Stop Holding Your Tongue

The Speak Up! Series

There’s a time and a place to hold your tongue. You and I both know this. But we frequently hold our tongue much more than we need to.

We have great ideas. They are life-changing or organizational changing ideas. And we hold onto these ideas without speaking up. We hold our tongues.

A neon sign of the Rolling Stones tongue logo

Photo by Merch Husey

It’s time to stop holding your tongue when it comes to the ideas and insights you have. You’ve been given clarity others have not been given. Stop holding your tongue.

When the opportunity presents itself to share your ideas, share them. Don’t be scared of what others will think. They’re not the one offering up an idea. You are. You’re the one they asked.

Be bold. Be strong. Be courageous in sharing your ideas.

What You’re Saying About Yourself When You Fail To Speak Up

The Speak Up! Series

I know how hard it can be to speak up. The fear, the nerves, the voices inside of your head. Everything is telling you that you’re going to screw this up.

While you may have that little voice inside of your head telling you that you could mess this up, there’s something this voice isn’t telling you. The voice inside your head isn’t telling you what you’re saying about yourself when you fail to speak up.

Man in blue jeans and a button up jacket covering his face

Photo by Rachel Lynette French

What You’re Saying About Yourself When You Fail To Speak Up

You may be surprised at what you’re saying when you don’t speak up. Your silence is speaking volumes to those you lead and who lead you. When you fail to speak up, you are saying:

  • I don’t have anything to contribute
  • My fear of being rejected is more than my excitement over this idea

3 Steps To Be A Courageous Leader

Great leaders will embrace their pain. Great leaders know there will be danger ahead. Great leaders see challenges and run towards them.

Do you know what each of these traits have in common?

They are the epitome of a courageous leader.

What it takes to be a courageous leader

What Is Courage?

Webster’s Dictionary defines courage as:

The ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous

Courage means you face the tough trials in life. When there’s pain, you embrace or face it. When there’s danger, you confront it. When you’re challenged, you don’t back down.

These actions are courageous.

They take chutzpah. They take guts. They forge ahead!

How To Become A Courageous Leader

I believe courage is an integral part of a leader. You can’t beat new paths or cast vision without a little bit of courage.

Speak Up Before It’s Too Late

I’ve missed many opportunities in life because I was afraid to speak up.

An uneasy fear rises up when I feel the desire to offer up an idea or oppose a plan. It’s frustrating.

It’s also been holding me back.

Recently, I had the idea to create a video library showcasing what our MRP software could do.

The videos would include demos of placing an order, creating a job, and shipping a product, among other things. I thought it was brilliant.

But not enough to speak up. That was a mistake.

A few months after having the idea to create demonstration videos, another person in our company spoke up. He recommended we create videos detailing our workflow process.

This was right in line with my idea.

Only I never presented it.

Why?

I felt my idea didn’t hold merit

How To Make Your Voice Heard

Do you have that same small voice that I have? The one that tells me that my voice doesn’t matter. That I shouldn’t speak up and let my voice be heard.

If we’re truthful, many of us are stuck at this impasse. We’ve been called to the leadership table but don’t think we have any input to offer.

Speak up and lead

Image by Chris Schepp

But that’s not true. You do have value to add to the team.

That’s why you were chosen for leadership. That’s why you stepped into the role of leadership.

Someone saw value within you. Someone recognized you had something to say. Even if that person was you.

Why You Don’t Speak Up

I’ll be the first to admit. I have a problem speaking up.

I feel there are wiser people in attendance than myself. I feel I don’t have enough experience. I feel my ideas may be out there, even for the groups I’m leading.