Guys… There’s something I need to open up to you about. I struggle with an issue that affects my ability to lead well. It’s hard to admit this but I have difficulty speaking up and being heard.
Yup, you heard me right. I struggle to share my thoughts and opinions with those I work with and lead.
How can this be? Don’t I share my thoughts and ideas on this website? Don’t I let people know how I feel through emails and social media? I do but speaking up and sharing on these platforms is different than speaking up and sharing in real life.
Has Your Voice Been Silenced?
I know I have a voice. I know YOU have a voice as well. But speaking up and using the voice we have? This can be scary.
We will often stop using our voices when we’ve run into opposition. Your childhood may have told you that your voice isn’t important. Only speak when spoken to. Or maybe you offered up your business idea at a company meeting only to be shot down.
The way we use our voices will often depend on our past experiences. I’ve had people laugh at my ideas or tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about (both of which have been true at times as well). However, the way I was told this made me shut down. I didn’t want to share my ideas anymore. My voice was silenced.
If you’ve allowed your voice to be silenced, you’re withholding from the world. Someone somewhere is suffering because you are unwilling to speak up and share your ideas. To share your thoughts.
You Have A Voice
Those who have silenced your voice probably fall into one of two camps. The first camp of people who silence others are the jerks. Yeah, I’m going to call them as I see them.
The jerks know you have a voice. They just don’t want you to use your voice. They feel threatened or less than when someone else’s idea gets used over theirs. They also believe they have to be the one sharing all the ideas. If an idea isn’t from them, it’s not for them.
The other camp is the unintentionals. They shared feedback with you and you may have taken the feedback the wrong way. You then closed yourself off and vowed never to speak up again.
I’ve been here too. I fear critical feedback and anything that tells me I’m not good enough, hurts. For too many years, I held back my voice because of the fear of rejection (negative feedback).
Know these two camps have different reasons for doing what they do. The unintentionals don’t want to hurt you. They want to help you. The jerks, well… they want to hurt you.
Speaking up and being heard takes courage. I know you. You have courage. You can speak up and let the world know who you are and what you think.
By speaking up, you will change the world. You will help your organization break new ground or help improve your current relationships.
Being heard will be a challenge but you can do this. You can speak up when no one else is. You can be the one who shares a crazy idea.
Think about Thunder Levin. He was the writer for a very fun and popular movie series. There was a throwaway line in a Syfy movie. Leprechaun’s Revenge had a character says “Gosh, I hope we don’t go the way of that other town. They never recovered after the sharknado hit.”
A Syfy executive then suggested they make a movie titled Sharknado. And a hit was born.
Be willing to speak up and share your ideas, no matter how crazy they may be. You have a voice and your voice can be heard. You only have to speak up.