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The Courage To Speak Up

By Joe Tillman | 07/11/2012 | 1:31 PM

Courage

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 joseph_tillman@scvisions.com.  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

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About Joe Tillman

Joe Tillman

Joe Tillman is a senior researcher with Supply Chain Visions, a boutique consulting firm specializing in supply chain management. Prior to joining Supply Chain Visions, Joe worked with undergraduates at Georgia Southern University's Southern Center for Logistics as a graduate assistant, guiding them in career development and relationship-building. A prolific writer, he has written numerous articles on performance management, benchmarking and metrics. He is a frequent speaker at supply chain industry groups. With Karl Manrodt of Georgia Southern University and Kate Vitasek of Supply Chain Visions, he co-leads the Warehouse Education and Research Council's influential annual benchmarking study, "DC Measures." Joe is certified in transportation and logistics (CTL) by AST&L and SCOR-Professional certified by the Supply Chain Council.



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