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How to Get Your Team to Actually Speak Up

There is a common leadership misconception that merely encouraging team members to voice their opinions will foster an environment of openness. But people won’t speak up unless they feel safe doing so. As a leader, this means you have to address the underlying reasons for employee reticence, including the individual and systemic barriers to speaking up. This article outlines several tactics that managers can use to provide alternative paths that feel safe for employees to say what’s on their minds. These include expressing genuine intent to hear diverse perspectives, employing standard questions to invite input without creating undue pressure, discussing communication preferences to align with employees’ comfort zones, leveraging your social capital to amplify the voices of underrepresented employees, and accurately attributing credit to recognize individual contributions.

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