Why You Need to Start Speaking Up

coaching confidence neuroscience positivity Sep 27, 2022
so much more you could share

"I have lots of thoughts and ideas...I just get really nervous about speaking up in meetings, especially with senior people".


How many times have I heard that?! My goodness me.

It's something that comes up so often and it makes me really sad! These incredible women, not sharing their brilliance because they are frightened of the consequences of what they say. And what makes it even more infuriating? When someone else then says what YOU were going to say, then gets the credit (grrr...)

Why don't we speak up?

There are 3 main reasons I hear:

  1. Fear of sounding stupid
  2. Fear of being criticised
  3. Fear of senior people

What's in common with all of these reasons? Negativity bias.

We are wired neurologically to see more of the negative - more of the things that may 'hurt' us, whether it be physical (tigers) or mental (like rejection from our tribe). We therefore view the world with that lens; constantly scanning for danger. But what's the outcome of that for us in this context?

We think the outcome of speaking up is going to be MUCH worse than it really is

The true reality is,

  • You won't sound stupid, you are probably asking a question that needs to be asked
  • You won't be criticised, because others were thinking the same thing
  • You will step out of the shadows and be seen as someone who contributes actively; bringing your skills and abilities to the table.

Part of the fear is driven by the environment in which we operate and whether it is "Psychologically Safe". Amy Edmondson (Harvard) talks about this is in her book The Fearless Organisation. Do you feel like you will be shot down, criticised, ridiculed for your thoughts or ideas? High performing organisations are those who create an environment where 'it's safe to be me'. But you also can control some of this puzzle.

Let me say this to you:

  • You deserve a place at the table
  • You have been invited to that meeting to contribute, using your knowledge and experience to help the team
  • Everyone's brains work in different ways - it's really important you contribute so the outcome for the team overall is better
  • Even if what you say isn't ground breaking, what it will do is form part of the foundation for more discussion - that's what its all about!

And let's say, worst case scenario, what you say is wrong - no-one will remember it anyway (they are far more interested in themselves!).

So please - STOP LIMITING YOURSELF! You have amazing gifts to bring to this world - please let them out there to shine. I promise you, it is going to be much better than you thought!


#confidence #psychologicalsafety #selfconfidence #positivethoughts #lifecoaching #talentdevelopment #coachingservice


The Fearless Organization:by professor Amy C. Edmondson of Harvard Business School: https://fearlessorganization.com/the-fearless-organization


 Building a psychologically safe workplace | Ted Talk - Amy Edmondson



We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.