We’ve all seen things happen at work that concern us.
They may concern us so greatly that we want to speak up about it but don’t know how.
When people do things they should not be doing, it does not aid in the betterment of the organization or the people you serve.
It happens over and over again and sometimes it’s hard to speak up.
These things go on and it leads to more detrimental problems like lawsuits.
Think about what happened to Enron.
That was a company that had bad management and ethical practices year after year and nobody ever spoke up.
When they didn’t speak up, tens of thousands of people lost their pension, their livelihood, some committed suicide and some even went to jail.
That’s why it’s important to speak up when you see things that concern you.
If you don’t, you could be guilty of collusion.
Maybe you’ve seen others speak up and get terminated or retaliated against.
So, I understand why there can be fear on speaking up about concerning issues but I want to give you a framework to overcome this fear.
There is never a wrong time for a leader to do the right thing.
And if you want to be the leader that’s admired and respected, you have to be willing to speak up.
3 Step Plan For Speaking Up
1. Schedule a one-on-one meeting.
Everybody reports to somebody.
If you see something wrong at any level, have a conversation with the person you report to.
That relationship should be strong enough for you to feel safe to express your concerns in a private setting.
There’s no need to send an email, text message or a blast on social media.
Have a one-on-one meeting to share your concerns and ask the person you report to, to address these concerns.
This is how you start the conversation.
If you have a leader who is selfish, insecure, controlling, or a know it all, then the problem is much bigger than them, or maybe they are the problem.
This means you need to raise your issues with someone else.
2. Go to your peers.
The next way to address a concern is to seek understanding from your colleagues.
Ask questions like “Can you help me understand why we do this?” or “Why do we allow this?”
If they’ve been in the organization longer than you, they may know a valid reason about why things happen the way they do.
Maybe you’re concerned because you don’t have the full picture.
Or, maybe they share this concern as well and haven’t said anything.
3. Ask questions.
When you’re in meetings, you need to get good at asking questions.
Don’t ask with an antagonistic tone.
Don’t ask with malice.
Ask with genuine curiosity.
If you really want to speak up about issues that concern you, learn how to ask good questions.
The better you get at asking questions, the more answers you’ll get and the more people will understand that your questions need answers.
I won’t tell you to be like Mr. Darnell from Lean On Me and start flipping tables because you don’t like what you see.
Get good at asking questions.
Start with your boss and if that doesn’t work, go to your colleagues.
But when all else fails, speak up at the next meeting.
Don’t accuse anyone of anything, don’t point out people’s flaws.
Ask with the intention of understanding.
When you speak up, you will feel better about yourself.
You also may get the answers that you seek.
If you decide to speak up and you don’t get the results you want, connect with me on LinkedIn.
Let me help you figure out how to get a solution!
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