Saying the thing that needs to be said is easier said than done. Whether we’re putting ourselves out there by expressing a unique idea, pointing out an obstacle that is getting in someone’s way, or holding others to shared standards that it appears they’re falling short of, a whole host of scary “What if’s…” start to swirl around and get in our way:
- What if my idea makes me sound uninformed, will they think I’m under-qualified to do my job?
- What if the thing I tell them or how I say it hurts their feelings or makes them mad at me?
- What if I’m micromanaging, is it even my place to say something?
- What if bringing this out into the open makes it worse?
The answer to the question “to say something or not” is not “get over yourself and just blurt it out.” Similarly, the answer is rarely “whatever, I guess I’ll just say nothing.” There are feelings and fears and relationships and expectations at play that need sorting through before you know, in your gut, that you’ve got the thing that needs to be said, and it is time to say it.
Part of the process to answer this question? Understanding what it is you are actually choosing. Getting your voice heard, giving feedback, or holding someone accountable can lead to success and well-being for all, it can also be fraught with missteps and possible suffering. What you’ll find along the way is that when you do choose to say the thing that needs to be said, you are ultimately:
Choosing Courage Over Fear
When I say what needs to be said, I’m facing the scary “what if’s” and working through them to get to a new place
Choosing Growth Over Stagnancy
When I step outside of my comfort zone and take the risk to say the thing, I will learn something whether my actions lead to failure or success
Choosing Power Over Helplessness
When I speak up, I’m engaging in the situation I’m a part of and am able to affect it’s direction
Choosing Responsibility Over Blame
When I say that we own our actions and are going to walk our walk & talk our talk, I create opportunities for everyone to achieve their goals and meet expectations
Choosing Innovation Over Status Quo
When I say “why don’t we…” and “how about…,” either the envelope gets pushed or we go on an adventure. Either way, we eventually get to somewhere bigger and new.
Choosing Creativity Over Homogeneity
When I say or invite others to say the counterpoint, the fresh perspective, the devil’s advocate, the wild card, and the outside-the-box idea, it ensures that we cover all angles and don’t just go along with what everyone else is saying.
We believe so much in the power of getting your voice out there, calling it like it is, and speaking your truth without blame or judgment, we made it one of Vestalia Hospitality’s five Leadership Essentials.
Saying the thing that needs to be said can be a challenge, and isn’t always the easiest choice. Still, the payoff is worth it. Where in your life are you at a crossroads on this one?
À la Carte
In this podcast, host Elise Loehnen talks with Dr. James Doty, clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford, about his amazing life. It’s a rags to riches to bankruptcy to besties with the Dalai Lama kind of story (which he wrote about in his book Into the Magic Shop), and it hinges on lessons he learned about life at the age of twelve regarding the “immense power that each of us has to shape how we see the world and how it reacts to us.” If anyone knows anything about how the heart and head are intertwined, and how you can unravel their mysteries to lead a life of kindness and meaning, it’s this guy. Give it a listen and see what you connect with, it’s 37 minutes well spent!
Article, 3 minute read
If Vestalia didn’t already have 5 Leadership Essentials for you to practice, I’d probably focus our attention on these 7 tips. They are great to follow if you’re stepping into a leadership role with a new team or organization, it just so happens that they’re also worth mastering when you’re months or years in with your existing team. Which ones are you already practicing, and which would like to try?