“I’m scared to speak up in meetings because I don’t want to sound stupid.”
I hear that a lot from clients when they tell me why they don’t participate enough in meetings, especially with senior executives. My response is always the same.
“Are you stupid?”
“Ok, so what’s the problem then?”
I’m considered a pretty smart person and I have been known to say dumb things, occasionally.
Does that make me stupid? No. Does that make others think I’m stupid? Probably not.
Why? Because it’s one out of 1000 “smart” things I’ve said. The jury is already in. (Plus, there’s a really good chance nobody was even listening.)
For those of you who relate to the above statement, if you’re not stupid but you SAY you are scared of “sounding stupid” what do you really mean?
What’s the real fear holding you back?