My last blog talked about how we take a back seat to more dominant personalities at work and even in our personal lives. I heard from many people telling me that the message resonated with them.

Some of you went ahead and did the exercise from my last blog:

Were there common themes in the types of situations, how you felt or the messages you told yourself?

The most common theme I hear is “I get interrupted or no one really listens to me”, along with feelings of inadequacy.

So, what do you do? I always recommend, that before you blame others, you:

Look in the Mirror First

What do you see? How do you present yourself? Here is a quick checklist:

o I make eye contact with others
o I have good posture
o I have a clear and strong voice
o I am able to effectively express myself in a succinct way
o I demonstrate emotional control
o I dress professionally
o I act confident
o I believe in my message

All of those items on the list are important if you want to have a presence where others will pay attention.

Another approach is learning how to make impactful statements that add value.

Ask yourself – what would add value to my listeners?

o What are they trying to achieve?
o What’s important to them?
o What would prevent them from achieving their goals?

Based on the answers to those questions, you can form your statements. Ideally, if your statements are presented from your listeners’ perspective, versus your own, you will gain their attention.

For example:

I understand this team is trying to complete this project by the end of the month and that there are limited resources available to help. I would like to share some thoughts on how we can accomplish that and would welcome your comments.


I’m wondering if X idea could help in a situation like this. What do you think?

Those are two initial approaches for you to consider:

  • Look in the mirror first
  • Present your ideas from your listener’s perspective

Don’t let others define you. You have something important to say. Let’s continue to focus on your presence so that others will listen.

Often, my readers share what happened when they try these approaches. Please feel free to let me know how they worked for you. You never know – your approach can inspire another person! I can be reached at