Often we can be scared to open our mouths and say something.
Expressions like “empty vessels make the most noise” and a pervasive social fear of rejection can make it difficult to open up.
Why is this the case?
Schools, universities and families typically work best when there is an open flow of communication. But on a day to day basis, and in the workplace, it can often seem best to say as little as possible.
The issue is that, as social animals, and whether we like it or not, we are constantly engaged in relationships with other people and the power dynamics that inevitably ensue.
If you are a junior employee with views on what your company should be doing, then calling the CEO to tell them may certainly get the CEO’s attention but it may also mark you as a trouble maker and hasten your exit from the firm.
There is always a power dynamic in play (and people who tell you differently are probably playing power games with you).
Speaking without thinking or sending an email which doesn’t convey a clear story backed by supporting data means that your communication is probably “criticism or noise” rather than being a meaningful contribution to the conversation.
The challenge then is not the speaking up part; the challenge is to first do the necessary research and thinking which can be used to foster a constructive dialogue.
You need to say something, but what?
Have you done your research?