Article posted on 23 November 2020

What do we not say when we speak?

The fear of not being good enough can become similar to claustrophobia in our interactions. Whether we are talking about the business environment or we are talking about personal lives, too many times we do not say everything we think, feel or want.

In short, when we talk, we are afraid to reveal what makes us vulnerable, we avoid asking for help, and succesfuly we manage to hide our true self. In reality, however, what we do not say can speak much more about us than what we want to show.

Not too long ago I did an interesting exercise with a team from an organization I work with. The easiest way to get people to talk about the things they fear and rather try to hide is to challenge them – so I invited all the members of the team to imagine what they would do if they were professional saboteurs at work? Their answeres were: „I would not communicate”; „I would pursue strictly my own interest”; „I would avoid to say what bothers me and hide my expectations”; „I would definetley hide my true feelings” etc. After a short reflective pause, all of them realized that not only there was a problem in the organization, but that the problem was theirs and it was necessary to look at it as such.

Authenticity, sincerity and transparency are basic principles for open communication – of course, we do not always know how reveal/ express the way we are and the things we believe in, for fear of being judged. However, the closeness on a personal level between employees is very important – for people to work well and become successful as a team it is necessary to know each other on a personal level. WE are the same in so many ways, and our fears are more similiar than we even realize. WE become more empowered and free and confident only when we can openly say what we believe and show ourselves as we are.

Executives have a very important role to play in this aspect – it is necessary for leaders to see their people through their feelings and needs and  talk about them openly. To do so, however, leaders should first listen to their emotions and try to understand them.

The attitude of a CEO is imperative, because it sets the tone for the entire organization. As John Powell once said, “Communication works for those who work at it.” Open communication is an exercise that can be disciplined, learned, improved – we just need to be aware of its impact and how much it can change the way we relate to others, whether we are talking about an organizational environment or talking about our personal lives. 

Have the courage to:

Speak up,


Stay in discovery 

Dare for more// Lilia