In the workplace, voicing your opinion can be a daunting prospect. You don’t know what people’s reactions may be, or you may be scared of coming across foolish or ill-informed. This is why it seems easier to just sit back and let things happen without voicing your thoughts, even if things are moving in a direction you disagree with, or worse, can have a negative effect on you in the long term.
But there are some upsides to voicing your opinion in the workplace, they include:
You'll Appear More Confident
Confidence is never a bad thing to have. In a job interview, it can make you seem like a more appealing candidate. In a deal negotiation, it can make you seem like you have more authority and in a meeting, it can give you and your ideas more credibility.
You Never Know What Could Change
A common reason for employees holding their opinions back is believing that their opinions don't matter - that they won't be listened to, or they won't be acted upon. But you will never know if you don’t say something. If you speak up, your voice might make the difference, but if you hold back, you'll never know what positive outcomes you could be missing out on.
You will Drive Discussion
Even if your opinion isn't taken into serious consideration, the fact that you brought it up can still drive a meaningful discussion, so even if your opinion or idea isn’t actioned there and then, it could generate some alternative lines of thinking and new perspectives that keep the conversation moving forward.
You Could Be the Voice of the Majority
Sometimes, people are too intimidated to voice their opinions because they feel like they're the only ones who feel a certain way. However, everybody else in the meeting or discussion could be thinking the very same thing. If you voice your opinion, you could give a voice to everyone else.
Regretting Action Is Better Than Regretting Inaction
This is key for many areas of your life. It's possible that you voice your opinion and regret it, but it's also possible that you keep your mouth shut and regret not saying anything. Ultimately, our regrets of not saying anything are much more severe than our regrets of action, meaning keeping your mouth shut is actually the more likely regret of the two. Speak your mind (thoughtfully of course) and you'll feel good about it, even if it doesn't turn out how you intended.