Posted by: healingtheworkplace | December 9, 2011

Finding Your Voice At Work

Hello! Last month I wrote about the impact of stress on heart disease. Today I’m going to start this post by mentioning an article that was written by Sharon Begley of the Globe and Mail.

On November 25, 2011 Sharon wrote about the link between increased dementia and stress in middle age.  Begley quoted a study conducted in Sweden that followed 1,400 women over 35 years.

If you are not middle aged yet (lucky you) this can be a heads up for you. The bottom line…stress is not good for you and if you are finding that work is causing you stress you need to do something about it.

One way to do this is by ‘finding your voice’ and speaking up in the workplace. Not easy to do but necessary if you want to have a positive impact on your workplace for yourself and for others. And if you want to reduce your stress!

Finding your voice is a key leadership skill identified by authors James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book The Leadership Challenge.

Finding your voice can be a challenge especially if you are an introvert (more about this in another post) or if you lack confidence. This also links to the last post I wrote about power and influence.

In that post I mentioned the seven sources of power.  Of the seven, connection, information, expert, and referent are all sources of personal power which give you the capacity to influence the behavior of others.

Having this capacity means that when you speak…others listen! This links nicely to Kouzes and Posners First Law of Leadership, “If you don’t believe the messenger, you won’t believe the message.”

So, how do we speak up confidently and with power?

The secret is to be clear about what you believe in and what is important to you. In other words you need to be clear about your values!

There are a lot of different ways of identifying/clarifying your values. Email me and I’ll send you one of the exercises I use in my leadership course.



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