Why Should You Speak Up in a Conversation You've been Trying to Avoid! | Top 3 Benefits

Remember those critical or difficult conversations with either your manager, team member or your colleague, which you really dreaded? Everyone has those moments at least once in their lifetime. This could very well be a situation in your personal life as well.

As you read beyond, keep an open mind and feel free to choose your context as you identify ways to embed this learning in your life.

What happens to us when we even think about difficult or critical conversations?

Difficult or critical conversations are perceived as any other threat to our minds. This is what happens to us when we are about to face or trying to avoid a difficult conversation:
  • Your past experiences will appear in your mind trying to make some connections without realizing the true context of the current situation or people involved.
  • Since it is quite natural and easier, your mind will prepare for the fight or flight reaction, rather than a mindfully chosen response. It won't be able to process naturally that a "difficult" conversation might not always be "bad".
  • You will face the conversation with a spirit of either winning through arguments and ultimately losing by burning the bridges, or simply not speaking your mind and how you feel, therefore, giving in and feeling frustrated.
  • You might be worried about hurting other person's feelings and avoid speaking up.
  • Your mind gets scattered all over the place and fails to articulate your thoughts and ideas in the best possible ways. This could either jeopardize your credibility in front of the other person or make you come across as overconfident.
  • Later, you would feel as if you are were forced to act in a certain way and that could be your destiny pushing into tough situations and you have no control over them. As a result, you would consider yourself a victim of life, where you are simply targeted by people.
Can you relate to any of those mentioned above? May be a different kind of response?
It is always challenging to engage in critical conversations, no matter what title of position you hold in life. Not everyone can gather the courage that easily. But it is worth knowing and realizing that speaking up in a conversation can do a lot of good than bad. You could even get an '"aha" moment with a positive outcome that you never expected.

Let's have a quick look at some of the benefits of speaking up in a conversation.

What are the top 3 benefits of speaking up in a conversation?

1. Clarifying the intent and breaking the silent communication: Silence can be a powerful form of communication, depending upon its intent. Being silent and not speaking up can mean that either you are withholding information, simply avoiding conflict or just being passive. It can also mean that you are not invested in the situation. Additionally, it can be a declaration of guilt at times leading to burning the bridges, lack of trust and jeopardizing your credibility. Providing timely information with a clear intent, and offering information and support is mostly appreciated than not speaking up. Leverage the art of silence for the purpose of reflection - not action.

2. Demonstrating leadership wisdom, identity and you overall brand through social confidence: Speaking up can reflect on your commitment towards a situation. it provides an opportunity for you to lead with your experience, knowledge and skills. This communication resides in the social confidence that can take different shapes and forms, such as advice, additional knowledge, inclusion, empathy and influence which can build high levels of trust and expectations in relationships. Speaking up in conversations can send out a message about your identity or core vales consistently to others and help strengthen your leadership brand with authenticity.

3. Creating an organizational culture where there is a room to be yourself and voices matter: As a leader, when you speak up and also invite others to contribute with their thoughts, opinions and ideas during conversations, it sets the tone of the organizational culture. When these voices are heard genuinely and supported well, people feel a greater level of connectedness with others and the organization with their authentic expressions. A true level of psychological safety and well-being, inclusiveness, acknowledgement and equity starts to embed in the organizational culture. An authentic and inclusive culture of leadership will rather bring all ideas and thoughts on the table, no matter how irrelevant and trivial they seem, than to face failures at a later stage due no communication.

In essence, speaking up is not about your formal leadership title or position. So gather your courage, stop avoiding, and embrace the conversations that matter!

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Sahil Sharma
Talent, Learning & Leadership Development Professional | Certified Leadership Coach

For consultation and services, contact us at www.ledxlearning.com

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