In a TED Talk, Clint Smith, slam poet and teacher, says silence is the residue of fear. To create a culture that reduces shame and encourages sharing, he has four rules posted in his classroom:

  1. Read critically. 2. Write consciously. 3. Speak clearly. 4. Tell your truth.

Clint Smith’s message is an instructive call to action.

While silence in the workplace has been a survival strategy for some, it is also borne of the residue of fear. Silence has consequences and costs that include an absence of energy and creativity, lost productivity, diminished customer satisfaction and lower profits. Take affirmative steps to be well informed about our company’s challenges and opportunities. Think critically about the part you need to play in generating solutions. Strategically, speak up and respectfully share your ideas and perspectives. Your courageous contributions matter.

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