The Courage To Speak Up
Often I find it a challenge to speak up in groups, whether small or large, to provide my thoughts and concerns.
I overanalyze what I want to say.
Waiting for the right moment to say something—only to see it pass me in the distance like a car’s taillights on a dark night.
I’m scared I will say something stupid or somehow show I don’t fully grasp the topic being discussed.
But I do take some comfort that I’m not alone. A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Speaking Up Is Hard to Do” explains why speaking up is so darn difficult.
Last year I had the opportunity to speak up in a team meeting. It was the perfect opportunity to voice my thoughts on the topic. And I was too afraid to do so! Too afraid to be judged. Afraid no one would be interested.
Each one of us owns a portion of the truth. Unless we speak up and freely open ourselves up to share our portion of the truth we will never see the whole picture.
To deal with this a good starting point is Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. She discusses how to improve our conversations one conversation at a time by opening up, with gentle honesty and a willingness to listen. And it has helped give me courage to speak up.
At some point we need to have courage. The alternative is to be ignored.
I’d love your feedback – and would love your help in sharing questions and comments about being a young professional. If you have a question, comment or feedback, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The blog on the last Wednesday of each month will be a question and answer session from those that I receive from you, my audience. If I use your question, I will send you a free copy of a book mentioned in that month’s posts.
Image: Courage by drp via Flickr