Have you ever thought, as you see a conversation playing out at work, in a community meeting, or a casual gathering with friends, “I should really say something.”
Maybe a different perspective could be useful in this moment, or additional context might help steer the conversation, but you choose not to say anything. You doubt yourself. You don’t want to cause a scene or distract from the conversation at hand.
The need to say something—stopped short because we don’t know what to say.
But what if.
What if we had the words, the confidence, the readiness to communicate in those moments?
Over these last few weeks, as I’ve been off my computer, out of meetings, and away from my team, I’ve thought about a few of those moments, when I wanted to say something. In many cases, I did. And I’m glad I did. But in others, I chose not to say a word.
What are the moments you feel yourself holding back? Do your words get lost in the desire to get your words just right? And as the leader of a team or an organization, how are those moments holding you, your team, and your organization back?
Surprisingly, when I look back, I find that I most often doubted my own words when encouragement might have been what was needed most. Moments when a few genuine words of support could have made a profound difference in someone’s journey.
This week marks the start of year five for Mission Partners, and year 18 for me as a business owner. As I reflect on the remarkable breadth of what we’ve achieved, together with our clients and partners, I also realize that there are things I’ve been wanting to say: perspectives I have and words I can share to help inform and encourage mission-driven organizations along their own journeys—tools to help organizations like yours find the power in your own stories.
And so, as we turn this page into a new year, I’ve decided that I’m going to say something. Many things, in fact, over this year that I hope can help you in harnessing the full power of communication: The power to tackle tough conversations; the power to challenge stereotypes; the power to build bridges, deepen impact, and advance more just and equitable outcomes, all through communication. We’ll cover a lot, and I hope you’ll join me along the way.
Turns out that I do have something to say. And I think you do too.
Together, we’ll find the words.
This is the first in a year-long series of posts by Carrie Fox called Finding the Words. If you like what you read, we invite you to follow along by subscribing to the Mission Partners’ newsletter, and sharing this entry with a friend.