A re-occuring theme of late, one of the most common issues for people seems to be speaking up, really speaking up and saying what is on their mind.
For me it’s a work in progress, some days I nail it and I say exactly what I want, then other times I notice that fear start to creep in, the sense of ohhhh, perhaps I’ll just not say anything, because… it might not be the right thing to say, or I’m worried about what others will think, or I don’t feel like I have the right words. So often when we’re worrying about this stuff, we’re holding back, we’re protecting ourselves, and playing it safe. But really, are we playing at all? Or are we choosing to sit on the sidelines. Brene Brown talks about this in her book Daring Greatly, it’s all about vunerability and it being ok to make mistakes, but to make them, you have to play, you have to get in the game, be in on the action.
So it’s time to ask yourself, are you a sideline sitter, or are you in on the action? Do you hog the ball? Or share it around? Because hogging the game, isn’t great team work? Are you winning but others loosing? Talking too much and then not listening? Because doing one and not the other is almost as useless as doing neither.
In order to speak up, we need to listen, really with our big ears on, we need to be hearing what other people are saying or perhaps not saying in order to add value to the conversation, to acknowledge, validate, help, support, empower, encourage, teach, educate, faciliate and innovate.
Ultimate collaboration is all of these wrapped together. It can often be those closest to us, both at home and at work, who we avoid those conversations with, because they’re a little difficult, or challenging, or confronting. To have those we really need to believe they’re going to add value, to be important, we have to understand why it’s important to us. What is the overarching reason this conversation needs to happen? What will it mean for us to have it? What will the benefits be of having this discussion?
Think about 3 people you know you need to have a conversation with and pick up the phone, book the coffee chat in, wish them a happy festive season, lock in lunch in the new year, go on a hot date with, turn off the TV and talk.
Whatever you know you need to do, or could do, then make a plan. Speak up, speak out and listen.
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