亲爱的Q.M.：乔尔•加芬克尔说过：“员工平均每周将大约三分之一的工作时间用于开会，所以要想让自己的专业知识为人所知，会议是最好的时机。”加芬克尔是一名高管导师，曾指导过数十名像你一样不愿分享自己想法的管理者，他们来自谷歌（Google）、苹果（Apple）、甲骨文（Oracle）、微软（Microsoft）和许多其他公司。此外，加芬克尔还写过一本非常实用的书，或许会对你有所帮助，书名叫《领先之道：三步提升职业发展》（Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level）。
Dear Annie: A friend sent me a recent Fortune article about how women need to learn to "conquer confidence killers" in order to be more visible at work. I can really identify with that, even though I'm a guy, because I have always been too self-conscious to speak up and express my ideas. (Even as a student, I never raised my hand in class.)
The reason I'm writing to you is that just this morning, for the thousandth time, I was in a meeting where I thought I had a great solution to a complicated problem my team is facing, and I was right. How do I know? Because I didn't say a word, but the guy sitting next to me suggested the same thing I was thinking -- and, as a result, got put in charge of a project I'd love to have been assigned. It's clear that, if I'm ever going to get anywhere at this company, I have to start talking more, but how? Do you or your readers have any practical suggestions? -- Quiet Man
Dear Q.M.: "The average employee spends about one-third of his or her work week in meetings, so they're the best opportunity you have to make your expertise known," notes Joel Garfinkle, an executive coach who has worked with dozens of managers who, like you, were reluctant to share their ideas at Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), and many other companies. Garfinkle also wrote a terrifically practical book you might want to check out, Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.
People hesitate to speak up for all kinds of reasons, he observes, ranging from simple shyness, to perfectionism (wanting to have all the details nailed down before saying anything), to fear of confrontation (the belief that disagreeing, especially with a boss, is too risky). But, whatever is holding you back, Garfinkle offers these seven suggestions:
1. Don't underestimate the value of your ideas. As you noticed (again) in that meeting where the other guy got the plum assignment, you do have a lot to contribute. So, before your next meeting, give yourself a little pep talk. "Remind yourself of your capability and knowledge," says Garfinkle. "Others believed in you enough to help you reach your current level. Now it's your turn to believe in yourself."
2. Be among the first to speak. "Look for opportunities in each meeting to make your presence known early on, ideally in the first 10 minutes," Garfinkle suggests -- even if your remarks are just agreeing with, or adding a bit more information to, what someone else has said. Why? "The sooner you contribute, the less time you have to generate self-doubt," he says. "When you delay saying anything, it gets harder to break into the discussion."