Pushing back, or attempting to influence others to move or change their position, is something we all need to do from time to time. So, what keeps us from advocating for ourselves, or the greater good? Fear. That gut wrenching discomfort that pops up when we rock the boat, think we’re seen as a problem or labeled as a complainer.

To shift this thought pattern, begin by believing that you have a right, and a responsibility, to respectfully raise concerns and share your informed point of view.

To push back and initiate dialogue, use statements like, “I feel a responsibility to say or ask…,” or, “I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a minute.” Or, “Let’s look at this another way.” Or, “I have concerns about this direction.” Then, ask, “What do others think?”

Pushing back requires courage. With the right word choices and nonverbals, you’ll be experienced as the voice of reason rather than the naysayer.