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Intimidated? Fight the feeling

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in Workplace Communication

Sara feels like retreating into her shell whenever a certain VP, with his bellowing baritone of a voice, talks to her. Sam shuts down in meetings when an opinionated co-worker dominates the conversation.

Feeling intimidated is like having a heavy chain around your ankle: “It stunts professional and personal growth,” says Joan Burge, who does administrative coaching through her firm Office Dynamics (

She offers these tips for combating the feeling:

1. Use positive self-talk. Example: “I have a lot to offer my team and the company.”

2. Tell yourself,
“No one can make me feel intimidated unless I cooperate!”

3. Speak clearly and firmly yet pleasantly with others.

4. Stand tall.
Your body’s posture can actually change the way you feel about yourself.

5. Read more.
Being knowledgeable on a wide range of topics gives you confidence to speak up.

6. Keep up with your department and industry. Set up Google alerts to comb for industry news.

7. Don’t avoid people who intimidate you.

While it’s likely that we all feel intimidated on occasion, it’s helpful to fight the feeling. As Burge says, “It’s plain-old not good for you!”

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