Have you struggled with building up the courage to speak up on issues that you feel need to be addressed? It can be a challenge if you feel that what you have to say might be unpopular or not received well. Here are a few tips for getting up the nerve to speak up when the time is right.
- Your Input Counts – If you’re feeling the weight of needing to speak up, it’s often more than a feeling. Chances are something SHOULD be said. Don’t ignore it. Your input matters and your team will benefit from what you’re sensing about the issue.
- Constructive Criticism is Necessary – In order for a team go grow effectively, there simply must be constructive criticism. Negativity or critique for the sake of throwing out opinions isn’t helpful, but if you see something going wrong, even if you don’t yet have the solution, it’s important to speak up. Even if the input isn’t liked, it’s still important to put all the feedback on the table.
- Their Ready for It – Your team can handle what you have to say. If they couldn’t, they likely wouldn’t have a position on the team. Don’t be afraid of whether they like it or not. They can take what you say and put it to good use. Typically, people don’t fly off the handle. Trust that you have the right team and speak the truth in love.
Courage & Fear
One big misconception about courage is that it is equivalent to fearlessness. This is a false belief. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but rather choosing to do something even when you feel afraid. It’s ok to feel afraid of a situation but it’s not okay to succumb to the fear and avoid taking action. Fear is only a feeling and it can be overcome by facing it. More often than not, the fear you feel is exaggerated beyond what reality holds. Make the choice to stand in the face of fear and do what needs to be done. You will likely get the results you’re looking for and you will grow as a leader. Keep your head up, be courageous and cast fear under your feet.