17 May Women in Leadership part IV – Do you have a Voice?
What?! Speak up I can’t hear you! – Did you say something? – Is there something that you would like to add?
Maybe you feel like you are not being heard and that you have no voice, or the confidence to speak out in meetings. This maybe because of two reasons; firstly that you have found yourself in a team that seems very confident and vocal, leaving you to sit back and try and take it all in…or it may be it’s because you are afraid to pipe up for fear of being torn down.
Either way, your opinion is not being shared. And if it’s not being shared then no one can see how good you are. Then you kick yourself for not standing your ground and speaking out and promise yourself that next time, oh boy, next time you will!…too late! The moment has passed and you were not noticed.
The trouble is with not having a voice is that time is ticking on, and on, and on. We always think that we have the ‘next time’ to make good, when in reality everyone else has already moved on.
To double this trouble you are SUPPOSED to be voicing your opinion, it is what you are there for! That is why they hired you because you said you could nail it…remember?
The next phase of this leads from frustration to disengagement. You actually start to switch off little by little as you become more and more invisible. I have even known on many occasions where a woman in such a position is asked to make the tea and take the notes of the meeting…degrading but that’s how bad it can get!
Your energy or the feelings you have about the situation are being read (subconsciously) by everyone, and so they then begin to treat you as you secretly think you deserve to be treated…namely as a little girl way out of her depth, waiting to be found out.
No woman in leadership is without a voice. So if you are suffering from ‘little old me’ syndrome and have yet to speak out and be all you can be, then you will never lead, you’ll just be asked to make the tea.
I’m betting that this is not what you signed up for, nor is it remotely close to who you actually are. I am guessing you are a talented, quick, bright, energetic, focused woman who has so much to give, offer and deliver – so why act any different to that?
Why pretend to be less?
The game is up, you’ve been found out, but not for being out of your depth, but for not being all you are…naturally.
Find you voice and then use your voice. See what changes happen to your life then. See what a difference it can make to others too.
Whenever I have coached or mentored women on this exact issue, I am always delighted by the swift and lasting changes that finding their voice makes to them. My best success stories come out of this one thing. So as you’re reading this, think about what you’re going to say next and to whom. Make it great, make it bold, make it worthy of you.
Alexandra’s leadership programme for women is open for applications, for more details visit www.AlexandraWatson.com/leadership
Alexandra Watson is a best-selling author, leading Success Mentor, coach and key-note speaker, she is also the founder of The Success Experience, SHINE magazine, Time to Shine Radio and TripleM – the leadership programme for women. She has worked with leading corporations, leading individuals, celebrities and business women for the last 20 years. For more information about her go to www.AlexandraWatson.com