When to Speak Up
Speaking up Without Flipping out
Do you ever "engage your mouth before your brain" at work, without thinking about the consequences? Or do you prefer to take refuge in what researchers Frances J. Milliken and Elizabeth Wolfe Morrison call "the safe response of silence"?
When you speak up at work, you're expressing your opinion about something, such as your thoughts about a project, your feelings on a decision, or an idea of your own. There are some important things to think about when doing it. How and when you speak up can have a considerable impact on the success of your team and organization. It can also be a significant factor in how well you do your job and in shaping your professional reputation.
People are often reluctant to speak up at work, because they're worried about the reaction they'll get. In this article, we look at when speaking up makes sense, and how to do it in the most professional way.
Why It's Important to Speak up at Work
Contributing to the "greater good" is the key reason to speak up. Challenging, questioning, adding, or highlighting something can fuel discussion, and draw input and perspective from other people. It can bring about process improvements or strategic change, draw attention to minor issues before they become major ones, and resolve conflicts. It can boost your organization's collective knowledge, improve its creative efforts, and ultimately increase its financial success. It's also a great way to build your reputation as a highly effective team member.
Speaking up can be personally beneficial. It can make you feel truer to yourself, give you a sense of dignity, and help to build your self-confidence. You can demonstrate your commitment to, investment in, and support for your organization, and you can even inspire quieter colleagues to speak up next time, too....