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Oh, just say it!

Oh, just say it!

Nicola Hopes

21 June 2022

For goodness’ sake, why are you holding back? If you say what you really think, what’s the worst that could happen*?  

        *As long as you say it in the right way of course! 

People often ask me the best thing about running my own business… 

There are many answers to that question, but the one I keep coming back to is ‘freedom’.  

I get to work with fantastic clients I love, on projects I’m excited about. 

And… drumroll… 

I get to say what I think. 

My clients are paying for my experience, and I would feel like I’m short-changing them if they don’t get it.  

All of it.  

The good, the bad and the sometimes ugly (in the right way, of course)! 

I’ll bet you’ve been in the room with a consultant who’s said something you’ve been thinking for ages and then felt rather miffed that everybody gets on board with it. I can’t count the number of times in a previous life where I have said the words ‘I knew that. What are we paying these people for?!’ 

So (at the risk of doing myself out of a job) what’s holding you back from saying what you know and getting yourself heard?  

Are you getting hung up on expectations or politics? Or losing sight of the value you can really add? 

Put yourself in the shoes of an expert consultant in your field (which you are) and ask yourself:  

  • Are you short-changing those around you because you haven’t said what you really think about that project?  
  • Or you haven’t quite been honest about that decision you think is a disaster waiting to happen? 

If that sounds familiar, then here are some tips to get the message right and get yourself heard. 

  • Remember: you’re not attacking the individual, it’s the project / idea / decision that you have the beef with and that’s the focus of the chat 
  • Practice makes perfect – prepare your message 
    • Let’s avoid an offhand: ‘the idea is bad, and here’s why…’ (and yes, I have heard that used more often than you’d think) 
    • Try: ‘these are my concerns, here are the possible consequences and here’s my suggestion…’ 
  • Try and understand – why they think it’ll work. Ask open questions about the possible implications which may help them come to their own conclusions. 

Go on. Free yourself. Say it. 

I promise it’ll be liberating, even if you don’t change their mind. 

Think of all the money you’ll save on consultants! 

 

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