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Speak up - even if your voice shakes

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

If you're anything like me then you've had to deal with your fair share of tricky situations. Whether it's a coworker with an inappropriate joke or a family member with a different point of view you've probably dealt with situations where you wanted to speak up. And for whatever reason, you didn't. It's okay, we've all been there.

Recently while at a family function, I had a moment, which now looking back, I wish I had handled differently.

It was a moment where I felt scared to speak up, I felt as though it "wasn't my place" to have an opinion and that I would ruin a perfectly "good" time by saying something. It will remain a moment that I wish I could change.

During this interaction I was so focused on how speaking up would impact me, when I should have been focused on how it would impact those not in the room. Those who were not there, to say, "Hey! stop being such an ass". Okay, probably not the exact words I would have chosen to come out of my mouth, but they were definitely going through my head.

If we're going to label ourselves as allies, we have to be ready to speak up for those, not in the room. Who aren't a part of the conversation. Who didn't get invited to the event. And for all of those who are still finding their voice. We must speak up, if not for ourselves, then for them.

This is something I will continue to work on. I'm not perfect but I am learning and that's what counts.

So, my challenge to you is to come up with a word or phrase, something short, that you can use in a difficult situation. How could you give yourself some time to think about what to say next? For example, a go-to phrase of mine is "ummmm, what?" accompanied with a puzzled look and a dash of sass. It gives me an opportunity to chime in on the subject but also gives me a moment to collect my thoughts. Whatever you choose as your phrase, make sure it works for you and your personality.

As always, keep up the amazing work you do. And keep defining your line.

Your nerdy HR friend, Nikki

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