{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I feel like because I’m quiet, people forget about me. I get hardly any work and get called out in calls for not talking. It’s quite frustrating. Plus because I’m quiet, my manager told me that one of my goals should be to be more vocal, then I can get promoted 🥺", "post_id": "602a517a1f6f96002296d912", "reply_count": 22, "vote_count": 22, "bowl_id": "5976222cab932800101a9ca4", "bowl_name": "Women in Advertising", "feed_type": "bowl" }

I feel like because I’m quiet, people forget about me. I get hardly any work and get called out in calls for not talking. It’s quite frustrating. Plus because I’m quiet, my manager told me that one of my goals should be to be more vocal, then I can get promoted 🥺

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I’m sorry this is happening to you. I’m also a very quiet person and tend to be more of a listener. Over the years I’ve had to learn ways to appear to be more vocal. When in doubt, ask questions. Sometimes I don’t really have an opinion on what we’re talking about yet because I need to spend more time with the information. So I will ask questions, big or small, to get more information and be apart of the conversation. I hope this helps.

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ACD 1 has a bang on response. I don’t think that you at all need to change your personality but you need to adjust your approach. It’s true that, esp in our industry that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Because it’s probably a natural tendency for you to sit and think and reflect on the information, you probably aren’t ready to say anything but people want to know you’re interested. Sometimes that interest looks like asking questions, repeating back information, anything that is participation.

Assuming that the next promotion is not just about money but a higher level of seniority, there’s an certain expectation of leadership so I see her side from it. Look in a perfect world, she would also be more proactive and maybe bring you into meetings better. Unfortunately, it’s often easier to give advice where you have to adjust than them finding different ways to support you.

Some recommendations:
- Ask more questions. Simple open-facing ones that maybe you are actually thinking but never say outloud.
- If you don’t know any questions, try reaffirming your role in these meetings. Literally sounds great I’ll do Y by getting started on X. Yes it feels unnecessary but it’s also participation.
- Try this with your friends. Other conversations with less pressure. Once you’ll get the hang of it, it’ll be a lot easier. Honestly people just want to hear themselves talk lol, you’re just guiding.
- If the criticism is you’re not vocal, that’s a lot easier of a problem than your work isn’t up to par. Don’t think about it as changing you. You’re adjusting one element of the way you work. If something was working for you in design, you‘d change right? Even if you always use certain colors. Think of it like an experiment. Disconnect yourself from the role and self consciousness. It’s a mindset piece.

likehelpfulsmart

Is it that you don’t have an opinion or because you have difficulty sharing it? As creatives, our currency is our ability to demonstrate, defend, educate and discuss our creative decisions. When I started my career, I had difficulty articulating my thoughts on demand. The “team sport” aspect of the job was intimidating. So I would write out what I wanted to say and I’d practice. I just took presentation seriously, like a required skill. And I got better at it over time. And it did lead to promotions. People want to trust you have conviction over your creative choices. You just have to find your way of communicating them.

likehelpfulsmart

As creatives, our currency is our ability to have original ideas.

If you’re in an agency where you have to defend your ideas and educate the people you work with you’re in trouble.

I struggled with this for years early on in my career. I’m an introvert and now am quite vocal. But I find that speaking up and presenting have me far more stressed than some of my extroverted counterparts. That “quiet and timid” version of me had to evolve my approach to get heard, be seen and get promoted. And changing my approach definitely changed me eventually but for the better. At first I had nothing to say bc I felt others said it better or someone had it covered. But there was some info that I uniquely had that I didn’t share bc I didn’t know the relevance or significance. After speaking up more to either agree with a said POV or doing set up’s to my or others’ work or even closing statements (both which I had to type out to prepare bc I don’t do well on the spot like most), I became more confident and then just started getting more comfortable speaking up. I know so many smart introverted leaders... they don’t speak the most, but when they do I find they have the most well thought out ideas or questions. I’ve also looked online a lot at articles about introverted people and leaders. Our team even took an introvert/extrovert quiz and shared results and they were not only fascinating but I learned a lot about the individuals on the team. And with that information I’m more careful about what we put into their evaluations. No one should fit a mold, but people do want to understand how we all think, our take on issues, and ideas. That’s the value we bring ultimately. I spent many years wondering how I could escape that and take on more of a behind the scenes job, but over time, by evolving my approach, I found my unique voice within my own comfort level. I hope you find your way of sharing. Feel free to DM me if u wanna chat

likehelpful

This is so helpful, thank you!

I also just want to throw out there that being “quiet” isn’t necessarily about introversion or extroversion. Speaking up in groups is a skill that can be learned and practiced... some learn it early in life and get good at it through doing it a lot, and some don’t learn it until later. I would encourage OP and others who have received this feedback not to see it as a dig on their personality.

