Speak Up your ThoughtsMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
As a professional, it is always good to hear from others and get a chance to discuss and explore different aspects. Learning from other’s experiences is also an art as it requires patience to listen and understand other people before you can share your feedback. Over the years, I learned that you have to learn to express yourself more, in a professional manner, to advance in your career. This is one of the important traits that I always advise junior team members to learn as soon as possible.
I always train my team members to speak up their thoughts. To practically make them do that I ask them to make a presentation on a weekly rotation basis. The topic could be anything of their choice and can be any informal topic of interest as well. It could be about a book or a story of a movie or could be an idea. The whole point was to make the resources come forward and speak about their thoughts. This helps in building their confidence and brings out the expressive quality in them. From these informal and casual sessions, they can gradually move towards formal discussions but this practice will enhance their skills and prepare them for that.
Why is speaking up about your thoughts important? The thing is that when you start to express yourself about any topic, you start to develop some level of affiliation with that topic. Once some level of affiliation is developed with anything, the resource starts taking more interest and thus the rain starts processing the relevant information. As each person is different, so each brain generates different thoughts and that is when you can start to have innovative ideas.
Another thing that I have observed about the managers, especially the senior managers, is that they always like to hear from junior resources. They always prefer those resources who are speaking their minds and are demonstrating their interest. Also, it is not mandatory that the senior person always has a better solution. I have seen junior resources providing solutions which even got the most experienced resource amazed. I have always seen such resources progress with leaps and bounds due to their positive expressive nature.
To summarize the discussion, speak up and be open and by “open” I don’t mean that you should always believe that you are right. Listen to the others and give logical arguments. Either convince them or you should be convinced. Don’t argue just for the sake of argument.