I was recently having a discussion with a colleague about HR pros speaking up during meetings. My colleague’s point was HR needs to speak up and not sit back to deal with the fallout of management decisions. I totally agreed and added that HR needed to develop their own point of view.
My colleague replied:
“Oh HR has something to say…they just need to say it.”
The comment made me pause. Is that true? I see plenty of people (not just HR people) who operate under the philosophy of “I’ll talk when I have something to say.” And, I see the same thing on blogs all the time – I’ll post when I have something to say.
That’s where I get stuck…as a business pro, shouldn’t you always have something to say?! I’m thinking the answer is yes. Here’s my logic:
When I was an hourly employee, I had something to say about my manager, my job and the policies/procedures/processes I used to complete my work. I think in a large part, because I had an opinion about how to make my job better, I was promoted to manager.
As a manager, I had an opinion about how to make the department run more efficiently, opportunities to develop my team for future responsibilities and ways to improve quality. Because I had an opinion on how to run my department better, I think that factored into the decision to make me a department head.
In the department head role, I had thoughts about how to improve the services being offered by human resources, ways to improve the business and the future leadership of the organization. Because I had an opinion about how to enhance the business, I eventually became vice president.
Now as a training consultant and business owner, I have an opinion about my company, my work and how I can help other companies achieve their goals via training. I have no clue why someone would hire a consultant who doesn’t have an opinion.
Again, I get back to the original comment. My feeling is you’re a successful business professional…and, chances are you got there because you had something to say. Now, if you’re struggling with how to communicate the ideas or need to flesh out your thoughts, that’s normal and there are a few things you can do to help that process:
- Discover what things inspire your ideas (for me, conferences, news and other blogs are a great place for idea generation).
- Find a way to keep track of ideas as you get them (bar napkins work best for me).
- Add some thinking time to your routine. This one is important. Figure out when you can spend time with your thoughts and ideas.
Hopefully, once you understand what works best for you, you’ll have plenty to say. Because we need to hear it. It’s your ideas, comments, and suggestions that will take you and your organization to the next level.
Then comes the hard part – when to say it and how to say it. Oooh! I see another post (or two) in the works…