I recently heard from a client that she was concerned about not getting her name known in her workplace and being recognized as a leader.  She says she struggles to find her voice.

Finding your voice can be difficult, especially if there is a voice in your head that keeps repeating phrases like, you should be seen and not heard, it’s not polite to brag, be a good girl and don’t make any noise.  Sometimes our well meaning parents intend to instill a little discipline when in fact the internal voice stays with us through a life time.

Here are some tips to help you shift.

Tip 1:  Start small.  Each week write down your accomplishments, what you did really well.  You don’t have to show this to anyone, it’s just for you.  Over several weeks, your accomplishment list will help to build your confidence.

Tip 2:  Speak up.  In the next meeting you attend, speak up.  If this feels really uncomfortable, ask a question during the meeting, ask for clarification or compliment someone’s accomplishments.  Asking and complimenting can put the focus on someone else, taking the pressure off you.

Tip 3:  Talk to strangers.  Talk to a store clerk, someone else standing in line, someone you’re sitting next to in the doctor’s office.  Compliment something about the person, make a comment about the weather, just a little something.  It’s great to practice on people you don’t know, you can’t make a mistake.

Tip 4:  Lead a children’s group.  Children need direction and leadership.  Get involved with a youth group in your community or church.  You can practice all sorts of leadership skills on groups of children.  It can be far less intimidating than adults.

Tip 5:  Take an acting class.  Acting classes are attended by extraverts and introverts.  It’s a safe way to learn to speak up and project your voice.  Learn the skills to act your way into what you want, pretty soon you’ll be living it.

Tip 6:  Sounding board.  Enlist the support of friends or acquaintances outside of your workplace.  Start a regular meeting, once a month, and meet to talk about each other’s careers, what works and where each might need help.  Giving advice to others is a great way to find your inner voice.

Tip 7:  Professional help.  The most successful people know when to ask for help and use resources.  Hire a coach if you want to work on where you are now and where you want to be.  Hire a therapist if you want to work on what is holding you back from the past so it doesn’t hold you back in the future.  See what might work best for you.

How have you found your voice?  What’s worked for you?  How do you get others to notice you in the work place.  Leave your comments and tips below so we can all learn.

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