Why You Should Speak Up!

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You just got out of a lengthy meeting with your boss and a number of other senior managers of your organization. They were struggling with a variety of approaches to solving a very important problem. After some robust discussion, the solution to the problem was arrived at and the majority of the group agreed to the defined action. With that, the meeting was adjourned.

But, you didn’t agree with the final answer. You had your own idea that you really thought was better and could maybe solve the problem being discussed faster and for less money.

And now you’re kicking yourself because…you didn’t speak up. You didn’t speak your mind. You just sat there.

Been there? You’re not alone.

Speaking up, especially in front of those above you, can be intimidating. Business today actually suffers from the lack of transparent communication and people not speaking up. By not speaking up you’re not only hurting your company, you’re hurting your career.

The value you bring to the organization gets defined when you speak up. People need to experience who you are and what you represent as a team member, department leader and as an individual.

Speaking up is key to setting you apart, making a significant difference at your company and catapulting your career. Here’s why:

*It Strengthens Your Personal Brand – When you voice your opinion you establish a tone for yourself.   You’ll begin to command respect from those at all levels around you. People will experience you, your demeanor and your opinions. They will view you as a contributor, being forward thinking, a problem solver and a leader.

*You Begin To Establish Influence – One of the key traits looked for in leaders is their ability to influence others. Speaking up will help you develop a strong and consistent voice in the work place, which in turn will strengthen your influence.  You’ll find it easier to work across organizational boundaries. And don’t be surprised if you begin to get asked to lead meetings and new projects.

*It Will Mark You As A Forward Thinking Leader – You can’t be an effective leader unless you encourage those around you to speak their minds. Speaking up will lay important seeds for you as you begin to manage and lead. You’ll possess a very important personal trait. You’ll both invite and expect others to speak up too and proactively input into the projects and organizations you lead. In any of your meetings even the most junior person in the room will be welcome speak up and even disagree with the most senior person in the room. That’s powerful stuff.

* It Accelerates Your CareerThere’s a reason that certain people advance more quickly than others in their careers.   They have mastered the art of speaking-up by having a balanced voice that their colleagues respect and admire.    Their voice challenges the status quo, cultivates innovation and helps the organization.

*You’ll Develop The Keys To Speaking Up Appropriately – There are of course right and wrong ways to speak up. Here’s some tips:

-Be considerate

-Be empathetic

-Don’t wait to be called on, the discussion could move along too far

-Be productive to the conversation

-Tactfully confront those who, without fail, will try to interrupt you

-Be concise

-Always stay calm

As you mature in your career, so should your voice. Have patience with it. Only you can speak up in a way that truly defines you.  Be more vocal, test your ideas and take note about how people react to them.

It’s about contributing and winning the respect of those around you because you are able to lead people and help grow the organization’s value with your voice.

So stop kicking yourself and speak up!


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