Too Shy At Work? Here’s How To Overcome Your Fears And Speak Up
- April 19, 2021
- Posted by: Funmilola Sanya
- Category: Workspaces
“Shyness is a symptom of and a punishment for thinking too little of and too much about yourself.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“I didn’t want to ask a question in the boardroom so I don’t appear stupid or silly”
“I knew he was a potential investor, I couldn’t just walk up to him to introduce myself”
“Can you give the presentation, please? I’m not up for it”
“I had a solid idea, I just felt the boss would criticise my idea, so I locked up”
If you’ve found yourself in any of these situations: avoiding doing certain things that require you to talk to a person or a group of persons – especially unknown persons; sticking to your side of the worktable and avoiding contacting your co-workers and supervisors; distancing yourself from your company’s social events, you rather just lay in your bed. Then we can boldly say you’re a shy person.
Now, there’s nothing terrible about a shy person; shyness is not a disease. Being shy is a part of being human, but shyness can often have a negative way of making people form unhealthy opinions about you. It can also cost you a lot. You’re regarded as the invisible worker who only gets the work done.
Speaking up at work is very important now, that being silent has become a sign of weakness and low self-esteem. The workplace recognises and even rewards people who make their voice and presence known.
There’s no quick fix to overcoming shyness, but these tips can help you face your fears. And with constant practice, you’ll be on your way to becoming a confident person in the workplace.
Identify the ‘shyness’ triggers
The first step is to figure out the causes of your shyness. What situations do you find yourself shy about; during meetings, when a new employee comes in, or when your boss asks to see you? Write them down and evaluate each situation at a time. Then prep yourself ahead for each of the situations. Believe in your ideas so you can boldly speak during pitch meetings; ask your colleagues open-ended questions that’ll propel them to talk more; look for chances of a one-one conversation with the new employee as opposed to a group meeting. You could have a mini talk with yourself minutes before meeting the boss.
Compliment someone at work; their clothes, shoes, hair, a successful project they worked on, a brilliant idea they gave during a meeting. Use every chance you get to express yourself in words. Contribute to discussions and make your presence known. The more you do that, the less you’ll stay in your shell.
Especially for meetings. Take an early look at the meeting’s agenda and pick out the item that suits you best. Do the necessary research concerning that item and gather enough information that will enable you to make a solid contribution during the meeting. You’ll be able to stand firm without wavering or stuttering during the meeting.
Shine in your world
Shy people avoid tasks that are verbally based, although that’s understandable because of their shyness; it however gives an appearance of an underperformer. Look out and go for tasks/projects where you can shine the brightest, where you can use fewer words, and don’t have to stand up to address people. Focus and utilise your strengths in those tasks. Everyone; the shy and unshy all have where they shine at work – find that place, excel in it, and watch yourself record professional success.
Try some self-care
Create a mantra; hang on your walls a favourite quote that makes you feel good about yourself and recite it to your hearing before you step out to work. At work, hang another positive quote that affirms you. When you feel overwhelmed, step away from your desk and take a short walk to clear your mind. Take deep breathes and pay attention to your mind. You could call a friend or a relative for some laughs and beautiful memories, listen to an interesting podcast, and replay a favourite scene from a movie – anything to distract you from any situation that might trigger your shyness.
Featured image: istockphoto