Want to know how to overcome shyness at work? Then you’re in the right place.
Have you ever had a great idea at work but been afraid to share it? Being shy is perfectly acceptable, but it can prevent you from pursuing some opportunities at work.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to feel more comfortable speaking up. We’ll start with some basic strategies to get you more involved in the discussion, and then move on to some small changes that will help you feel more confident at work!
How To Overcome Shyness At Work:
1. Always say hello to your coworkers.
A brief greeting shows that you are friendly to your employees. You see your employees every day, so try to recognize them.
Simply greet them with a warm and friendly “Hi” or “Good morning” when you meet them for the first time during the day. Not only will this encourage you to speak up more, but it will also engage the other person in a discussion.
2. Maintain a cheerful demeanor while working.
If your body language is poor, you may appear closed to conversation. Straighten your posture, keep your head up, and relax your shoulders while working. Keep an open and receptive appearance by not crossing your arms and legs. Smile at co-workers to appear nicer and more ready to talk.
Even if you are engrossed in your work, take a moment to reflect on your posture and how you appear in the eyes of others.
3. Make eye contact with your coworkers.
When you talk to others, it will make you feel freer and more connected. When you speak or listen to someone, try to mirror their facial expression to show that you are paying attention to them. It’s much easier to speak up when you make eye contact because it will make you feel more engaged in the discussion.
To build a stronger relationship, try to maintain eye contact for 60–70% of the meeting.
It’s best not to stare for too long, as this can come across as obsequious.
4. Find something in common that you can relate to.
When you have similar interests, you are more likely to open up. When you hang out with your colleagues, pay attention to what they are talking about or what they have in their workplace when you hang with them.
Try asking them questions about their favorite hobbies, interests, or activities. When you work together, you will almost certainly have something in common that you can talk about.
If your colleague mentions soccer, for example, you can ask about their favorite team or whether they saw the last game.
5. Before meetings, make a list of your ideas.
Make a list of your thoughts so you know what to say. If a meeting is coming up, review the agenda to see what you will be talking about.
Make a list of potential questions or suggestions so you don’t forget about them. Try to bring up at least one of the things you’ve highlighted when you get a chance to speak.
You can always pass the ideas you noted down to your supervisor to see if he or she wants to include them, even if you don’t say anything out loud.
6. In meetings, try to say only one thing at a time.
Try to achieve this goal so that you can fully participate in the meeting. Even if speaking seems difficult, start with a small goal so you can see your progress.
When you are called into a meeting, look for something to contribute to the discussion and say something. Even a few brief comments show your willingness to stay active. To make your voice heard, speak a little louder than others without shouting.
If you don’t have an idea of your own, praise someone else. “That’s an excellent concept” or “I was thinking of something similar,” you might say.
When anything comes to mind, say something so someone else doesn’t come up with it before you.
If you are unsure of your thoughts, consider how you might phrase them in the form of a question. Instead of suggesting, “We should market to younger consumers,” ask: “What do you think would happen if we started marketing to our younger customers?”
7. Practice your presentations ahead of time.
It’s a good idea to practice speaking out loud before you do it for real. It’s normal to be apprehensive about giving a presentation in front of your colleagues, but practice makes perfect.
Repeat the points you want to make out loud several times to get used to the presentation. If you have time, ask a trusted friend or colleague to listen to you so you can practice speaking in front of others.
Try recording yourself and listening back (1) to see if there are any areas where you still need to improve.
8. Attend company events and social gatherings.
Allow yourself to relax and bond with your co-workers. Many companies host events such as parties, luncheons, and picnics after your shift ends.
Make an effort to attend such an event if you are invited, even if it is out of your comfort zone. Spend some time with employees you want to learn more about so you can talk and relax.
See if anyone at work participates in sports activities or hosts weekly game nights with colleagues that you can join.
9. Use positive self-talk to boost your confidence.
It’s easier to talk when you feel comfortable in your own skin. Allow yourself a few minutes each day to boost your self-esteem and feel more at ease.
Recite some affirmations, give yourself compliments, and focus on maintaining a happy attitude. Although it may seem strange at first, you will be much more confident when it comes time to speak up.
For example, you might say, “I have some great ideas,” or “My colleagues are interested in hearing what I have to offer.”
10. Use all your other strengths.
Even if you are shy, be aware of how much you have to offer. List all the different job duties you excel at and demonstrate your skills (2).
Make a list of what you appreciate about your employment and your work ethic so you can recognize all the good aspects of your job. When you need to speak up, change the topic to something you excel at.
For example, if you have good client communication, you may spend more time in meetings focusing on client interactions than budgets.
If you are good at networking, you may prefer to meet with individuals one-on-one rather than in a group.
11. Consult with a mentor.
A mentor can help you get out of your comfort zone by teaching and encouraging you. Reach out to someone you like at work for their openness and determination and ask for help. Your mentor can tell you about strategies that have helped them speak up more effectively. Follow your mentor’s advice and work with him or her until you gain confidence.
A mentor could be a senior staff member or your boss, for example.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to overcome shyness at work. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.