How to Overcome Shyness

As a business analyst, daily contact with other people in the company is inevitable, but if you suffer shyness it can be a real ordeal. Psychologist and professional coach Francesca Lungescu gives us her advice to meet the challenge.

Dedramatize the situation

For a shy person, making contact in person or by telephone is always a source of anguish. Francesca Lungescu suggests dedramatizing the situation. “We are trying to replace negative thoughts like “what will he think of me?” or “he will judge me” with positive thoughts that correspond more with reality – “we’re on the same team, it’s normal for me to contact him”, “I need his help, but he surely also needs my help”, etc.”

Ask questions           

Another way to reduce the stress of a conversation is to be aware that this conversation is not based just on one, but on two participants. That’s why Francesca Lungescu invites shy people to ask questions to fuel the conversation. “We ask where the project is performed, what’s going well, etc. This advice is also good for oral presentations. In this case, the goal is not to talk for an hour without stopping. It’s good to involve the people in the room, ask them questions, invite them to participate. In this way, the attention will not all be on us.”

Preparing your participation

Another tool for shy people: preparation. “One way to prepare for a meeting,” explains the professional coach, is to structure your message on paper, putting it in the form of a list. It’s also a good idea to repeat it out loud alone or to practise with someone.”

Here you can ask for the help of a mentor, a professional coach or a trusted colleague, in order to get feedback. This lets you tame the “judgement” of others in a safe context. 

Expose yourself gradually

If you want to fight shyness more, Francesca Lungescu suggests gradually exposing yourself to situations that are increasingly stressful or difficult. “A good way to go gradually is to begin outside of work. During an after work professional happy hour, you can set a goal of speaking to at least one new person during the activity. This can also be done with family or friends, during a dinner. Give yourself the challenge of speaking more than once.”

Working on your little inner voice

In conclusion, the psychologist invites shy people not to be too hard on themselves. “When you do a good job, you have to take the time to congratulate yourself inside. For our inner conversation not to be only negative you have to reflect on your strengths, your qualities and your good moves!”

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