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YWLC Breakfast Club: Owning Your Voice - On Courage and Speaking Up (Recap)

Breakfast Club is a new initiative from the Leadership Development subcommittee, where

participants can glean insights from accomplished females leaders about their careers and

leadership journeys, while fostering genuine connections through authentic & raw group

conversations held over the breakfast table.

In our first iteration, we tackled the topic of "Owning Your Voice". Women need to be able to

speak up boldly and freely, and be able to make their perspectives and ideas known in the

workplace. We had 2 accomplished speakers, Sudha Venkatesh and Wee Ai Ning, in our midst and participants learnt from their inspiring stories to effectively own their unique voice in the workplace - participants walked away with tangible advice and frameworks for speaking up more and taking more risks in their careers, even when it might go against the grain.

Below are our key takeaways:

Speaking up

  • Speak with knowledge and conviction, with an aim to seek the truth and on a foundation of trust. Do not speak up for the sake of hearing your voice

  • Be humble enough to acknowledge that you don’t know everything. You will naturally attract criticism. Have the right attitude to handle these for improvement

  • Speaking up should also be proactive instead of defensive so that we are constructive.

  • Know the audience as it can help to shape the message - some need to know the details, some prefer for it to be blunt

  • Have a good understanding of the impact of the message to the person and try to manage how you shape the message so that it is received correctly

On authenticity and personal branding

  • Remain curious. Look for areas where you are truly interested in, and work to build deep knowledge there, so that you have something valuable to add to the table. This helps to build your reputation and credibility

  • Branding does not mean to be the person that you are not, it is about bringing out your inner potential, and it takes practice

Building confidence

  • Start with the things that you are good at and can contribute comfortably

  • Speaking up in a small group setting is a good step to begin. Aim to contribute equally as the rest of the team, and after gaining the confidence and respect in a small group, you can move on to bigger group settings to tackle new challenges

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