Communicating who you are
Out loud or in your silence
Through action or its lack.
Part 1 in a series on Voice.
Communication is loud, whether through words, actions, or silence. After a return to the corporate world, the concept of ‘voice’ has been a consistent source of reflection; the voice that is heard and the voice that is not. Where can you use your voice? Where do you make yourself heard?
The Voice of Accountability: Owning Outcomes
At work, every one has a role to play. Part of the reason we were hired is to bring our voice as a contribution to ‘getting things done’. There is the the voice of expertise in a skill that you bring, but just as importantly, there is the voice of accountability. Consider a few common workplace scenarios – do any of these questions resonate for you?
Scenario 1: When you’re on a work team, and others are not doing what they said they’d do.
- Do you ask them why?
- Do you share the impact it is having on others’ work?
- Do you wait for the boss to do it?
- Does your boss do it?
Scenario 2: When you collaborate with others on a project, and credit is given to only one person.
- Do you give credit to others who helped you?
- What do you say if others’ take credit – or don’t acknowledge – work you have done?
- Do you hold others’ accountable for recognizing others’ efforts?
- Do you hold yourself accountable?
Scenario 3: When you see something broken or have an idea for improvement on a process, a team dynamic, a product.
- Do you bring it forward to your boss or do you complain to others on your team?
- Do you brainstorm with others on ways to fix it?
- Do you seek a solution to the issue?
- Do you examine the role you may play in making things better or different?
These and countless other scenarios allow your voice – or your silence – to be heard. Consider the impact your voice has on yourself, and on others in the workplace.
- What does the voice in your head say to you if you are silent? If you are not?
- What is the message your silence portrays to others?
- What message is sent to a team if some are not held accountable?
- Are you sharing the voice you want?
The voice of accountability comes with many choices. The choice to speak, to act, to be silent, to not respond. Each of these choices contributes to your voice in the workplace.
What is your voice?