerve decision making and make you do the work on another 3-4 scenarios before they’ll commit to action.
It can be easy to sleep walk into bland agreement when what your firm or client really needs is your opinion.
Your voice matters.
So how can we make sure you share it to best advantage? If you want to stand out and be heard, here are 4 points to consider.
- Preparation is key to confidently creating an opinion. Read the briefing papers! I don’t mean quickly flick through them on your I-pad at the start of the meeting. If you’re looking to create impact it’s worth reading and checking a couple of facts in advance to form an opinion you can stand by.
- If someone beats you to it and expresses your opinion before you do, that’s not a problem. Build on what they said. For example, ‘I agree with Sam - we also need to check the product fit against xyz market and check the cost impact of bringing forward the deadline’. Building shows you’re informed, thinking at pace and not simply repeating someone else. This is also a good recovery if you find people are repeating what you already said 5 minutes ago!
- If you can’t get a word in edgeways, making a physical gesture can help (no, not that one!). The idea is to draw attention to yourself to make it easier to interrupt – raising your hand and making eye contact with who is speaking generally works. This isn’t about asking permission to speak - going for the polite interrupt can look powerful and confident.
- If you don’t have an opinion, challenge yourself whether you should be there. Is there a technical specialist within your team that would be a better fit? Can you delegate to someone where this would be a stretch opportunity and bring renewed energy? Free up your time to spend on activities where you can add the most value.
I’d love to hear what other advice you’d share to support E2W members to form confident opinions and create an impact.
In the meantime, cheers to your unique perspective and the value this brings. Oscar Wilde – challenge accepted.
Kat Hutchings is a Leadership & Career Coach working with individuals like you to enhance personal & professional success and find perfect-fit next career moves. Her background in Financial Services leadership roles means she can identify with the challenges and opportunities you face. To enquire about Kat’s coaching programmes, please contact Katie for more information.
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