How to contribute more to group conversations
How to contribute more to group conversations
I have received feedback multiple times from teammates, that I am usually very quiet in pajas. And that they would like to hear me speak more because they say that I have shown to have great ideas and good contributions to group discussions.
Being too quiet in a conversation one on one usually doesn’t work because one person alone can’t hold a conversation. But in group discussions, you have the choice of laying back and letting everybody else talk. However, if you are too quiet, you may be seen as a quiet person. Being quiet isn’t bad. Many social circles have quit people that everybody likes just fine, the problem comes when you have things to say but you feel inhibited.
How to start contributing more
The first thing to do if you want to start participating more in a group discussion as in a paja is to give permission to yourself to be quiet. If you put too much pressure on yourself to speak and then you don’t do it, you will get more and more self-conscious making the problem bigger and harder for you to speak up.
Tactic to speak more
Be one of the first´s to speak. According to Kirstii Hedges author of “ The power of presence “ the vibe of the meeting/paja is established in the first few minutes, and by speaking you are establishing yourself as an active participant. ( Mind tools content team)
A tactic that I have used in pajas is telling myself that I will try to say something every half an hour, because when you say something, you get more comfortable to speak, so even if you say a small thing it helps. But without too much pressure, because there are topics that I feel that I can add to more than others. But even if I am not speaking, I try to make my body language show that I am tunned into the conversation by per example leaning in. looking into the speaker, nodding, and having an interested expression on my face. Instead of being mentally checked out in my own world or looking bored.
The first set of behaviors sends the message that even if I am not talking much right now, I am a part of the conversation, even though I am not saying that much people will less likely consider me quiet. The other set of non-verbal cues says that I don’t care about the conversation even if I do. Also, if you make an effort to being concentrated in the conversation, you will have less mental energy to worry about being too quiet, and you will also be able to spot better moments where you can contribute to the conversation (MacLeod MSW)
A great way of participating in a group discussion is by asking questions. You do not need to always bring information to the discussion, you can help other people bring information and, in that way, you are helping the group.
If you have something to say don’t use the same politeness that you use in one on one conversations, because if you wait some seconds to add something to the conversation, someone will already be talking. This doesn’t mean talking over other people, but it means feeling free to talk when the other person has finished their point.
Trust your instinct. A lot of times quiet people tend to overthink what they are going to say and when they think that they are ready to say it the “perfect” moment has already passed. Also, you shouldn’t wait for the “perfect” moment, you should have self-confidence so that you have the confidence to speak out was in your mind without having to overthink it.
Depending on the meeting/paja you can prepare what you want to say or ask beforehand. That gives you time to prepare as much as you want the viewpoints that you have to present. So you will be more confident when talking in front of the whole team. A very big part of starting to talk more is to try, when you try even if you say something that isn’t so related to the topic or something wrong, you are getting used to talk in front of the whole team. As almost everything in life, you learn by trying, failing, reflecting and trying again.
I have been trying to contribute more to the group discussions and these tactics have helped me and I feel that I have been speaking each time a little more. But it is very important to keep in your mind that Is ok to be quieter and to not put too much pressure on yourself. Because there are just people who do not speak as much as others.
(MacLeod MSW, Succeed Socially) read 22.03.2022 How To Be Less Quiet And Contribute To Group Conversations | www.succeedsocially.com
( Mind tools content team, Mindtools) read 22.03.2022 How to Get Your Voice Heard in Meetings – From MindTools.com