Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Loudest Voice Wins

I heard that once at a class I was taking and I think it's a great phrase to be reminded of every now and then.
The loudest voice wins.

It doesn't necessarily mean the loudest voice in volume, but the voice that is the most persistent, the most passionate, the most present.

I've found myself smack dab in the middle of a couple of situations recently which have shown me the importance of that phrase. I just wish I would have remembered it sooner (you know how it feels to leave a situation wishing you had said something? or when you said something you wish you hadn't said?).

For me, I've been not saying things I think I need to say. In two organizations I'm involved with, I seem to have the most out-there ideas - the ideas that seem to be challenging the status quo more than any others. Consequently, they're being met with resistance by the majority of the group(s). My first reaction is to shut down and withdraw. But I'm beginning to see that in order for either of the groups to establish consensus, we need to have loud voices for both sides. If we need to come to some sort of compromise in our decision-making processes, and the goal is to come to the middle, when I withdraw, I skew the results. Instead of a 50-50 compromise where both "sides" are heard equally, my withdrawing makes the compromise even further from my position than if I had continued the conversation.

So even though I may face the slings and arrows, my voice needs to be heard. And I'm the one who is responsible for its persistence, passion, and presence.


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