The world we live in desperately needs leaders. Leaders are needed at every level and in every place. A good leader isn’t just a boss. A leader is someone at any level who takes a stand for what’s right and with that calls upon others to do the same, through effective communication and correct response. Whether it is calling out injustice or calling up leadership in those you work with it is important to encourage voicing what’s ethically sound and following through with moral action.
It’s easier said than done. Most of the time, speaking up is incredibly hard. It’s much easier to put up and shut up and get by operating under the firing line.
I know what it’s like to be silent. Sometimes I have a conflict with a significant other, dear friend, co-worker, colleague, or a family member and I don’t have the words to communicate in the exact moment I feel it. Other times I don’t realize that I even have an upset until days later. In some situations, I don’t even recognize I have an upset until unkind or uncool words have already left my mouth.
These unrecognized and undelivered communicators happen because of undistinguished upsets. When a person gets upset (me especially) it is almost always for one of three reasons; undelivered communication, a thwarted intention, or unfulfilled expectation.
When I have an upset, it happens because I stepped over the feeling or emotion, or ignored my own gut instinct that something was wrong.
At work, at customer sites, I’ve witnessed favoritism, unethical behavior, lying, cheating, and stealing. My only recourse is to name it and see if they want to talk about it. If it can’t be resolved, I stop working with the customer.
The best advice I ever got was to work on opening up my throat chakra and say what needs to be said the moment I realize I have an upset. When I’m not sure I have an upset, but something seems off or I see something that doesn’t seem ethical or socially responsible to get curious. Seeking to understand is another concept that is easier said than done, especially if folks get defensive or are constantly on-guard waiting for the attack. Courage is certainly required to speak up and speak out. Once the courage is found to be open to curiosity and humility we can all resolve our differences peacefully and like grown-ups.
It’s never easy to be a leader who also speaks up and stands up. We all need to know ourselves well enough to feel our own feelings and recognize our emotions as they are happening. When we first recognize our own feelings, we have much more power to share how we feel and speak up when injustices are witnessed or upsets are felt.
It’s important to keep in mind, witnessing a social injustice, causing an upset for someone else, or being upset by someone or something are all very different matters. The practice of saying what needs to be said makes it easier to communicate in regard to any of these situations.
At Keenalignment we an abundance of resources for Leadership Development that can help shape organization’s leaders to respond in a way that fosters momentum. Contact us for a free consultation.