With so much diversity, subservience and cultural bureaucracy in a typical workplace, how do you give an honest opinion without coming across as a know-it-all or condescending? It is easy to give an opinion at work if you follow the right system, but the sad truth is that a lot of people get overlooked for training opportunities, salary increases and promotions, all because they’re content to follow in other people’s footprints, never voicing an opinion – letting others take the lead. Such attitude is not only counterproductive, but it puts you in the forefront of those being considered for getting axed.

It is one thing to have an opinion and not know how to put it across; and another to stop thinking completely. There will always be better ways of handling tasks; cost efficient ways of handling projects. It is your responsibility to identify loopholes and better strategies. It is your responsibility to show management that you’re thinking and evolving with the times. You can’t keep being complacent in the face of diversity, it no longer works that way.

Give a reason for your opinion

First things first, you can’t be voicing an opinion that’s already the status quo. Your suggestions have to be new, innovative, valid and pivotal to the organization. Your reasoning has got to give them pause, to consider the advantages that can be accrued from making changes.

Do a thorough research backed by credible examples

Business Managers are constantly on the lookout to outdo their competitors. You need to show concrete evidence or give valid examples of businesses that have jumped on the bandwagon or are operating on a completely different scale as a result of a recent strategy change. You can further emphasize your points by demonstrating with figures and trends over a measurable period.

Don’t take offense if it gets overlooked now

Sometimes, the business is not at the point where changes can be incorporated – probably sales figures are low, or they’re going through a system overhaul etc. in such instances, your suggestions may not yield any benefits, they may be overlooked. Instead of feeling bummed, try to understand the situation from a business standpoint. Continue with your research, monitor the business growth, and at the appropriate time, present your ideas confidently and without fear.

Find out why it got turned down

It is a lot easier for small businesses to be creative and make changes to their overall business structure and strategies compared to bigger organizations. These big businesses function off pre-determined structures and as such, decision making and changes may take longer as they have to follow the right channels. You should never be put off by managements decisions.

Broaden your outlook

If your ideas could be beneficial to the business in the long run it is best to speak up. By paying a closer attention to the inner workings of the company, you can get a sense of how things function, how they operate, and be better versed when passing on your suggestions to your line manager or to members of your team. You cannot afford to be a passenger following the lead of others or play the role of an observer when it comes to your own future. The time has come to be more assertive.

Remember, you get paid for the problems you solve, so, take a bold step today, kick your brain in gear and do your best to get noticed at work.