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I’m a Listener and an Observer
If I had a dollar every time someone told me to speak up, I would have a lot more money in my bank account right now. I have a somewhat soft voice and I constantly have to repeat myself in order to be heard. Sometimes I feel I need to carry a microphone or a megaphone with me to amplify the sound of my voice.
It probably is one of the reasons why I’m not really into huge group discussions at the table. It’s too hard to talk over people. The smaller the group, the better. I’m more of a listener than a talker. I would also say that I’m an observer. It’s amazing how much you can pick up on when you just sit and watch other people.
Their reactions, their facial expression and their body language.
I Was a People Pleaser
For most of my life, I haven’t really spoken up about anything. I’m that type of person who tries to avoid conflict at all costs and who cared so much about what others thought or thought of me. I was the one who tried to get along with everyone and make everyone like me. It was only recently that I have come to terms that nobody how hard I try and no matter how nice I am, not everyone will like me. I’m not sure why it took so long for me to accept it, but now I am at the point where I don’t care. I think being in the current position I am in my career, has helped me develop a tougher skin. Certain situations have reached a point in which I’ve had no choice to speak up and in doing so, I am now not as afraid to say what needs to be said.
Speaking Up At Work
My program in university offered a work-study option, in which I would go to school for a term and the following term I would work. It was great for several reasons because I got a break from school, made some money for school, and got some relevant experience to put on my resume when I graduated.
Two of my work terms I really enjoyed because of the work environment, the people and I gained a lot of valuable work experience. Unfortunately, my other two work terms were the complete opposite. I wasn’t doing much work relevant to what I was studying, so I was absolutely bored out of my mind- which I understand a lot of student jobs can be like that. However, I was paying extra money to be in the work-study program and I wasn’t just going to sit around and do nothing most of the day. I eventually got the courage to talk to my supervisors and demanded more work. More fulfilling work. Work that I could actually put on my resume. Thankfully they listened and provided me with tasks in which I would learn something.
Looking back at both those situations, if I hadn’t said anything, I would have been extremely bored and would have had nothing to write up in my work report on what I did during my work term.
I would have to say those two somewhat crappy work terms were a turning point for me.
Being Brave Before Being Heard
For the longest time in my part-time job, I had an issue which was making my job difficult to do and affecting the people around me. For the most part, I thought it was best to ignore it. I figure I could sweep it under the rug and was hoping it would go away.
Well, it didn’t.
It got to the point where I couldn’t do my job as well, it was distracting me and even other people were starting to get annoyed by it. I finally decided to take a stand and speak up about it. Low and behold, the people causing the issue listened and it seems the situation was resolved. Other people told me they were glad I spoke up about it and was brave in doing so.
It was somewhat of a minor issue that had escalated. If only I had addressed in the first place, it wouldn’t have escalated.
I sometimes feel that I have to summon all my courage and be brave before I can be heard.
Do you feel you can voice your opinions easily when they need to be heard?
Side note: My full-time job and part-time job will keep me MIA for the next couple of weeks and I do apologize for that. I hope to have at least a couple of more posts in before I leave for my trip to Greece (!) in mid-May. If you would like to do a guest post for me next month, shoot me an email.
Also, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my post on why you actually may need to keep up with the Joneses.