speaking upA common theme with my clients is the fear of—or the lack of skills for—speaking their truth in the workplace, or their feelings, creative ideas, and thoughts about how things are run.

I imagine that if we could harness the energy of unspoken feelings and ideas at work, we could light up America…literally and metaphorically.

So many companies, big and small, are wasting untold amounts of money and opportunity by not training executives and managers in emotional intelligence and communication skills.

Maybe you work for yourself and there is no one else to speak up to. I’ve been working solo for eleven years and have been my most productive since joining a small mastermind group that meets weekly by phone. We talk about business, life challenges and our feelings.

One of the most gratifying aspects of coaching is to witness a client take charge of their situation and learn how to express themselves in workable ways. They can’t change the company culture, but they can change how they function within it.

There are three basic components to effective communication:

  1. Manage your own feelings first. This has to do with the feelings you have about what’s going on at work, as well as the fear of speaking up about it.
  2. Own the value of who you are and what you have to contribute.
  3. Communicate in ways that prevent others from becoming defensive, so they can actually hear you.

I grew up in a home where “Children should be seen and not heard” was a popular motto. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut. Speaking up has been an on-going lesson for me. It is one reason I am so passionate about helping others free their voice and express themselves.

What holds you back from expressing yourself? I’d love to know.