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Are you a talker?

May 7, 2012

Most of you who have met me won’t believe me, but I’m an introvert, and shy about speaking in public. Some years ago, I started making an effort to try to speak up more in professional contexts. Basically, I got tired of asking the person next to me a question after a talk, and then seeing someone else get up and ask the speaker the same question, and everyone in the room nodding and saying, ah, astute question. Or making a note to mention an issue to a manager after a meeting, and then someone else saying it during the meeting, and everyone saying, ah, they’re on the ball. It looked to me like people who spoke up (with good, relevant, useful content to say) got a lot of credit. What could go wrong, right?

So I’m dismayed to read this article (I’m actually linking a blog post that talks about the article, but the link to the original research is there too). Basically, women appear to be penalized for voicing their opinions, where men are rewarded. Remember we’re speaking in generalities here. I still am glad I made an effort to be more comfortable speaking up, and I have definitely noticed a reward from it in my professional life. Though, I have had the exact experience in the cartoon more than once, in a professional context, too. What about you? Do you speak up or try to work behind the scenes? Which tactic has been more effective for you?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2013 10:09 pm

    Hi everybody, here every person is sharing such experience, thus
    it’s pleasant to read this blog, and I used to visit this web site everyday.

  2. September 18, 2012 7:44 pm

    Here’s another interesting article along the same lines: http://www.sciencecodex.com/women_speak_less_when_theyre_outnumbered-98610

    Main point? “Women seemed to speak less when they had an equal vote but more when they had veto control over the final decision….Notably, the groups arrived at different decisions depending on women’s participation…

    “When women participated more, they brought unique and helpful perspectives to the issue under discussion,” Karpowitz said. ”

    So, let’s remember to speak up!

  3. May 14, 2012 7:00 am

    That cartoon happens almost every day of my professional life. It took me a while to speak-up as well. Now I do it regularly. I don’t blame anyone because it’s all culture, but it is frustrating and often degrading feeling, even if that wasn’t the original intention.

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