Speaking up: Do you press your mute button at work?


Are you strong and confident inside your own home but lose your voice in the workplace?  Are you afraid of speaking up?  Here  are five top tips to getting back on track.

If things go a little off track at home are you one of the first to notice and make no bones about pulling it back in line?When the kids roll their eyes in a serious ‘whatever’ fashion – bring it on Mary Poppins. Your partner looks at the washing machine as if it’s a UFO – the operating manual is handed over with a wink.

Strong, confident and definitely directing unwanted behaviour with panache. But what happens when you are outside the safety of your homely four walls? When relations at work show the rumblings of future storms do you take it on the chin in the name of keeping the peace?

Truthfully, how often do you use the savvy you employ at home at work?

Enter stage left the need to be liked. At home you are confident that you’re loved and this lets you show your true colours. You use that powerful voice that fits with your values and beliefs – you know the one? The one that gets things done. At work however, the need to be liked, to fit in, to be part of the crowd clouds judgment. It stops you being a serious contender and contributing effectively.

So what to do about it?

Firstly the need is normal. If we look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it is right up there as a core need. We need to be loved and have a sense of belonging. To be part of a group and be accepted. This links closely to esteem needs – to have the esteem and respect of others.

But is that need dominating your repertoire? Is your full range of skills being showcased at work?

Building rapport is invaluable at work as long as it is in context. Let’s face it, who wants to work with that person – the one that doesn’t give a monkeys about others. But has your need “t’be lurrved” left you lurking in the shadows of the office corridors and paralysed innovative performance and true leadership?

On a scale of socially helpful to mildly limiting to crippling for career development, where do you fall? If you are at the latter end it leaves you very vulnerable to rejection, criticism, fear of angering others or hostility.

McClelland’s need-based motivational model can help us out here.  When we have a need for affiliation we are motivated towards friendly relationships. Put simply we need to be liked and be in popular regard. It makes us great team players – but what if you want to lead the team?

Five top tips to getting back on track

1. Re-examine your beliefs about yourself – are they empowering?.
You want your beliefs to guide you to achieve more. Take a good look at yourself and all the things you are fab at. I bet you are amazing. Know that. Be comfortable with what you are. Forget what you are not. No-one is all things. If you hold the belief that you are likeable then when you are not feeling the lurvving that’s ok. We all value and like different things about people. You don’t immediately want to be best mates with everyone you meet and that is normal. So get comfortable not being everyone else’s best pal.

2. Set goals

Set yourself targets that you consider important to you personally and to your career. Keep it real and note your progress towards them. A great way to see how far you have moved towards a goal is to plot the goal and sub goals pictorially as each step being a rung on the ladder until you reach your goal.

3. Focus on completing task

Be a person who looks to completing tasks. There is no greater satisfaction – I might be exaggerating a little – than completing what you set out to do. It moves you away from needing praise to giving yourself a hearty pat on the back.

4. View feedback as a measure of success

Look at feedback in terms of a scale of what was done well and where you need to adjust behaviour or add to your skill set. Change the frame of looking for praise or recognition to something that you can learn and grow from.

5. Internally validate

Make the time to note how well you have done. Give yourself consistent career appraisals. Give yourself some recognition.

And finally…

In simple terms change your focus from affiliation to achievement.

You can be liked at work and that is a good thing – but what do you want to be liked for? When you feel the urge to hit your mute button at work – how about turning down your need to be liked instead? I think you’ll find it liberating!

Author: Lucinda Harlow –  orginally a guest post for 3Plus International www.3plusinternational.com

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog



  1. 183249 445924Id ought to verify with you here. Which isnt something I often do! I take pleasure in reading a post that might make men and women believe. Moreover, thanks for allowing me to comment! 978064

  2. 416517 754021Excellent paintings! This is the kind of info that need to be shared about the web. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this publish upper! Come on more than and speak more than with my website . Thanks =) 623239

  3. 555656 599962Generally the New york Weight Loss diet is surely less expensive and flexible staying on your diet scheme intended for measures nevertheless rapidly then duty maintain a nutritious day-to-day life. weight loss 460809

  4. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to find any person with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is something that is needed on the internet, somebody with slightly originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  5. One more thing. I believe that there are several travel insurance internet sites of dependable companies that permit you to enter your holiday details to get you the insurance quotes. You can also purchase the actual international travel cover policy on internet by using your credit card. All that you should do is to enter the travel particulars and you can see the plans side-by-side. Just find the system that suits your allowance and needs after which it use your bank credit card to buy that. Travel insurance on the web is a good way to do investigation for a reputable company pertaining to international travel insurance. Thanks for revealing your ideas.

  6. Thanks for helping me to achieve new suggestions about pcs. I also hold the belief that one of the best ways to keep your mobile computer in primary condition is with a hard plastic-type case, as well as shell, that suits over the top of the computer. These kinds of protective gear will be model targeted since they are made to fit perfectly across the natural outer shell. You can buy them directly from owner, or through third party places if they are intended for your laptop computer, however don’t assume all laptop can have a covering on the market. All over again, thanks for your recommendations.

  7. 82867 940636When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with exactly the same comment. Is there any manner you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks! 290966

  8. 208910 561266Have you noticed the news has changed its approach recently? What used to neve be brought up or discussed has changed. Its that time to chagnge our stance on this though. 235324


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here