One of the inherent characteristics of people-centric organisations is to have a speak-up culture where employees feel safe to express their thoughts and ideas and are assured that they are heard and taken seriously. However, this culture does not come naturally, the leaders need to build and continuously maintain this. At an individual level, speaking up (especially in a public setting) also does not always come as a natural trait for many people.
We are so fortunate to have an opportunity to have a conversation with one of our Fazz women leader, Ayunda Prameswari (Director of Product), to hear her story about how she developed her confidence in speaking up and what she learned from having the workplace with a speak-up culture like Fazz.
How do you build confidence to speak up at work?
At first, it was not an easy journey for me to build up my confidence to speak up because in many parts of Indonesia even now, people still perceive speaking up as a sign of disobedience.
After joining Fazz, I realised that if I truly feel what I am saying to be true, then I must say it. Speaking up is a sign of care. You speak up because you have a good intention to make changes or to bring betterment for all parties.
Besides that, Fazz has a supportive and nonjudgmental working environment that helps me feel confident and safe in voicing out my opinions.
What did you learn from being open and transparent at work?
I discovered that being open and transparent at work allows me and the team to build trust and understanding of others without the presence of fear.
While we encourage people to speak up, people need to understand that matter (content), manner and method in delivering the message are also important. In order to finally constantly create an open and transparent workplace, we should be able to convey the message appropriately and with respect.
Is there any example from your experience where you shared your ideas which led to an impactful outcome?
A couple of months after Fazz was first established, the co-founders invited me to discuss how we can harmonize employee’s diverse cultural backgrounds..
This opportunity made me realise that when I speak up, I am not only speaking and advocating for myself but also for the interests of others. This opportunity led to some organisation-wide initiatives in cultural alignment and harmonisation.
Any tips for anyone who wants to encounter their fear of speaking up (especially in public)?
Understand that silence is not always in the best interest of an organisation. Silence might seem easier and safer for our own self, but not necessarily for the interest of the team.
Start small. If it scares you to think about speaking up in a public forum with +500 people in the room, you can start speaking-up during your 1:1 meeting with your manager or your working team of 2-3 people.
Make it about the team or company, not about you. You should start by having a good intention to speak up, i.e. conveying the collective concern of the team and focusing on the problem, not to point fingers at the wrongdoings of others in public. Share your point of view, at the same time, be open to any differing opinions.
Speaking up in the workplace is never an easy task but it has proven to have benefits not just for the organisation but most importantly for yourself. Speaking up in the workplace helps establish respect and trust within your organisation. So, the next time you are in a meeting, don’t be afraid to speak up and let your voice be heard!