Sing it. LOUD.
Katy Perry writes:
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
I facilitated a workshop recently for a corporate client. Composition was around 20% women - a high percentage for this particular male-dominated sector of a male-dominated industry.
Seven strong, competent women - experts in their field, outspoken on a small group basis, and in reporting back on group work, but in the larger group....
Not a peep.
Granted, there were a number of men who weren't vocal also, but it wasn't 100% of the gender representation.
That's what struck me - these strong, expert women, with passionate opinions and ideas about their business had earned a position in this global group, and 100% of the representation did not make themselves heard.
I am prepared to admit that perhaps I am holding women to a higher standard of behaviour to be vocal in a wider audience - I'm that passionate about seeing women become more visible to themselves and others. I urge them to do so every chance I get.
If I look at this purely focused on the male audience, 43.5% of them said nothing in the larger group, and for the most part, it was because their English was not at a comfortably fluent level.
All but two of the women had NO English language challenges.
This seems to be about being visible. A lot of women still have challenges being seen and heard by others, because they are not being seen and heard by themselves.
The hard grind of getting to this level of leadership has been done - you've beaten off competition, all the -isms you've crossed, and now you're there at the top. It continues but you're more accomplished at it now. So now is the time to try doing things differently to be more effective and get your ideas out there.
It's also about safe environments (this WAS a relatively safe environment, though perhaps I felt it better than the audience - pause for reflection for me). Creating a safe environment where everyone's ideas are heard and appreciated is paramount to effective team work.
I saw a statistic last week that was thought-provoking - 70% of the ideas are delivered by something like less than 5% of the people in an audience. How can diversity of ideas be aired with those kind of statistics?
There is also the argument that not everyone is an extrovert who needs to be heard. I get that too. Does that mean that 100% of the representation were introverts? Perhaps - it's possible, given the small sample.
If you want different results, you MUST do things differently - "what got you here won't get you there" - and that includes learning to be seen and heard.
SO go all Katy Perry on your damn-self, and ROAR!
I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Let me know by responding!
PS Need help learning to ROAR? We can do it step by step so you will be heard, listened to, and you and your ideas will be taken seriously, introvert or not. Book a call