Where’s your voice? I’m not talking about the one people say you should have or the voice that you think you should have. Where is YOUR voice? The voice that speaks with intention and makes things happen not just for your own life, but for the greater good of your family, friends, organization and those God has assigned to you. YOUR voice matters, and it needs to be heard, lady.
I understand that it can be difficult to find your voice and truly speak up for yourself and your truth. There’ve been so many times that I would question my input, regarding it as if it didn’t matter what I had to say. And I would stay silent. For so long I would wait for things to work out. I’d wait for others to see my worth in my organization, but that’s not how you conquer corporate America. That’s not the way you win the highest honor three times. The time to wait is over. I am no longer waiting for something to happen. I am making things happen. Period.
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead” James 2:14
Quarter two can be your best quarter yet, but you need intention and commitment to find your voice and speak life, affirm yourself, and work your faith with action.
“But Tamara, how can I find my voice?”
In a world that tries to dictate how you should handle yourself as a woman in corporate America, I understand that it can be difficult to assert your say in meetings, conversations, and other situations. But I’ve got three points that have helped me be successful in my 20+ years of experience in conquering corporate America, and I guarantee they will help you too.
1. A Time to Speak and A Time to Listen
As ironic as this may seem, finding your voice requires knowing when to be quiet and listen. Recognizing the importance of listening before you speak will greatly benefit you, lady. Here is the time to process the information and juxtapose it to your knowledge and experience. You are in the room for a reason. You are in the organization for a reason. Understanding what your role is in the objective of the conversation or meeting is key. Are you there to consult, share your knowledge, give your opinion, or are you there to simply digest information?
I understand, mastering this skill can be difficult. But when you listen you give yourself time to gather data and time to gather your thoughts. Taking a moment to allow others to have the space to speak, puts you in a position to determine when the right time is to jump in, add value and leave a lasting impact.
2. A Time to Build and A Time to Tear Down
Sometimes, you will look around and see that you are the only woman in the room. PERFECT! Please know, your voice matters and your input is valuable, even if sometimes that means going against the grain. It can be easy to think that we could offend someone with a differing opinion. You might’ve felt that you had to apologize for speaking up against something or seeing something from a different perspective than your colleagues. No apologies are necessary… That’s EXACTLY why you’re there!
As you build up your confidence level with the data given, commingled with your knowledge and subject matter expertise, it’s time to point out pain points or discrepancies that perhaps others don’t see. It may take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s here that your colleagues feel the impact you bring to the table.
3. A Time to Embrace and A Time to Refrain
Remember this: influence isn’t about how you feel when you walk in the room, or how you feel when you add your input. Influence is about how others feel when you walk out of the room after you've voiced your say. Embrace your organic and true self and refrain from the lies that everything you say or do has to be perfect to move forward. By connecting with your audience in a real and authentic way, while confident in your stance, will have them trusting your contribution.
Again, speaking your truth and amplifying your voice doesn’t mean it won’t come without challenges. It’s not going to be easy, lady. I used to be so caught up in waiting: for someone to tag me in, to recognize me, to acknowledge and promote me, to affirm me, validate me, and give me permission to be great. NO MORE! And now, it’s time for you to step out and stop waiting too. It’s time for you to step up into what God has called you to do and become the woman He has destined you to be.
Remember, you have to speak life. You have to speak affirmations of what you are capable of. With that, I would love it if you would join me on April 23rd, 2021 for my “I’m Speaking” event where I will dig a little deeper into my story, my successes and failures. I will also share how I found my voice and how you can find yours as well. Click on the link here to get your ticket for the event. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.