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22 tips for 2022: Get your ideas heard at work

Illustration in comic style of a woman sharing her ideas in a meeting. A man to the right of her interrupts repeatedly.
Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR

It's a major issue in the workplace: Getting interrupted, talked over and ignored in meetings happens to everyone — but more often to gender minorities, people of color and more junior employees.

One tip to stop this: Make sure you're amplifying one another's ideas.

Here's how it works:

  • One person makes a point in a meeting.
  • Immediately, another person repeats the idea and commends it.
  • A third person chimes in and moves the idea forward.
  • And voilà: The original idea is said, repeated, supported and amplified.

    "It works," says Tina Opie, a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School and the head of Opie Consulting Group. "It's amazing how well it works."

    She says learned this amplification strategy from an article in The Washington Post about women in the Obama administration.

    Here's a comic to help you visualize the strategy:

    Comic-style illustration of the technique of "amplification" where marginalized workers plan a strategy to amplify one another's ideas in meetings.
    / Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR
    /
    Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR

    There's another benefit to speaking up on behalf of others when they get interrupted: People don't have negative associations with someone who defends other people and helps them be heard.

    Stick up for others at work, and they'll stick up for you, too.


    Check out this illustrated guide on how to take up space at work.

    22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Stacey Vanek Smith, produced by Janet W. Lee and adapted into a comic by Connie Hanzhang Jin.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stacey Vanek Smith is the co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money. She's also a correspondent for Planet Money, where she covers business and economics. In this role, Smith has followed economic stories down the muddy back roads of Oklahoma to buy 100 barrels of oil; she's traveled to Pune, India, to track down the man who pitched the country's dramatic currency devaluation to the prime minister; and she's spoken with a North Korean woman who made a small fortune smuggling artificial sweetener in from China.
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