The challenge of saying what you think

I have never underestimated the challenge of saying what you think in writing, in public that social media presents. This challenge has been the focus of much of my work. How does someone representing BP, or The UN, “find their voice” and speak to the rest of us in a way that we can relate to and respond to? Can they? Is it inevitable that they resort to bland marketing corporate speak that fills our networks with more signal than noise?

And what about inside work? Is it unreasonable to expect people who are nervous about what their boss or peers might think to open up and share their thoughts and insights about what they do without protecting themselves by hiding behind the usual veneer of management bollocks.

And what about us, here, now. Not at work, representing no one but ourselves. Why does it feel so scary to so many to engage, to post more than holiday snaps, to respond in comment threads, to question what we see?

I understand. I feel scared. I feel exposed when I write these posts. I risk disagreement, disapproval, scorn or just being ignored. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it for what I learn about me, about the people who respond, about the world around us, and how we might get better at living in it.

The same rewards are there for those brave enough to find their voice at work or representing their work to others. After all these years, I still think it is worth trying. If anything the need gets greater by the day.

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