Graham🐝 Edwards en Communications and journalism, beBee in English, Entrepreneurs Consulting Principal • GPEStratagem 16/10/2016 · 1 min de lectura · 3,0K

Speak up... nothing gets solved unless you do.

I was at a conference a little while back and had the opportunity to listen to a speaker named Talli Osborne. Without getting into her story, I think it is safe to say she was inspirational, motivational and will look back on a very rich life when she is eighty-five.  Click here to go to her website. She told many stories but I was struck with the story when she consciously decided to speak up.

Speak up... nothing gets solved unless you do.She spoke of a point in her life where she decided to tell people what she thought when asked, instead of shying away. Ultimately she got into the habit of telling people what she thought, even when they didn't ask, and she started to influence and change things. 

I remember hearing the same sentiments from a General Manager I knew long ago, who simply said, "If you are not participating in the conversations to manage the business, what value do you offer"

He was a little bit "harsher" than Talli.

The point of speaking up, speaking your mind, and adding to the conversation is extremely important... not only for yourself but for whatever issue, problem, idea, or plan you are involved with.

Here's what I have learned so far on this topic - 

  • At any given time, you will be the smartest person in the room... so share.
  • If you are shy, please get over it. It serves no one, including yourself.
  • If a leader asks, "Are there any questions?"... they mean it, so ask.
  • More often than not, if it falls apart it's because the person who had the answer didn't speak up.
  • Engagement is the easiest way to tell everyone you care.
  • Do not assume people know what you know.
  • If you want to engage a leader, tell them what you think. They may disagree, but they will respect you. And will listen the next time.
  • When you ask a question, you can bet 75 % of the room wanted to ask.
  • Although it can be said a committee created the camel*, more often than not, you end up with a better solution when there are more "voices" involved. 
  • If you don't say it in open forum, you should not be saying it behind closed doors.
  • Speaking to "power" can be intimidating, but it can also make things happen.
  • No one knows what you are thinking unless you tell them.

Is this easy? It should be, but sometimes it's not. You still have to speak up though, because there is no one stopping you.


* It is said that the camel was a horse designed by committee.

Graham🐝 Edwards 21/10/2016 · #25

#22 This is a great idea @Vincent Andrew. Appreciate it.

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Graham🐝 Edwards 21/10/2016 · #24

#20 Thanks very much for the comment @Phil Friedman... As I like to say, "people can't get angry at someone for doing their job", unless as you say it's "loud and obnoxious". Appreciate you reading my chicken scratchings... lol

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Graham🐝 Edwards 21/10/2016 · #23

#17 Thanks for the note @Sara Jacobovici.

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Vincent Andrew 20/10/2016 · #22

When was the last time I spoke up? How many times have I spoken up? Did it get the problem solved? Did the situation improve when I spoke up? This could just be an idea for another buzz. Thanks again Graham for a great article.

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Phil Friedman 20/10/2016 · #21

This sound advice is for the real world, not for social media, where we are always told to avoid speaking out, lest we offend someone. Great reading too...from Graham Edwards.

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Phil Friedman 20/10/2016 · #20

@Graham Edwards, this is not only, to my mind, a great post, but it is an absolute breath of fresh air on social media, where we are constantly told not to speak up, lest we piss someone off. Well, I have to tell you that, in my experience, the only thing that shuts down most people is if you raise your voice and become obnoxious. But people will not know what you are thinking or suggesting or saying UNLESS YOU SPEAK UP. Confidently, as you point out. Firmly, as you imply. And never apologetically. Yea, there are a few, although I venture to say a very few, in the real worlds of business and academics who will get pissed off over any challenge to what they are thinking or saying... but they are hardly worthwhile to deal with anyway. In the real world. Perhaps, the problem on social media is that so many people are here to be stroked and patted and told that they are great, the perception of the slightest challenge or deviation from what is seen as "positive" is faced with abhorrence. I always tell my consulting clients right off the bat, if you don't want to hear my opinion, don't ask me, and certainly don't hire me. I have never yet had one back out. That is not to say I've never been ignored, for I have many times. But I have never been not hired, or fired for speaking my mind about an important issue. Kudos on this one. And cheers!

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Renée 🐝 Cormier 20/10/2016 · #19

#18 Sara, this post inspired me to write one which I posted today: How to Speak Your Mind and Not Piss People Off I hope you like it.

Sara Jacobovici 20/10/2016 · #18

I want to thank @Renée Cormier for bringing my attention to your buzz @Graham Edwards. Well written and a great catalyst for an important discussion. This topic is not an easy, clear cut one. As discussed in your comments and those of your readers, so many factors are involved environmentally and intrapersonal and interpersonal issues. Along with the many insightful and practical suggestions already made, I would like to add a couple from my perspective. The first is to focus on what is being discussed, the issues, the project, the goals, the challenges, rather than on the people involved in the discussion. The second comes from a Helen Keller quote: “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do something I can do.” The important work is in the mindset you develop prior to entering a discussion. None of this is easy but definitely worth the effort.

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