August 19, 2010
This one is not rocket-science, but it is a nice reminder about taking part in day to day interactions.
Art thou blabbing? Or art thou leading? You want to see that you are contributing appropriately. In some cases, it is important that you get recognized during group discussions. Should you contribute more verbally? Should you occasionally lay low so that you avoid running over others? Should you talk for the sake of being a part of the conversation?
The impression that others have of you is important to assess occasionally. After all, their interpretation of you defines their own “reality.”
Recent research at University of California, Berkeley, has illustrated that individuals in a group setting who spoke up more often were judged as more intelligent. (this, of course, makes me a genius)
Certainly there is a limit to this, especially if you are a pain in the arse when you do speak up, but generally, people that speak up are seen as taking initiative, and those that take initiative are seen as smarter.
Ergo, remaining a wallflower may lead others to think you are non-value-added. Those that do not say much are judged as averagely intelligent and not so creative. . .ouch.
- Speak Up by Asking Questions
Powerful questions can lead others down a thought-provoking path, making you look observant.
Many of you will not relate to this, but those situations where you may have a little self-doubt can be conquered by taking a little risk. In the least, consider asking a probing question.
- Practice Attentive Body Language
Don’t appear clueless. (duh) If the discussion is lost on you, mentally capture what you do know. Consider drawing the focus back to the basics. Chances are, others are getting lost as well. And it is okay to state “I am not tracking you.” There is strength in admitting weakness.
- Be Willing To Be Wrong
It is better to hath spoken creatively for the sake of ideas and had to retract, than to never hath spoken at all. (well … kinda) Just be ready to be willing to take a criticism or a shot-down idea. Taking the initiative is usually worth it.
Last point – be willing to be a little bit uncomfortable, yet still be able to be yourself.