Speaking up

The key to any relationship, personal or professional, is to be our self and be able manage any differences.

‘Be all things unto all men’ encourages us to be seen for who we are so that people recognise who we are and the calibre of what we offer. It’s about having boundaries that enable others to be as respectful of us as we would be of them. Of course, if you are not seen, you cannot be anything to anyone because they cannot see you. And, being seen often means standing up and speaking up.

Speaking up, simply voicing an opinion is one thing; speaking up in a challenging situation can be another. If you were at a dinner and overheard someone say something that was unkind about a friend which you knew to be untrue, what would you do in the moment? Would you tell yourself it was none of your business and so avoid saying anything? Or, would you speak up and set things straight even though it might cause people to feel uncomfortable? Would you be afraid of offending the other?

It’s not uncommon to experience difficulty speaking up if somewhere within us we have a lack of security. Often it comes from childhood conditioning and it can be deep. It’s there to teach us something, and when we can look at it as a gift, rather than judge our self for being not good enough, we can set an intent and take action to move beyond it. Fear can be such a gift!

Once you do find the courage to speak, remember it can be tricky to make observations of people and their behaviour that are free for judgement, so it’s good to focus on facts rather than interpreting, to use “I” statements to avoid blaming or complaining, and take responsibility for what you think and feel. More than anything, speak from your heart.

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