25
Feb
2010
Speaking up

What stops us speaking up & giving our opinion, particularly in organisations?

This blog post started me thinking about behaviour in organisations and in particular what stops people speaking up and giving their opinions rather than choosing one of the range of options listed.

I think the first block is FEAR.  Fear of making a fool of yourself or of retribution of some kind.  More often than not neither of these will apply. 

The second is WHAT'S THE POINT.  If you have experience of expressing an opinion and nothing changing or happening, you may well feel that it's not worth the effort.  But if you don't speak up, your opinion will not count because it will not be known.

The third is CAN I GET A WORD INPersonality preferences influence your willingness to speak up.  Extraverts speak first and think afterwards, whereas introverts like to think first and speak up second.  If you are the only introvert in a team of extraverts it can be hard to speak up - but your opinion counts too.

What others are there?

Think of the times - and contexts - when you have found speaking up worthwhile.  When you have influenced an outcome in a positive way, persuaded your colleagues or a customer to a particular course of action, convinced your boss to give you an opportunity, secured a job you really wanted.

It may surprise you that speaking up doesn't necessarily get any easier the higher up the career ladder you go - the contexts just change.  Speaking up has more advantages than disadvantages - it's the way that you do it that counts.

 

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