Segment #5: Speak Up

People at work witness what we stand for, and straight (unambiguous) talk gets attention. Why? Because this type of candor is uncomfortable for most people. Most people are also stunned when they hear candor which is why candor is one of twelve cousins to courage. Speaking with courage means learning to speak with your own voice, to express the truth that flows from your own “heart and spirit.” This is the opposite of fearing ridicule or being ostracized. Only by learning to express ourselves from our own courageous identities can we begin to employ the courage action that moves us beyond this week’s obstacle. This week’s obstacle is ambiguity and confronting uncomfortable truths is the courage action that overcomes ambiguity. Instead of agreeing to things that we don’t want to do, we simply need to come from a place of choice and express our points of view without ambiguity.

This courageous task is easier said than done; yet, disclosing why you believe a situation is not desirable or not right for you requires a conscious choice action. Having what I call a “courageous conversation” means you are willing to rely on your courageous voice. A few everyday courage examples include challenging the status quo; another is making graceful waves when someone is putting you down or attempting to deter your passion. A courageous woman eventually learns how to integrate what I call “where courage meets grace.”

  • Two questions: (1) What keeps you from not having the courage to converse directly? (2) Will you choose to declare your intent to speak your voice?
  • Answer: Protecting your voice keeps a person woman in StuckThinking™. Like painting or editing a book, centering in your courage is not an exact science. The business environment changes continually and courageous leaders know how to go with the changing flow. Recall the last time you directly confronted someone at work you had been avoiding with an uncomfortable but consequential question.
  • The quote to prominently post for the week: Lily Tomlin said, “If you can’t be direct, why be?”

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