Speaking up at work . . .


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.  Winston Churchill

A few times last week I was questioned about who I was, what I did and whether my public background was true.  I welcome questions in situations where I am able to clarify someone’s impressions and provide additional information, if needed.  As with most people,  I am always surprised when someone, without knowing me, makes assumptions that turn out to be untrue.

I visited a few quotation websites to prepare this blog and noted that over 90% of quotations on one website held comments about how prevalent not speaking the truth is in their world.  While I encountered more than one instance of falsehood last week, I would like to say that  Speaking up at work is a learned practice.

I felt good that I personally witnessed a situation where the truth was ultimately told.  During a three-way discussion at a work place, one person kept saying an untruth, while looking directly at me.  Some comments were spoken and the person remained adamant his untruth was true.  I left that conversation and returned a few minutes later (not having spoken to anyone) and approached the “adamant” person.  As I walked closer, without any words from me, he said he was sorry and told me the truth.  I thanked him and left the building.

Many of us self-protect what we say or do, without realizing we are doing it.  We may even deny that is what we are doing. There are daily instances that speaking an untruth may be intentional to just see how the other person would react.  Perhaps that’s what happened in the three-way conversation I had last week on a moderately serious situation.  We don’t wake up in the morning and decide that we are going to tell lies at work.

Speaking up at work is a process which gives us experience and insight about how we act.  As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As have good conversations.   Enjoy your week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Career Management Coach and Change Agent

Notes: I am a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics

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