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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:NOT Speaking Up Is Harder Than It Looks

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Writing at BuzzFeed, workplace advice columnist Alison Green reveals the most important bit of wisdom she has gleaned from answering eleven years' worth of questions:

Image by Mimi Thian, via Unsplash, license.
[T]he biggest lesson I've learned? When something at work is bothering you, you should speak up.

It might sound obvious. But judging by my mail, it's the number one thing that people struggle with over the course of their careers. I hear from a lot of people whose questions boil down to, "My colleague is doing Annoying Thing X [dumping last-minute work on me as I'm walking out the door at night/assuming I'll drive them home every night/spitting on me while they talk/etc.]. How can I get them to stop without actually saying anything to them about it?" And sure, of course we want people to stop annoying us without needing to have an awkward conversation! But in the vast majority of cases, that's not really an option. [italics and brackets in original]
Green's subsequent discussion is worth reading for several reasons. First, she notes on a practical level that such conversations are often both less awkward and more effective at solving problems than we might expect. Second, she gives helpful indications about whom we should address, be it a peer, an immediate superior, or someone elsewhere in the food chain. Finally, she points out that speaking up about small things can be good practice for doing so about more important matters at work, as well as establishing a habit of self-assertiveness that is valuable in all areas of life.

-- CAV

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