The Significance of Speaking Up in a Discussion

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Speaking up in front of strangers or others often make people feeling uncomfortable. We all experienced a time that we are speaking publicly or presenting out ideas or even asking questions and afraid of getting rejects or having conflicts. We felt that the body and voice is trembling, burning, and even the brain is malfunctioning. Many people, for this reason, choose not to speak up their unique thoughts. However, speaking up is challenging but necessary. If I am in meeting or in discussion, I would speak up in which I have important or different ideas, opinions, concerns, and questions because silence cause negative consequence and speaking up benefit everyone.

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Silence in the discussion oppose to its purpose and impact its productivity. The discussion, in fact, give an opportunity for me to share my thoughts. Those thoughts from everyone in the group combine together and lead to the conclusion or the answer for a problem. Thus, without speaking up for different idea, especially ideas that opposite from the others, it set a limitation on the achievement that we are able to gain from collaboration, because not everyone is sharing. Furthermore, it severely impacts the variety and aspects of ideas, since only people who voicing their ideas is being heard. If maintain silence, I am not participating and contributing which I am suppose to. I also have the right to express my own idea, and I should employ this right by speaking up. As Carlo Rotella suggests, “but to be a contributing member of such a fellowship of reason, and not an impediment to it, you need to ante up your share of useful thinking” (28), which in other words, speak up during the discussion to not be an obstacle of others. Staying silence make people comfortable, and for me, listening to the conversation or discussion of others was one of my preference.

However, during discussion and when I have any thoughts, I would cease the silence and speak up. In addition, the benefit of me speaking up outweigh the cost. The ice between strangers in discussion can only be broken when people begins to speak up. Expressing my ideas by speaking up is critical for starting of a relationship. Also, it improves our understanding on each other by having different ideas being expressed and listened. Therefore, with a friendship and better comprehension on the characteristics of member participated in the discussion, we maximize the productivity of the group through this benefit. Speaking up my ideas help me contributes to achieving the goal of the discussion. Although the thought may be oppose by majority, it introduce another topic into the the discussion and, while causing argument as a cost, give an opinion from a different viewpoint. Opposite ideas and thoughts extend the consideration and inspired more ideas from other. Under influences from my family, I often speak out any question and ideas that different from other as well as senior with more experiences.

Thus, I would speak up during discussion include family factors as well. For the reason that sharing my idea benefit the conversation, I would speak up during discussion for any thoughts and concerns. This ideas sometimes opposed the ideas of others but are deserved to be speaking up in my opinion. The situation for me to speak up may varied as well as the reason may changed wen I becoming more mature. In the workplace, with circumstances different and also in meeting, I may choose not to speak up all my thoughts when cost actually greater than the benefit. For example, as stated by Zoe Chance in her reasons for not speaking up for harassment, there is a tremendous risk for speaking up.

Works cited

  1. Chance, Z. (2018). Why we don't speak up about harassment - and how to change that. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from
  2. Rotella, C. (2014). Ante Up Your Share of Useful Thinking. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
  3. Baumeister, R. F. (1984). Choking under pressure: Self-consciousness and paradoxical effects of incentives on skillful performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(3), 610-620. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.46.3.610
  4. Bodie, G. D. (2010). A racing heart, rattling knees, and ruminative thoughts: Defining, explaining, and treating public speaking anxiety. Communication Education, 59(1), 70-105. doi:10.1080/03634520903564362
  5. Carnegie, D. (2010). The Art of Public Speaking. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  6. Freedman, J. L., & Perlick, D. A. (1979). Crowding effects and human behavior: A critical review. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 9(1), 27-46. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1979.tb01360.x
  7. Gudykunst, W. B. (1991). Bridging Differences: Effective Intergroup Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  8. Hogan, J. (2007). Speak to Win: How to Present with Power in Any Situation. New York: Free Press.
  9. Lucas, S. E. (2012). The Art of Public Speaking. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
  10. McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1987). The relationship of communication apprehension to fear of negative evaluation and other personality traits. Communication Research Reports, 4(1), 26-31. doi:10.1080/08824098709359766

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