10 Easy Steps To Finding Your Voice In The Workplace

Finding Your Voice in the Workplace can Help you Supercharge Your Career. Here’s how you can do it in 10 Easy Steps.

Many people, especially early in their careers, struggle with getting their voices heard at work. Regardless of experience in the field, everyone has ideas – but it is not always easy to share them.

According to SoundWave, we all have nine different voices that we speak in, and these are divided into three categories—asking, telling and suggesting. While we have a preferred way of talking, it may not necessarily mean that this strategy is one that gets us heard!

In order for us to find our voice and speak up, it is first vital to understand the role of verbal and non-verbal communication as it does not happen overnight.

In terms of verbal communication, both what you say and how you say matters. what you’re saying; how you’re saying it matters, too. All of us have a habitual, unconscious way of communication. The first step to finding your voice at work is to be more conscious of the way that you talk, and become aware of the risks that you face in your interactions.

This can go a long way in helping you plan out verbal communication strategies that get you heard effectively and help you gain confidence.

Then again, you’ll also use body language, eye contact, gestures – things that happen between words – as strategies of non-verbal communication. Paying attention to these things can help you be perceived the right way!

Here are ten steps that you can take to find your voice in the workplace.

10 Steps To Finding Your Voice In The Workplace

finding your voice in the workplace

1. Knowing When It’s Time To Speak Up & Knowing When To Listen

To find your voice and better your career, sometimes you need to be quiet. This might not make sense – but bear with us.

Offering your opinion or ideas is a great way to boost your confidence and establish your leadership role. But to be successful, you’ll need to know when your words are far more important than listening to other professionals at the company – and when it’s better to stay quiet.

How we talk is closely related to how we listen. And that’s why we believe listening to others can be the key to find your voice.

It’s not likely that only one person within the company has all the ideas, right?

The next time you’re in a team discussion, take a moment to pause and wait for your team or other leaders to finish speaking. What they say can be helpful for you to get all the information and form the correct opinion.

Mastering this professional skill is not easy, but it’s considered one of the most valuable skills for employees. Make use of tools such as the SoundWave self-perception assessment, which uncovers insights on listening and the correlation between the way you talk and the way you think you are heard.

 

2. Building Confidence

Having self-confidence is vital for making it in the workforce. Boosting your self-esteem will boost your career, too.

Talk to your team and ask them for feedback and clarification when needed. Take on more challenging – but manageable – projects. Learn more and build on your existing strengths. Take into account the opinions of others that can help you advance and build your confidence – but remember to stay focused on yourself.

Most importantly, be prepared to speak up when you have something to say and take advantage of business opportunities. This is where planning a verbal strategy can help; by being more conscious of the voices you can use, you get to plan how you go into conversations and get the outcomes that you want!

assertive

 

3. Being Assertive

Becoming a valuable, professional employee is impossible without being confident and assertive. And that means speaking your mind and offering your inputs and suggestions – even when it might go against current business ideas.

This is where the strategy of sound-posting—alerting others to the voices that you want to use—can come in handy. For example, if you are presented with an idea from a colleague, you may sound-post in the following ways:

“I would like to challenge this—I think we should do it this way instead.”

“If I could just correct you on this….”

“I hear you, but can I probe a little more here?”

“Can I give you my advise?”

This strategy increases the chances of people being more open to what you have to say. Beyond that, it will get you more respect – and in the meantime, boost your confidence.

Remember, all ideas are valid and important.

The best way to be more assertive is to ask for feedback from other employees at the company, even if you’re nervous or afraid. Make full use of the three asking voices—inquire, probe and diagnose, to find out more about what can be done better. Opening that conversation line and listening to different opinions is a must-have for every executive.

 

4. Be Collaborative

Open communication with others within organizations is principal. Recognize that everyone has feelings and opinions, not just you. Working with others can be a challenge, but it’s crucial for a growing business and a sign of good office life.

Everyone should get the opportunity to voice their business ideas – not just the leaders. The key is to find the exact balance between when you should speak and when you should listen.

Our advice? Make use of sound-requesting—a strategy where you ask for voices from others. This directs the other person to respond to us in the way that we want or need. Some examples of sound-requesting are:

“Here’s my idea. Could I get your critique on this?”

“What is your advise for me here?”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but…”

By using sound-requesting, we show others that we are open to what they have to say, increasing collaboration and respect.

 

5. Find Your Passion

If you’re passionate about something, it will be all that easier to have self-confidence. Decide what you want to work with, your goals, and what you can do to get there. If that’s something you are genuinely passionate about, it will be that much more rewarding to get there!

 

problem solver

 

6. Be a Problem Solver

Staying quiet when you feel you have something to say is the worst thing you can do with your talent. It can be challenging to open up our voices and offer solutions – but it’s principal to start talking if you want to advance in your career.

Offering a solution to long-term issues at the company can significantly impact your image within the organization.

Problem-solving is a valued skill for every employee, and you should never pass up the opportunity to speak. Coming up with a problem-solving idea can be the final push to advancing your career.

So how can you build on your problem-solving skills through your voice? Through curiosity! Curiosity drives us to search for answers, and in this search, ask the right questions or provide relevant feedback.

 

7. Be Diplomatic

Using a professional tone at all times and keeping the communication neutral is essential. Empathy and being sensitive to your feelings – and the feelings of others – can make everyone feel valued and heard. Avoid being judgmental or argumentative when there’s no need for it.

 

8. Build Trust

Now, this is perhaps one of the most critical steps that you can take for yourself. Finding people who have your back and support your ideas is of utmost importance to have your voice established at work.

But building trust goes beyond that. At work, you should aim to find people that empower you while being honest with you, but also the people that had your back during uncertain times. This community of yours should not judge you when you’re at your weakest but help you gather your courage. Building a trusted network at work is the key to getting the right feedback and advancing your career.

Creating a safe space in conversations starts with intentionality. When you know how you communicate, conversations became less offensive and more productive. Your words start to become more purposeful—so much so that when you gear towards socially risky voices such as probe or challenge, your team members trust that it comes from a place of genuine insight or call for change.

 

empathy

 

9. Be Empathetic

Finding your voice isn’t all about voicing your opinion and listening to others. Sometimes, it’s about being compassionate and empathetic to your co-workers.

Provide your co-workers with kind words and plenty of understanding when they’re not feeling their best. Listen to them and their issues and put yourself in their shoes. It will do wonders for establishing your voice and your business relationships!

 

10. Improve Your Delivery

Most of the things – up to 99% – are not about what you said but how you said it. Keeping in mind your tone of voice, what is your pace of speech, and the choice of words is the key to delivering the message right and being heard as a person.

If your delivery could be improved, consider working with a professional coach to devise proper verbal communication and create a communication strategy. Remember, talking well is not a talent but a skill that can be mastered. With a coach, your delivery will be improved significantly, especially with SoundWave’s concept of verbal communication.

 

10 Steps To Finding Your Voice In The Workplace – Bottom Line

To conclude, there is no success without finding the right way to speak your mind at work. It can feel hard at times, but voicing your ideas can – and will – significantly impact your career alone.

Building your community, finding a mentor, working on your confidence, and building up others around you are the first signs of finding your voice. Being confident, emphatic, and listening to others wisely can give you that final push to success!

Lastly, if you have something to say – say it freely as it allows you to have more constant practice.

When we are conscious of how we talk, we are able to control how people perceive us, and how we can better strengthen our interactions. The SoundWave Brilliance 3 Assessment is a good start to see where you stand in these skills! The assessment can help you identify your top three “preferred voices” – and you can use them to communicate better with your peers, strengthen business and personal relationships, as well as improve your work performance!

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