I have been MIA for a few weeks. I feel bad that I haven’t blogged, but oh my word, everything that has happened over the last few weeks hasn’t made it easy to fit in a blog of my own. Since my last post about taking a step back from a full plate, in some ways I have done this, but then have filled my plate with a few new things as well.

Over the last two weeks I have been stretched a bit further in terms of capability and experience than I have over the last year. I have stepped up and voiced my opinion and then backed myself to that opinion in a confronting meeting. I have also delivered a presentation on Twitter and how to use it to build your professional network and I seriously LOVED it. Lastly, I have delivered a speech to young university students about my journey into Human Resources (HR) and potentially have opened a new door for myself (more about that in my future blogs).

I am outspoken. I am not ashamed that I like to voice my opinion and challenge when it is warranted and needed. I believe that my experiences of being in HR have confirmed the need for me to allow my voice to be heard and for me to speak out. Sometimes I worry about what the consequences may be, but then I remember that I am providing my voice and opinion with honesty and integrity. It is not done with the intention to cause trouble or to hurt, but is done with the intent to challenge and provide further discussion around a point or points. I recently spoke out against a big body/structure, with the intent of providing some challenges within another discussion, but the intent of what I said was taken differently. I was subsequently called to speak with the head of the body/structure and given the opportunity to voice my opinion in a one to one meeting.

I have to say, I have never been so nervous in my life. Not even for interviews. This was a whole new level of anxiety and panic. I thought I was being pulled up. I was being questioned on what I had said by the person at the top. In preparation I put my thoughts on paper and backed them with examples and proactively thought of suggestions that would work towards addressing my concerns. I kept reminding myself that this was my opinion, I was allowed to have my opinion, I was allowed to have a voice and express it when I had concerns. I reminded myself that these were justified concerns and I had made the effort to provide suggestions for solutions, not just bagged something with no effort to help resolve.

The meeting – well, I’m not sure. There were some positives, but overall, I wasn’t completely happy with the outcome regarding how my concerns were addressed. However, I am positive that my viewpoint was seen and that my suggestions and concerns will be taken on board moving forward. I have a few supporters out there who appreciated the bravery I showed when I voiced my opinion and for that, I know I did the right thing. I acted with integrity and honesty. I had nothing to hide and I was not acting in any way that could be seen as intentionally troubling.

I wanted to write this blog to tell everyone out there to act with integrity and honesty. If you have something to say – say it. Some tips on how to do this effectively:

  • Be honest with yourself and others – say it if it means being true to yourself by providing an honest opinion/viewpoint to others
  • Act with integrity – say it because you believe in it
  • Be diplomatic and informative – don’t say something out of spite or bitterness. Say something in a constructive and informative way so it can be taken with openness
  • Be prepared to back up your statements with examples – no one wants concerns and accusations with no proof to show for it
  • Willingly provide suggestions and solutions – your concerns and viewpoints will be better received when you have made an active effort to come up with suggestions and solutions. It shows you are passionate and care about solutions to these concerns being addressed, rather than just an opportunity to complain

I will talk about my other two experiences over the next couple of blogs, but this blog fits in nicely with our #nzlead topic for May 30th, 2013. BraveHR by Perry Timms is being discussed and is currently a hot topic in the UK.