Speaking Up at your Company

Speaking Up at your Company

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Civil Disobedience

After reading both articles "Silence Killing Your Company?" and "Civil Disobedience I have come to many conclusions in respect to silencing one's self in the face of authority. It is very important to me that when I am faced with a situation that I express myself fully and to the extent that I may be shunned from the group. In many situations people find it hard to speak up when they have a voice to be heard and in many of these situations they are correct in doing so. Disagreements within an organization can cost the company money and time when disagreeing about petty matters. However, when faced with an issue of importance or someone's moral values it is important for that person to speak up.
Today in society there is a growing trend for diversity in the workplace. To continue with this trend business and organizations the entity must protect the rights and opinions of people as individuals. Policies must be set in place that allow for people to stand up for what they believe in within and organization without the problem of being outcast by their peers and their superiors. It is my belief that if a company outright displays a message of diversity they are looking for new ideas, they should welcome controversy on the behalf of its employees. When someone chooses to speak up about a particular matter then this gives way to change within the company which can often time be for the better.
However, speaking up can often times be for the worse. As stated in the article "Silence Killing Your Company", you should know when to "zip it". Often times people are just controversial people and love to challenge authority in any way that they can. If an issue that you want to bring up has no direct effect on the work that you are performing, then you should rethink your decision to speak up. Also if you are spending too much time arguing issues than resolving them you should rethink your arguments to decide if they are actually worth speaking up for. There is also like the article suggests a time and a place for certain arguments. Everyone should confront their differences but sometimes there is a time and place to address certain issues. For examples criticizing something that your superior does, in public, may be a bad idea that can hurt your career or your superiors.

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I also believe that speaking out on major issues should be done with care. It is one thing to speak out against something that you morally object and another to criticize one's character. In other words you should not try to use your voice to hurt others in anyway unless they are doing something that can directly hurt other people in anyway.
Many people believe that speaking out can be costly, time consuming, and may cost you your career however I believe the opposite. As the author of "Silence Killing Your Company", points out it is very costly not to speak out. If your place of business has you doing something illegal that you morally object to however continue to do. You may be held legally responsible for your actions. As in the case with Enron, many people whom were just following orders and refused to speak out about the problems within the company, cost themselves time in jail. They never spoke out therefore they were held responsible for their actions. In this case I believe it is important to rise up and let your voice be heard to defend yourself and those hurt by the actions taken by your superiors. Not only did the scandal cost the upper level management their freedom but it cost hundreds of people their life savings and their jobs. If someone had spoken out these innocent people would have wonderful retirements ahead of them instead of working until the day they die.
The costs associated with not speaking out are and can be greater than the costs of keeping silent. I believe also that each person has the obligation to themselves to operate in a manner that is good and moral. I have a moral obligation to myself and society to do what I believe is better for the whole. Each person should evaluate themselves and realize they should do what is best for society even if it means to rise up and speak against their superiors.
Many people also have a problem with speaking up and not having their voice heard. If one can speak up and their ideas or feelings are shot down they have the option to converse with their peers to find if there is a consensus among them. Many great people have spoken out in history to find that there were millions of others that had the same feelings as them. And with these great numbers they can make their voice be heard by using these numbers. The same goes in an organization. Speaking out can lead to the consensus of one idea that cannot be ignored given a large number of your co-workers feel the same. This has been proven throughout history by people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi.
It is sometimes a fast paced workplace that leads to silencing of employees. I think that it is the responsibility of the employer to see that there is an opportunity for employees to slow down and come up with new ways of thinking and doing things in order to become more efficient. I believe that diversity goes hand in hand with speaking out against what you think is wrong or a bad way of doing things. Working at a fast pace silences people with its deadlines. It is important to let people work at their own pace while at the same time meeting deadlines but innovating the way that they do their work. Letting employees speak out freely may lead to higher productivity as well as higher profit.
Preserving relationships is probably the largest reason for one not to speak up in situations. I believe that if you will keep yourself silent on an issue that you believe is very important just to save a relationship with another person you are a coward. If you can put your morals aside not to sever a relationship with another person then either the issue is not that important to you or you are a weak person. No one should ever put aside strong moral values to please another. When this is done you are only hurting yourself and not being true to who you really are. My own personal feeling is that if I feel very strongly about something I will speak out no matter the costs. Even if it means that others will hate me I cannot bottle up my feelings inside because id rather anger someone else than myself.
I feel that silencing yourself if a very important issue today and I believe that society is beginning to value people that speak out against evil. It will take a long time to organize a society where everyone's opinion is valued for what it is worth and speaking out will not be frowned upon. As diversity becomes more and more important in the workplace more and more individuals will make their voices and opinions heard without consequence of lost relationships, costs to their organizations, and scrutiny from their peers and their superiors.
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