You’re not interrupting (promise)

I celebrated International Women’s Day with the women, colleagues, and friends of the people at Franklin Templeton today where I led an event called: “Raise Your Voice: How to amplify your virtual presence and make yourself heard in the Zoom age” and we got record turnout.

A question that came up (and always comes up) is: How can I participate in conversations without interrupting or coming off as aggressive?

To which I say, aggressive is a strong word. Usually people who are afraid of being aggressive…aren’t being aggressive. What they want to be is assertive. Direct. Included. And heard.

In order to do that we have to uncouple this notion that participation is aggressive. It’s not. Nor does participation require “interrupting”–a term which implies you’re not part of things to begin with.

In order to do more as women, to be heard more, included more, and respected more, we need to change the way we think about who we are and why we’re there. And the only way you can interrupt the meeting you’re already in is if you run out of the room and then run back in with an air horn.

Short of that, you’re here, and everyone would love if you spoke up, too.

Happy International Women’s Day!