Do you break out in a cold sweat when someone looks your way in a meeting? Do you feel like everyone in the room is more articulate and better prepared than you are? Do clients seem uncomfortable in one-on-one situations with you? Well my friend—you are not alone. Let’s look at some ways you can go from struggling with conversation to the master of the conversation. It’s not hard, once you understand why you do what you do.
Recent research reported by Yale University shows that women speak up in meetings less frequently than men. Another study by the Virginia Tech’s Carilion Research Institute revealed that high IQ people of both genders speak up less than their lower IQ counterparts. (So if you give everyone the silent treatment, maybe you really are the smartest person in the room!)
But let’s not stop there. Do we accept these findings as gospel and take a vow of silence or do we learn how and when to speak up effectively? When it comes to communicating with your clients and colleagues, you probably fall into one of four categories: you either are a spectator, a contributor, a driver, or a leader.