I believe in the adage that says, “Silence is golden”. This makes it easier to listen to what others are saying. Sifting through all the information you need in the midst of so much noise is a challenge in itself. Adding unnecessary chatter only makes it harder to capture the things you need to hear. But holding back from saying the things you need to say also has its downsides. It never really helps you or the people around you. I think that we have to learn to speak up if we have something that need to be said.
1. It’s an opportunity to let your ideas be heard
Some ideas need to be shared. You’re not allowing your ideas to flourish if you keep it to yourself. And you’ll never know if it’s a good one if you don’t put it out there. I’ve always felt vulnerable when I find myself in situations when I put my thoughts out there. There’s the risk of getting my idea shot down. On the flipside, there’s also a chance it could be the answer to the question or problem at hand.
2. It could help prevent bad decisions
In groups, bad decisions happen when no one dares to voice out what may be perceived as dissenting opinions. The pressure of groupthink has a way of silencing the few who may have different views. But being agreeable does not mean you can’t make any constructive criticism. Because at the end of the day, that may just be what’s needed to steer the group away from a wrong decision that could have a negative impact on everyone.
3. It’s a chance to let others know where you stand
Staying silent is often taken as consent or approval. I’ve been through a lot of situations in the past when I didn’t like the direction a group discussion has taken but didn’t say anything to voice out my concerns. This led to some unpleasant consequences that we could have easily avoided if I or anyone who share the same thoughts I did chose to speak up. My silence is often triggered with my lack of confidence on where I stand on the issue, especially when I’m not with the majority. So I’m learning to find my voice and communicate my thoughts to just to be clear about where I stand.
4. It shows you’re engaged
I noticed that people who are passionate about something use their voice to add value to the conversation. They know when to use silence and speaking up in equal measure. But they are not easily cowed by fear of ridicule. They have no qualms about saying something even if it’s an unpopular opinion. I think this kind of attitude reveals how engaged people are. It shows how invested they are on the issue or topic at hand.