Is your shyness causing your trouble at work and limiting your potential?
Do you hate the thought of presenting or speaking in front of other people at work?
Do you have trouble introducing yourself to co-workers or carrying on a conversation with people you don’t know?
With the rise of email, online shopping, chat rooms, ATMs for banking and other devices that prevent or inhibit direct contact with other humans, it has become easier for people to hide their shyness and get by in certain situations.
But at the end of the day, job interviews are still done face to face and when the big work presentation arrives, you will be doing it in front of real live people, not through an instant messaging session!
It might be getting easier for you to hide your shyness but the problem won’t be eliminated.
I find that I’m the type of person who is situational when it comes to shyness. I have no problem presenting or speaking in front of a group of people but if I’m at a party with people I don’t know, I’m likely to be hanging around the food table eating while others talk amongst themselves.
For me, it really depends on the situation.
What I’ve found though, is that the more I try to speak and interact with others, the more comfortable I get and the less likely I am to fear it the next time.
Here are some tactics to help deal with your shyness that might help you both personally and professionally:
- 1. Practice makes perfect, Look for ways to practice speaking in front of other people in every day situations. During meetings, try to speak at least once and more if you feel comfortable. Ideally you won’t just speak for the sake of speaking but verbally contributing during meetings can help build up your confidence quickly.
2. Talk about things you like and feel comfortable with. Look for opportunities to meet people and speak with them about things you like and are confident discussing. The more knowledgeable you are on a subject, the more confident you’ll be talking at length about it.
3. Get to know your work colleagues outside work. If your company has after work get togethers from time to time, try to attend them so that you can get to know the people you work with personally. The more you know them, the less likely you’ll be afraid to present or speak in front of them in a professional setting.
4. Consider joining a public speaking organization. Join a Toastmasters club (this is a worldwide organization that helps people improve their communication skills). Join a poetry-reading club. If you are an avid reader, join a club that discusses books. Again, try to look for things you feel comfortable doing and look for ways to discuss it verbally in front of others in a non-threatening environment. Non-work related communications can help improve your all around communication skills and can extend into your work life.
5. Consider taking a class or course on the subject. If you are mainly uncomfortable speaking in front of people (ie. doing presentations), sign up for an adult education course on public speaking. If you are uncomfortable speaking with people you don’t know, look for a training class on how to meet people or how to become a better conversationalist.
6. Try new things. If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same result. Volunteer to present or speak in front of others. The next time you walk into an elevator and someone is there, say hi to them instead of ignoring them. Stop thinking of the worst-case scenario when you have to speak publicly and think of something positive instead.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.
Visit Carl's website to separate yourself from other job searchers: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
Sign up for The Effective Career Planner, Carl’s free 5-day course: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com/effective-career-planner.html
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