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If you’re naturally an introvert it’s unreasonable and unintelligent for your manager to hold a promotion hostage until you change how you truly are. Perhaps they’d like you to speak up more but your post sounds more like a demand than a suggestion. Dust off your cv and start looking at other places - remember great employees don’t leave bad companies, they leave poor management.

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Yes ED. I am a classic introvert so I empathise with OP but this is a reasonable manager expectation to progress to the next level. Advertising is a team sport and the whole teams needs to contribute.

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Op, can you communicate in other ways? I’m also very quiet and have a hard time providing “on demand” thoughts. Like have more 1 on 1’s, pre-meeting brainstorming or write out your thoughts?

Otherwise I like some other suggestions in this thread. Asking questions, in a “thinking out loud” way or just say things like “I hear you and right now I’m thinking...” Or just simply saying you need more time when you can’t find more to say.

likehelpful

Being called out for being quiet is the worst!

I do agree with the suggestions above, though. I’m an introvert and get shy in unfamiliar groups (remember introversion and shyness aren’t the same thing!).

My strategy is to make individual connections. I’ll reach out to one person on my team with a question about a task, a reaction to something from a meeting, etc. via chat. I can be myself more easily on chat, so I might also show my funny/silly side as I slowly establish a connection.

I find that if I do this with even a couple people, people start mentioning and including me more in meetings. I start to feel like I’m among people I “know” and feel more comfortable speaking up.

The other plus to 1:1 connections is people might stop caring if you’re quiet on a call, because you’re communicating with them in other ways. They might also think of you more when they have work to send.

And if you’re put on the spot on a call: yes, practice getting better at having things to say, but also get comfortable with “I’m still processing/thinking about this. Let me get back to you later with some thoughts.”

likehelpful

You should read “Quiet” by Susan Cain. It has helped me so much as an introverted woman to understand my strengths and how to utilize them at work.

likehelpful

Been there, done that, and I've experienced all of the harsh reality that comes with not being the squeaky wheel. All I can say, is that when you are in the right place, you won't stress about it.

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This coming from a person who’s first lnguage isn’t English, but here are my 2 cents: There’s nothing wrong with being quiet. With that being said, though, communication is a very critical skill that can be polished and improved overtime. Perhaps the quietness makes it hard for them to read where your mind is at, and they’re interested to know more of where your thoughts are.

Find approaches that work for you, push yourself a little, baby steps. I think it’s a matter of practice and finding what works for you and your own verbal style. Don’t beat yourself over it too much with expectations of overnight improvement, these things take time :)

I get excruciatingly nervous when I have to present, for example, so I practice 20 times as hard as someone probably does. I’ve gotten a little better overtime. I also like to break the tension with small jokes if it’s a more casual conversation. I find that trying to use complex terms usually backfires for me as well, so I try keep it simple.

I’m better at writing than I am on conversations, so I complement things with an email or a note here and there.

As long as I communicate the message effectively, I try not to be too self conscious and continue pushing the work. PS: lean on your copywriter friends every now and then, nothing wrong with that!

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Most of the things people say in meetings is a waste of time. They just like to hear themselves talk.

Make a commitment to yourself to say one thing in each meeting. Prepare a couple of options depending on how the meeting develops. People respect the person who says less but somehow they don’t trust the person who says nothing. People are basically insecure about themselves so when you don’t say anything in a meeting they assume you figured out that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

Now that you know what really going on you can decide who you want to be. Whatever you decide will be the right decision.

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Gosh I am exactly you. Been in this business for a while but the quiet label has held me back from promotions. But I am only now accepting that I have to work a lil harder than everyone else to prep for meetings and presentations to make sure I come with a POV. 😪

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One of the techniques I coach my introverted clients is to control your narrative. You have created this narrative that you are quiet. Stop saying that. Instead say, “ I’m an internal processor and thinker. My natural ability is to gain as many data points as possible to drive for actionable solutions. This means I’m not an out loud thinker and when I do speak, I speak for maximum impact”. Tell your manager, “instead of singing me for the way I think and process, ask me questions”. Now if you are uncomfortable answering questions on the spot, share your initial thoughts using the following,” I would like more time to process your question, but my first thought is (XYZ, Yes or No with initial rationale).”

likehelpful

Try to view what you have as an advantage, not a disadvantage. The people with the most power are often the ones who don’t say shit. Yes, there are a lot of people in middle-management who talk their heads off but the real people at the top usually have a more reserved energy. If you don’t speak a lot when you finally *do* speak people will actually listen. I would focus on managing up and building relationships versus talking more in groups. People, not meetings, are what get you promoted.

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I am sensing you are quite because you agree with what is being said. It is okay to share when you agree with ideas shared in the room providing you give a reason for supporting the idea...and very often as you agree you will come up with an additional supporting reason due to your own experience.

All that’s been said 👏 If you want to explore the history and psychology of it, I recommend reading Quiet by Susan Cain. As an extroverted introvert, and big academic nerd, I liked going deeper into it.

Maybe they’re equating quiet with a lack of interest.

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