A study by Virginia Tech Carilion found that people who get quiet in conversations with others they feel are smarter suffer from “expression of IQ.”
In these moments, we not only clam-up, we also temporarily lose our problem-solving ability. So, in an effort to avoid looking stupid, we opt to say nothing at all as opposed to risk saying something dumb.
Makes sense, but it can also hurt your career.
You Must Show Your Expertise – People Can’t Read Your Mind!
In today’s insanely competitive workplace, we all know the only way to earn respect is to be seen as a subject-mater expert.
Those who regularly prove their value and worth by showcasing extensive knowledge and talents that positively impact the business are the ones that keep their jobs and get promotions.
So, while you may think you are saving yourself from looking stupid by not talking, you are also positioning yourself as someone who is not confident in themselves or their abilities.
And that is no way to build your professional reputation!
Get Over Your Fear Of Communicating By Expecting Dumb Moments
The only way to work through this is to muster up the courage to push past these freeze moments and get comfortable with speaking your mind.
Yes, you will most likely make a mistake or two – but that’s exactly how we learn.
So, the sooner you get talking, the better you’ll get at presenting your ideas and expertise.
We’ve All Had Our Moments – What Was Your Best?
I remember when I was 28 and started working at a large company. The senior managers were really professional. I’m talking hard-core, type-As and very competitive. In my first meeting with the Senior Vice President, I thought I’d make a name for myself by speaking up and providing a suggestion.
Duh, not my best move.
I proposed a solution that had been tried and failed miserable just prior to my arrival.
Had I done a little homework, I would have learned that this Senior Vice President had been personally opposed from the start of the idea but had been convinced to try it and was now very bitter that it failed on her watch and against her better judgement.
I spent the next six months trying to prove to her I wasn’t an idiot.
I learned the hard way – do your homework before you suggest anything to an executive!
Tell Us About Your Dumbest Career Moment!
What did you learn? Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? So, share with us your communication faux-pas and how it made your career better today in the comments below.
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