Do you ever find yourself sitting in a meeting, which might currently be using Zoom, and not speaking out? Maybe you turn your camera off and disengage or in the day of face-to-face meetings listen too much to your inner critic?

In the early days of working as a management consultant I can remember sitting around board tables and feeling like I wanted to contribute but felt stuck to do so. I ended up not contributing or if I did, not in the most effective way.

I was internalizing what was being said and having my own conversation. I doubted what I thought and then analysed in my head what I thought others might think of it. By the time I braved up to speak the conversation had moved on!

So what can help if this happens to you?

  • Firstly, let yourself know that it’s not about you. This takes your attention off yourself to notice those in the room.
  • Notice any internal dialogue and say ‘this is getting in the way of me listening’.
  • Acknowledge that you might be attaching what you say to how good a consultant you are
  • Know that trying to mind read is a waste of time. We can never know what someone else thinks.
  • Intervene in a way that connects with what others are saying.