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Are You Ready to Speak Up?

| | Personal Leadership
Speak up, make your voice heard

Image by Howard Lake

Is there something you have been wanting to speak up about?

It could be to right a perceived wrong, to stick up for someone or even for yourself, to say the thing everyone is talking about behind the scenes but no one is willing to talk about publicly, or even an idea you have a burning desire to express or pursue.

In the moment you feel compelled to speak up it often feels risky, and perhaps even a bit scary, to do so.

Challenging or questioning something or someone, even when it is for an important reason, is often not easy to do.  It can be very uncomfortable.  For some just raising their hand to share an opinion in a group larger than 2 is an action that requires tremendous courage.

Expressing a possibility or an idea, no matter how excited you are about it, could be met with criticism or laughter or whatever response you fear most might be provoked.

When courage is required consider it may just be a sign this is an opportunity for you to lead.  

It may even be your inner guidance system compelling you to lead right here, right now.

Of course there are a lot of very valid reasons for not speaking up.  You may not feel it is worth the risk.  Perhaps others have tried before you and it didn’t end well or you don’t really believe that by speaking up you will make any difference.  You may have already tried and failed.  Then there is the allure of the perceived safety of silence.

Yet if you are even thinking about whether to speak up about something or not chances are you have a choice to make.  Will you speak up or not? 

Will you choose to be A leader in this situation even if you are not THE leader?

Will you risk facing whatever you fear for the sake of the difference you want to make and whatever you are committed to for the future?

Speaking up as an act of leadership isn’t about what you have to say, about being heard, or even about being understood.  It is about the difference you want to make by speaking up.

The choice is up to you.  What are you willing to speak up about to make a difference in what matters most to you?

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Magnet Mailers   |   23 March 2012   |   Reply

Unfortunately, many great things will never be accomplished simply because someone did not speak up.

I like what Churchill said about the courage that it takes: “courage is [the first] of human qualities… because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.”

Susan Mazza   |   27 March 2012   |   Reply

That is why I am so passionate about instigating leadership – because of the incredible difference one person speaking up can make.

Love the quote! Thanks for sharing it here.

John Thurlbeck   |   23 April 2013   |   Reply

Hi Susan ~ loved the post! I’ve always been a firm believer in feeling the fear and taking the risk anyway! I have some scars to show for it, although overall I am delighted that I have been able to speak up and speak out at times when it has been necessary! As an advocate for over 40 years of young people’s rights to equally engage in our society, I think this has helped me to define and refine my ability to speak up!

Kind regards John

Susan Mazza   |   23 April 2013   |   Reply

Thanks John. I share that belief!

You point to something very important – speaking up is a skill you can master. We do, as you put it, “define and refine” our ability to speak up over time. Although that doesn’t mean that the first time we speak up, no matter how clumsy we may be, we won’t make a difference. If you speak up from your heart it is bound to have an impact. We all have to start somewhere!