You have passion. I have no doubt of that. So, why aren’t you being heard? Why are your ideas met with hesitation or a resounding “no”?
I LOVE when people show passion about something.
When people are excited about an idea, to me, it shows their commitment, to the company, to the department, and even to themselves.
It shows they believe in themselves enough to go out on a limb and risk their suggestion being shut down, or worse, risk being asked to come up with a presentation to bring to upper management!
As a supervisor in a business environment, I LOVED it when my team was excited about an idea. Hell, I LOVED it when anyone was excited about an idea.
To me, there could be nothing worse than someone going to their manager or counterparts with an idea, and being unenthused, or complacent, about the topic.
From my perspective, if you’re presenting an idea of yours, and you’re not excited about it, then WHY THE HELL would I want to even consider implementing it??
Hey - really quick - if you’re new here, WELCOME! I want to thank you for hanging out with me today. I respect your time - so I’ll make this quick. This is Part 2 of a 3 part series on speaking up at work...if you haven’t read Part 1, I’ve linked it here.
And if you don’t have time to read it...I got you!! Share it over on your Facebook page or save it to your Pinterest folder so you can come back to it later. Or...bookmark it to your homepage on your phone!
Alright, let’s get back to it
Have you ever been in a meeting or on a conference call where they asked for ideas and someone just barely raised their hand, their voice was barely audible, they looked down at the desk/table instead of speaking at the group, and they gave their idea? And then, after they gave their idea, they discounted themselves by saying it probably wouldn’t work, or other people would know better, or something to that effect?
Are those ideas ever even considered? No...not at all.
So why are the ideas of people who are excited, dare I say “emotional”, also disregarded?
Because business today is a Catch22.
Being in the workforce, whether you’re a parent or not, you are encouraged to do contradictory things.
I hope it’s not just me who sees the contradiction and irony of these two thing.
That’s not to say that thought leaders can’t focus and get the job done, they absolutely can, but the idea of just coming in to do your job versus actually giving a damn about the company and helping it succeed...those are two completely different personality traits.
I know...because I was the latter. I gave a damn about the company. I spoke my mind, quite freely, and quite frequently.
And I worked alongside a few others who were there for a paycheck and didn’t care how often they screwed shit up, they didn’t care who had to clean it up, and they didn’t care how much it cost the company.
In order to succeed...
And this applies to personal successes as well as success from a company’s perspective, growth happens outside of the comfort zone.
This is undeniable.
What’s that famous quote…
If you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got
Am I saying that right? Even if I didn’t get it 100%, you get my point, right??
So, how exactly do companies expect their employees to care and help them grow while keeping quiet and doing their job.
It’s the ultimate contradiction, if you ask me, (I know...I said that already, but it really irks me) but I do have a way.
Before we get to that way, though, we have to talk about the elephant in the room.
Women are considered emotional.
How many times, in life, have you been told to “calm down”?
Now, how many of those times was that said to you at work? Maybe not in so many words.
Just because we’re excited about an idea, doesn’t mean we’re emotional. It means we have passion. It means we have drive. It means we see bigger things for the company, but also for ourselves, and ultimately our co-workers, and our families.
But being a working mom, when we’re excited about something, or even if we’re pissed off for whatever reason, we’re asked if everything is okay at home. We’re asked if there’s anything “they” should know that’s causing us to act a certain way. We’re asked if we’re getting enough sleep, or if we need to take some time off.
If you have ideas that you want management to even consider - check out this free download - it was created with you in mind...to help you get those ideas heard and get you seen as a thought leader in the company!
I called someone out on something once and apparently, the way I did it, despite being professional, rubbed certain people the wrong way. I was talked to about it three times in less than two weeks by two people.
THREE TIMES...DUDE...YOU’RE BEATING A DEAD HORSE...JUST STOP
One of the things I’m very passionate about, and I have been since my days as a teenager in retail, is telling the customer the truth. I will NOT go to hell over a $5 sale, a $500 sale, a $5,000 sale, or a $5,000,000 sale. It’s not worth it and I have more integrity than that.
On the other side of that coin, I also don’t believe that employees should try and screw over the company they work for, whether it’s for $5, $500, $5,000, or $5,000,000. And that’s what I saw happening. So I said something.
I drafted and deleted that email 4 times before I could finally come up with a nice, professional, guided email that said what needed to be said. I walked away a few times to calm down because it upset me so much. I even showed it to a couple of trusted co-workers before I sent it to make sure I wasn’t coming off as super-bitch.
In the second “talking to” I was asked…
“How’s it going? How are things at home? Husband? Kids? Dogs?”
We had just helped my dog cross the bridge two months prior...I wasn’t completely over it, he was my soul-dog without a doubt...I had him tattoo’d on my forearm.
If you want to learn a little about me and why I'm here to help you...and to see my tattoo...check out my About page =)
My response, as I pulled up the sleeve of my sweater, “My dog is dead. Everything’s fine. What do you want.”
A little abrasive, I must admit, but this was my response to the tone that I’m referring to. Just because I’m emphatic about having a good, honest relationship between the company and the customer, doesn’t mean something’s wrong in my personal life. In fact, it’s work that was the problem.
Back to it (again)...
NOTHING IS WRONG AT HOME!
You want to shout it, I know...but you also want to continue getting a paycheck. So you’re torn, and you decide to keep it all in. (From my experience, this isn't advisable...unless you like having crippling anxiety and being on an endless concoction of medication)
We love our jobs, for some reason. I know...crazy concept, right??
Think about it...
MIND BLOWING...I KNOW!!! *sarcasm noted*
Because, more often than not, we’re typecast into the roll of an emotional employee and, because we’re a mom, we don’t get heard.
So, what’s my solution?
How do we get heard when we have that KILLER FUCKING IDEA that is going to improve...
Be a split personality. Wait...what???
Ok...so that’s the snarky way of saying it.
We need to take a step back from ourselves for a few minutes and, as hard as it might be, we need to remove our excitement.
We need to forget about how great this would be for the company, for us and our co-workers, for the customer, and quite literally look at it from the most boring and analytical point of view ever.
Let’s do a quick breakdown
A more detailed breakdown is available in the download I’ve linked to below
Here’s the link to the detailed process flow on what to do.
Save it to your phone, to your documents folder, as your screensaver, print it...whatever will suit you best. But seriously...keep it handy.
See, managers who appreciate enthusiasm, in my experience, are a rare breed.
If you have one, be grateful for that person.
If you have a manager who feels you’re “too emotional”, then you’re going to need this download.
My mistake (for you to learn from)
For my idea, I explained it and showed its function to so many people, with such excitement and gusto, that it basically backfired on me.
I was so persistent in pushing this idea on anyone who would listen, that I didn’t think through screen shots, a process flow, and a PowerPoint to make sure I had all management together when I presented.
I relied on casual conversations with people I thought I had a good business relationship with, and despite how “valued” I thought I was, those conversations didn’t mean squat-all to anyone but me.
We're going to put a pin in this and continue next week.
I hope you enjoyed this series so far, stay tuned for Part 3!
If we haven’t yet connected on the socials, head over and say hi!
Or...better yet...join my email list..because that’s where the behind the scenes stuff is shared...because that’s where you get special offers...and because that’s where you can reply to one of my emails and we can chat about whatever you want!
I look forward to sharing more with you next week!
And don’t forget...I’m always up for new topics to cover for the working mom community...so let me know what you want to read!
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.