According to a 2019 Academy of Management Journal study, employees can experience the “bystander effect” by remaining silent when it comes to sharing their thoughts and opinions. Part of habit building when it comes to communication is taking small steps and building your way up. You don’t have to divulge all at once. Find small ways to contribute to the conversation on your terms.

Reflect on how to start small, build up

Learning how to start small, build up in team discussions is fundamental in developing and honing your communication skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.

How often do you share your thoughts in a meeting?

Exercises to help you start small, build up

Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your communication skills can allow you to start small, build up in team discussions.

  • Ask questions if you don’t feel comfortable with sharing your input. Consider asking open-ended questions like, “Can you go back to slide 2 and elaborate more on this part?”
  • Avoid giving blanket and generic compliments to your team members. Instead, pinpoint specific details of their project or task that stood out to you the most.
  • Sit near the center of the table during your team meetings. If sitting directly in the middle is a big leap, find a comfortable spot and overtime start inching towards the center.

Additional resources to help you start small, build up

3 Ways To Respond When Someone Asks For Your Input On The Spot
You weren’t expecting to have to contribute, but suddenly all eyes are on you. Here’s what to do.
5 Simple Ways To Better Communicate With Your Team While Working Remotely
Professionals are finding it harder to collaborate and taking longer to complete work assignments while working from home.
Make Your Meetings a Safe Space for Honest Conversation
More freedom leads to more candor.

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