I’m guessing she had to learn that the hard way because she is not the type of woman to complain or ask for special favors. She’s the ultimate do-it-yourself gal. I suppose that comes hand in hand with a dash of German stubbornness and a heaping spoonful of a strong & beautiful sense of self. But somewhere along the road, Grandma learned she had to speak up (like a squeaky wheel) to get things done and to have her needs met. She has since imparted the wisdom and I’m grateful for it!
I’m still learning how to speak up to:
get what I need,
state what I want,
and share what I think.
Lately, I’ve been doing a decent job of it but I’m finding that sometimes (often times) you have to squeak more than once. There are several cases in which you will have to squeak, “a-hem“, raise a finger, squawk or even down-right stand up on a table about 5-7 times before you get a response. Sometimes you’ll have to repeat the process even longer.
Oye…I don’t like it. I don’t like fighting to be heard. I prefer small gatherings to large, boisterous groups dominated by the loudest and craziest person in the room. Maybe it’s unrealistic of me, but I figure if someone really cares what I’m thinking, they’ll ask. I don’t need to fling myself out into the grinding pit of social gabbers and grabbers to be heard. But – if what I have to say or offer is really valuable, shouldn’t I try – at least a little bit?
Here are 6 plausible reasons to Speak UP:
- to share a belief or a desire for change – one might call this ‘sticking your neck out’
- to stand-up to injustice against yourself or another person or group of people
- to state your needs in a relationship (personal or work related)
- to clarify what you want or prefer in a certain situation
- to let them know you are here, available and have something wonderful to offer!
- to affirm your ambition to join in the game – raising your hand always raises your chances of getting picked for the team
People are really busy nowadays. I don’t know if we are productively busy or just over stimulated. Probably a mixture of both. I for one have a hard time getting back to emails and phone calls. If I expect my friends and family and even work associates to understand and not take it personal, I too should understand that everyone else is busy (or over stimulated.) If I don’t hear back from someone, perhaps I’ll just try again and not take offense. I’ll also try to stop my mind from creating a scenario where their lack of response is a passive and un-spoken rejection. Such as “I don’t like you therefore I won’t respond to you” or “I will ignore you and therefore you will go away.”
I fear a negative response (it’s human) – BUT a negative response is better than no response. No response means a person is just busy and you should try try again (and again and again) until you get a response. Whether the response is positive or negative – it’s what you’re looking for! It will either tell you, yes I will proceed with this person or this avenue of approach to accomplish one of the 6 things above! Or the response will tell you, okay – I can check this person/avenue off my list and look for an alternate route. No biggie!
When you get the response – positivie or negative – your path will become clearer! So… squeak, “a-hem“, raise a finger, squawk or even down-right stand up on a table until you get a response 🙂 And always be sure to be kind and professional while doing so.
Tantrums don’t have a really great return on investment. Nor does stalking or spamming, i.e. calling every day or emailing every day. But a professional and respectful approach is a wonderful thing to repeat in reasonable intervals.
For someone who is not naturally a squeaky person, I’m definitely reaping the benefits even if it’s uncomfortable at times. No one wants to be a nuisance, but as I said – if you have something wonderful to offer OR if you need to better your situation or the circumstance of another, it’s worth the squeak. Speak up – you’re worth it!