Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Consider choosing your “arguments”.

I was listening to talk radio in my car last week, as I often do. The host of the radio show was interviewing a journalist who has been closely following a US Senator who has received a great deal of attention over the last couple of years from her supporters, her opponents, and the press.

The host asked the journalist why he thinks this particular Senator’s outspoken views are getting so much focused attention. He said that what he’s learned about her is that although she hasn’t hesitated to address tough topics, she has established a reputation over her career for sitting back, listening, and considering ideas, way more than she’s spoken out. Therefore, when she does speak up, people listen.

I immediately took his words as food for thought.

Multiple and simultaneous issues may be causing high levels of frustration at work. Addressing concerns professionally and respectfully is crucial to success, and it’s highly recommended in most situations. However, if we’re approaching management, colleagues, or subordinates too often about multiple issues—however valid—we might be drowning out the power behind our feedback and/or recommendations.

If you want to speak up and have an impact,  you may want to consider deciphering which issues are most important to address promptly, which might be best to let go of for the time being, and where you will have the most influence.

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