Everyone has something important to say, value to add to the conversation, and an important perspective to add to the mix. If that is true why don’t more leaders feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts, opinions, hopes, concerns, and inspirations? Why do they continue to work day after day and keep quiet instead of speaking up?
Over the years of working with leaders I have seen 3 main reasons employees don’t feel comfortable with sharing their ideas:
- Employees don’t feel comfortable “managing up” and sharing their thoughts with their boss for fear they will be ignored or that they will be made to feel their ideas aren’t valuable. Any boss worth their salt will welcome ideas & input from their employees to make things better. Even if a boss chooses not to go with an employee’s idea there will be a huge appreciation for contributing to the conversation. In the future it is likely employees who offer ideas and suggestions will be tapped first for their input by their boss which means your being recognized for your contributions.
- Someone else on the team has the loudest voice and drowns out everyone else. Just because someone speaks louder doesn’t mean their ideas are the best. If you truly can’t get a word in edgewise, get creative and make sure your ideas get heard (an email following a meeting, a quick side conversation during a break, or set an appointment with your boss). Plus eventually everyone will get sick of the person with the loudest voice and the boss will figure that out!
- There is not a culture within the organization that encourages the sharing of ideas. As a leader within an organization it is our job to make sure we create a culture where everyone feels comfortable enough to speak up and share what’s on their mind. That is the culture that has to be in place to create an inspirational environment where everyone feels like they are contributing to the success of the organization. That kind of culture will contribute to employee retention, development, and satisfaction.
You have something important to say. So get going and make a difference in your organization.