Anyone who spends as much time as I do on conference calls knows the business world needs good listeners. But women often build that skill at the expense of speaking up. I’ve been guilty of this. I used to tell myself, “I already know what I think. I want to hear what others are thinking,” or, “I’ll do the group a favor and be quiet so we can wrap this meeting sooner.” But speaking up in meetings isn’t just about adding a new perspective. It’s about letting the group know that I add value. And so now I approach every business interaction with the intent of demonstrating my worth.
In one of her Harvard Business Review blogs, Johnson once wrote, “Unless women speak up — and I don’t mean just talk, but get fluent in and remain fluent in a domain of expertise, whether finance, technology, science, fashion, construction, law — the whole idea that women can bring something extra to the table and be game changers won’t happen.” So true.
Read more from Johnson here on how to keep listening, but start talking.