Pick Me! Pick Me!

group of happy multiracial friends raising hands and smiling


Do you tend to raise your hand whether you are called on or not? Do you love jumping up to take on a new challenge? Does your enthusiasm seep into conversations, because you have so much to say?

In our last blog, we talked about those who tend not to raise their hands: the people who need to be called on to share their thoughts. Some of you responded that the blog spoke to you. Some of you at the opposite end of the spectrum raised your hands to say you were hand raisers. Today, let’s talk about you.

First, congratulations to all of you hand raisers. The world needs you to keep things moving. Your voice, like all voices, is important. However, just as in the case of the non-hand raisers, you may be missing out and creating situations where others are missing out on the value you can bring.

What do I mean by that? You may be thinking, “If I tend to tell people what I think, share my ideas, and volunteer for positions, how can others miss hearing my voice?” Here’s how:

  • Burnout. Often volunteering for too many things leads to not having enough time to accomplish things well. People who are over extended may peter out and stop showing up. Or it becomes hard to be present, because there are so many more things to accomplish. Others miss out on the value you can really bring because you are only half committed.
  • People stop listening. If one person is constantly speaking and giving their opinion, others stop listening. When people stop listening, they make assumptions about the messages. They may miss the substance of what is being said.
  • Others stifle their own ideas. The non-hand raisers in particular hold their ideas closer and often refrain from speaking up. There may be no space for them to insert an idea. The hand raisers miss the benefits of other points of view. Ultimately, it is counter to innovation, because an echo chamber is created. Only one source of opinion is heard.
  • You may not be saying what you think you are saying. Many people think out loud. This is a trait of extroverts. Extroverts problem solve while they are talking. As a result, those listening may check out and not stick with the thought process through to the end. So, the final resolution is lost.

What is the solution for hand raiser to make a bigger, better impact on the world? Here are some thoughts:

  • Continue to volunteer. Whether you raise your hand for a position or to add to a discussion, keep doing that and be more mindful of how you do it and when.
  • Pause. Take a step back to consider the situation before you jump up and raise your hand. If you are considering taking on a new project or new job, sit down with a notebook and write down the pros and cons. Why are you volunteering? How does it impact your goals for the year? How much time will it take, and do you have empty spaces in your calendar that you can give up?
  • Pause 2.0. If you are in a conversation and want to share your thoughts on a subject, pause before speaking. Write down your thoughts if you are in a meeting. This pause gives you time to think the subject through and finesse your idea. The end result will be a more succinct idea and a higher likelihood that others will listen.
  • Listen more than you talk. I know this can be difficult when you have so many ideas and so much to say. The more you listen the more you will realize the value of the amazing thoughts of other people – especially those non-hand raisers. Often, this group of people think deeply before they speak. They bring new life to problem-solving and share imaginative resolutions.

Remember, every voice is important. Use your voice. It’s your power. And, make space to hear the voices of others, too. There is greater power in diversity.

For more information contact Mary Balistreri, The Mindful Business Coach at mary@mbtmorebusinesstodayllc.com

Published by Mary Balistreri

Mary Balistreri offers a variety of coaching and professional development services to individuals and organizations focused on harnessing strengths to develop more business. Mary’s approach is goal driven, focusing on measurable results and developing actionable plans to move past obstacles that hold individuals, teams, and organizations back from executing on the plan. Mary offers expertise in business development, team building, and leadership development coupled with strategies to improve conversational and emotional intelligence to support clients moving toward their goals and aspirations.

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