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show me how BIG your brave is

“Brave” isn’t a word often associated with the workplace unless you do death-defying acts as part of your job (think Cirque du Soleil). My opinion is that being bold and determined are great sides of bravery and we mustn’t misunderstand that when someone says “take courage to speak up” it points to hastiness, risk and disastrous outcomes. I’ve had the privilege to discover with many clients that they err on the side of caution by only speaking when they are confident about the accuracy of what they are saying or when they absolutely have to. There seems to be preference to say less and therefore err less; but this isn’t satisfactory to them and oftentimes, they feel humbled and muted.
 
Imagine if we spoke only when we know we are right… how little meaningful interaction would result, much less collaboration on ideas and new discoveries. The purpose of showing up at work is not just to be seen as the right person for the job (remember, you already have the job - congrats!), but to contribute beyond your role through your knowledge, experience and diversity of thought. This can only happen if we share openly and with that pinch of vulnerability. I’m not advocating speaking for the sake of vanity, ticking off boxes or out of turn. Voicing when you have something to contribute, to clarify, to support something said - are all good reasons to take some airwaves. 
 
Ignoring what could be “interesting” and focusing on what could be “useful” also adds reason behind speaking up. Next is to not be precious about who owns which thought or idea. Ask instead if the eventual discussion value added to the people around and supported the tasks at hand. A good way to start is to observe a handful who really model these behaviours and trying it yourself. Build confidence by knowing that your intention is to share and learn as you are passionate about the work and the people. Lastly, may you find that having a voice laced with generosity also models what more workplaces need and motivates others to speak out and up for the right reason.
 
Here’s a song by Sara Bareilles on this theme. I love it when catchy pop songs actually teach us goodness (definitely beats reading blogs!)
 
 
Brave by Sara Bareilles (video)
 
You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle 'neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes the shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
 
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
 
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
 
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I wanna see you be brave
 
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I wanna see you be brave
 
Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don't run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is
 
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
 
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
 
And since your history of silence
Won't do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don't you tell them the truth?
 
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
 
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
 
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I want to see you be brave
 
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I want to see you be brave
 
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I just want to see you
I want to see you be brave
 
I just want to see you
I just want to see you.
See you be brave
 
Songwriters
BAREILLES, SARA / ANTONOFF, JACK
 
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
 

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

- Albert Einstein