Grey Matter
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Some people can spell ‘banana’ but don’t know when to stop.

Published on 01/21/2015 by Paul Conway

You must have seen recently that about 4 million people walked in the streets in France as a simple way to express themselves following the attacks in Paris. It seems that a refusal to keep quiet and to show what you stand for is more important than ever. And after the terrorist attacks in Paris and the consequent public reaction my brain got working about self-expression, speaking up and leadership and I am left with a few questions which might be useful thought-starters for managers:

At what point do I say ‘stop!’ that’s enough?

How tolerant am I? and does my tolerance sometimes turn into over-flexibility?

How clear are my team principles at work? What principles do I stand by? What am I willing to stand up for? 

Is there a moment when I should have spoken up? What prevented me from doing so?

And so on ….

For your team members there may be a real or imagined cost for them to speak up, ask tough question  and say what they stand for…  I will look worriedI am not sure of my facts… I have my reputation to considerI will rock the boat … My bonus is at risk …  I will look like a trouble maker … and it is absolutely the role of the manager to remove all of this threatening inner dialogue and to convince people that keeping quiet at work will trap everyone in a negative system.

Often as facilitators of team events we at ABA it is our job to help people speak up.  Our role is to be challenging or cheeky with our clients, asking the tough questions that everyone else has avoided.  If at any point we were worried or hesitant in our approach because we thought our reputation and job was at risk … then we have lost.  Good to say we have clients in Airbus Group who encourage us to keep pushing them. Thanks!

Paul Conway

Paul Conway

Leadership Faculty

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