Especially as a young employee, you need to demonstrate your interest and knowledge. By setting this precedent as a young employee, you will create a reputation for yourself and set habits for the future. Showing that you can, and will, speak up in a meeting is intimidating at first. Your colleagues are often older and have much more experience than you, so why should you bother to speak up at all? Well, you aren’t there just to sit around, so share your thoughts and ask questions! Your thoughts are just as valuable as someone else’s, regardless of experience, so do not hold back in meetings.
Here are 3 reasons why speaking up in meetings is beneficial:
- It helps you stay engaged. I recall the first few months of my first job out of undergrad. I was mostly getting used to the schedule of waking up early each morning, and trying to pay attention in meetings on top of that was not an easy task since I did not know what was going on half the time. If I had to do it over again, I would have been more active in these meetings to help me stay engaged. Asking questions and sharing thoughts will help others engage you, which, in turn, will make you more engaged. Do not count on others to engage you, so take charge and speak up!
- It sets a habit for the future. By speaking up in meetings today, while you are a young employee, it will create a habit of doing so in the future. Not only will it make you more comfortable doing so today, but it will make you even more comfortable doing it further down the road when working with higher up executives and leadership. Getting used to sharing your thoughts will open up your mind to different options and opinions, making you a more versatile employee in the future.
- It shows you care. This is the most important reason - by speaking up in a meeting it shows you are truly interested and care about what is going on. Your manager and other colleagues will recognize this and you will be eligible to receive more, or better, projects as a result. Having a sense of care for what you are working on early in your career will help you when it comes time for your year-end review. Your colleagues who write the review will appreciate and respect the fact that you are willing to speak up in meetings and will be able to translate that excitement and passion for what you do into a positive review.
There are 3 reasons to speak up in meetings. We hope you start to recognize the benefits and can translate this effectively into your meetings!
- Have you noticed a change in how people interact with you as a result of speaking up in meetings?
- What can you do to get more comfortable speaking up in meetings?