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  • Tracy Hooper

Prepare to Speak Truth to Power

It’s tough to be confident when you feel compelled to share a controversial or opposing perspective with a leader in your company. 

Speaking Truth to Power is different than giving feedback--and, instinctively we know why. Because, you can be demoted, or ignored or fired. Here’s one definition from Megan Reitz, from the Hult Group. 

“To Speak truth to power means speaking what we believe to be true to someone in authority who might take it as a criticism or be offended and who has the power to punish us in some way.”

Giving feedback can make you feel anxious, but speaking truth to power is risky. 

That said, when you believe there is something you have to say to point out a wrongdoing or offer a different angle get prepared by asking yourself these questions before you speak:

What’s the one, single-sentence message I want to be heard?

Who should I speak to? 

And, will they hear me?

Why am I the best person to speak up? 

Is someone else in a better position to do it?

And, what personal risks am I taking by speaking up? You have to be realistic about the consequences.

As organizations compete at warp speed, your speaking truth to power is an opening for leaders to understand challenging or different points of view and that’s key to a company’s health and success which you can be a part of.

You can develop the confidence to do it and then increase the odds that people in power will hear your truth and take action.

If you’re ready to build a Confident Culture that makes it easier to speak up, email us. Thanks.

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