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See it, say it
Continuous Community Clue #006
Every time I speak up, I get a quiet thank you.
I don’t speak up for myself. I do it to help others be seen and to show what I stand for.
Sometimes our job is to help others feel seen and supported. One way to do this is to say things on people's behalf.
When confronted with an uncomfortable situation, we often stay silent because we don’t know what to say in the moment, or we don’t want to get involved.
For instance, when we witness people making potentially racist or sexist comments, it’s easier to say nothing, because why take the risk of an uncomfortable confrontation? And yet, when we don’t challenge the comment, we are implicitly accepting that it’s okay to say such things. As a military saying goes, “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”
One perspective that has helped me is recognizing that the reason to speak up is not to change the mind of the person making the comment. It is to challenge the comment for the sake of other people witnessing the conversation. Perhaps other people feel uncomfortable with the comment, but they believe that the culture is to accept such comments because they have never seen somebody speak up.
But why can’t they just say it themselves?
Humans are complex.
There can be a whole variety of reasons that people won’t speak up:
they didn’t think it was worth raising
they feel fearful of the consequences
they don’t know it’s something other people feel too
it’s draining to talk about it
they could have invisible needs (e.g. neurodiversity)
there could be trauma involved
Why speak up?
because it’s the right thing to do
people need support
those that we speak up for often lack confidence
it will help create a sense of belonging
you may be able to connect more dots
if one person feels troubled or unsupported, then likely others will feel the same
How do you know what to say?
practice the art of listening
create trust to help people open up
be curious about people
pay attention to what people struggle with
seek permission where necessary
just knowing what to say and suprising people works too
🌈 Continuous Community Clues are brought to you by Rosieland.
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