• Sunday Sanctuary

How To Voice Your Opinion At Work

Speaking up isn't always easy, let alone when it comes to a personal opinion on a work-based matter, but voicing your thoughts (tactfully) can lead to great things. Sometimes all it takes is feeling prepared to help us fake it 'til we make it, so we've explored how and why using your voice is so important.



Why

Absolutely everyone and their mum has an opinion, and you'll find plenty ripe for picking in the workplace. Whilst it can be daunting to put yourself out there in case your point of view is shouted down, there are huge benefits to be found in using your voice to give your two-pence on a matter.


Trust

Giving your perspective on a problem or idea demonstrates an interest in the topic of discussion, and there's nothing better than an employee who cares. By speaking up you show your manager and colleagues the value you can add, and it will encourage them to trust you and your opinion in future discussions.


Influence

Whether or not you're a manager, an individual always has the potential to influence the path a company takes. Having a voice is one of the easiest ways to influence decisions, and by doing so you integrate yourself further into the team, and prove yourself to be an employee who can be called on for opinions that shape the future of the company.


Opportunity

The chance to step out of your day-to-day is by speaking up on a matter that could shape the outcome of a company decision. The more involved you are in workplace discussions, the more likely random opportunities to learn and grow will present themselves to you. Who knows, sharing your opinion might even lead to a promotion.



How

Not all opinions are made equal, and learning how to deliver yours is key to finding the confidence to speak up over and over again without feeling the sting from the thoughts that get turned down.


Come Prepared

Making sure you know what's what before speaking up won't just give you confidence, but will ensure that what you say is received well. If the people listening to you recognise the substance behind your words, you'll feel more confident from a positive response, and find it easier to voice your opinion in future.


Timing

There's a time and a place for everything, so making sure you read the room before sharing your thoughts can be key to them being received well. No matter how right you are, sometimes voicing an opinion isn't the correct option given the time and place, so recognising how and when to deliver your take on the matter is vital.


Listen to Others

By listening to your colleagues and offering them space to share their thoughts, you'll nurture a culture of openness and make it easier to not only speak up, but likely be invited to do so in future. Even if you disagree, acknowledging that someone's idea was good - if not something you would do - fosters the notion that opinions are just brainstorms, rather than something to be judged and torn down.


Language Matters

Opinions can be divisive, so being aware of the language and tone we use helps navigate potentially stormy waters. Focusing on positives - what can be done rather than what can't - is a great place to start, but if criticism is necessary make sure it's constructive rather than detrimental.



Final Note

Choosing to share your thoughts isn't always going to be well-received, but without trying you'll never know. Sharing opinions tactfully on a regular basis is a great way to build confidence, strengthen connections in your team, and learn from others, so don't shy away from it, but embrace the opportunity to speak up.