Speaking Up When We Shouldn’t – An Effective Management Tip.


“More often than not, we remain silent when we should speak up. However, there are times when you should remain silent. Here are a few:

• If the problem is small, won’t happen again, and you know the other person already feels bad, you probably don’t need to say anything.

• If the problem doesn’t have a significant impact, don’t say anything.

• If you’re part of a leadership team and you’re the only one who cares about a certain issue—or is at least willing to confront it—take preparatory steps. Talk to your peers. If you’re still the “Lone Ranger,” tell your team that you are about to set a new standard (give them a warning), then do it.”

– Taken from Crucial Confrontations

Ofcourse, the bigger problem faced by corporate world today is keeping silent when one should be speaking up. That’s precisely what the brilliant books Crucial Confrontations and Crucial Conversations, deal with; ie how to speak up effectively when faced with situations that involve broken agreements, poor performance, or any scenario which involves high stakes, strong emotions combined with differences of opinions.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, and I would also add that it may be wise to keep quiet if the topic is of a personal nature, or if someone in the meeting has a very personal interest. Discussing this one-on-one is probably a better strategy.

  2. I entirely agree with the first. About the second, yes again but only if you believe it will not recur in an enlarged form. As for the third , you have got to be on a strong wicket because despite being a lone ranger you continue to stand your ground, hence you will be better served to try harder and gain some sort of consensus before you actually put it up.

    Syed Adil

  3. I faced a similar issue at work when one colleague was being targeted and I had to speak up for her, it has led to further problems …now even I am facing the repurcussions…but the big picture is my fight for justice…I feel good to have stood for someone!!

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