#4Steps: What gets in the way of speaking up?

Welcome to a mini-course on Four Steps to Effective Feedback! I’m excited about sharing practices with you that have made a huge difference for me and others in giving feedback and sharing concerns.

Most of us like to see ourselves as empowered and directable to speak up and be honest about what matters to us. Yet many of us also have at least some times where we struggle to speak up or give feedback.  We may censor or “stuff” what’s true for us – and, as a result, not get our needs met or lose trust and connection with others and ourselves.  

What gets in the way of speaking up?  Maybe fear that the other person will judge you or hold something against you. Or be hurt? Or maybe that speaking up will harm the relationship? Think of the last time that you didn’t speak up. What got in the way? And how did not speaking up also affect things?

Or maybe you do speak up and don’t get the results you want. The other person pushes back or disagrees or shuts down. Or the outcome is different from what you wanted.  You give feedback, they say they’ll do something, and it doesn’t happen.

Think about the last time this happened: Did the person not act on your feedback at all—or did they miss a deadline or not do the task in the way you wanted? Could you be sure they really heard you—and were on board with what you were asking?  

How to speak up, even in challenging situations, and speaking up in a way that ensures you’re heard, will both be addressed in this course.   The course is based on a two-day program I taught several times at at Cornell University as part of their professional development programs; I also have written two books on the skill set that I’ll be sharing here, and share these skills regularly with companies through training and coaching. So all of it is tried and tested!

What’s most important though is you’re trying each step yourself. Then you can see how it works and start integrating these skills in your everyday life and conversations. So be sure to do each exercise. And while each step is helpful, it’s the four steps together that really get results.  So be sure to complete the entire course and practice all the steps together when speaking with others.  

Before going further, I’d like you to take a moment and imagine: How would it make a difference in your life to speak up more honestly and authentically? And how would this speaking up be a contribution for others as well?

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