Archives for July 2012

The Courage To Speak Up

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


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 [email protected].  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

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Joe Tillman

Joe Tillman

An enthusiastic and dedicated professional, Joe Tillman offers supply chain education and research through his company TSquared Logistics. Joe has a keen interest in all things supply chain and uses his high-energy approach to life to author articles for industry publications, blog on young professionals for DC Velocity, and speak to supply chain industry groups. He also co-leads the Warehousing Education and Research Council's influential annual benchmarking study, "DC Measures." Prior to founding TSquared Logistics, Joe worked with Supply Chain Visions as a senior researcher and consultant, Wal-Mart Logistics as a distribution professional, and Union Pacific Railroad as a conductor. Joe is certified in transportation and logistics (CTL) by AST&L and SCOR-Professional certified by the Supply Chain Council.


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