I was really shy as a kid, I didn’t speak up, challenge, or question much. As an adult, in almost every job I’ve had, I’ve received feedback around confidence, and again, being “too quiet”. ‘Needs to speak up more in meetings’ was a common one until a few years ago. To add to this, I’ve had a number of experiences during my career that made me even less likely to say something when it was needed.
So, as a tester in an agile team, how do I do a job where it’s necessary for me to overcome this and speak up, ask questions, challenge people, tell people news they might not want to hear? Well, with great difficulty, that’s how. But I’ve recognised it, owned it, worked on it, argued with it, got angry with it and well, got a bit better at it. I’m now in a role where not only do I need to speak up for myself, but encourage others to as well, and ensure they feel safe to do so.
I’ll talk about some things I’ve done to try to break down those internal barriers which caused me to stay silent, and build my confidence to help me be myself and, speak up. I’ll look at what I learned from my experiences, and what you and your leaders can do to empower yourselves and make everyone’s voice can be heard.