I tend to speak my mind most of the time which is useful a fair bit of the time but not always. I’m trying hard to get better at shutting up in certain situations. When learning any new skill, intentional practice helps.

There’s also the really tricky issues where I probably should speak up but don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation.

It’s a challenge trying to get the speak up shut up, recipe right. It’s a bit like the sweet and sour components when cooking a nice curry: when the balance is off, it’s not pleasant.

Getting the communication recipe right is the most common challenge I see in all the organisations I work with. These range from Not for Profits; small or corporate agribusiness; family or corporate farms and all levels of government. Most of the problems I’m asked to solve are of a technical and or commercial nature. In many cases, the underlying issue is either not enough communication or poorly chosen words.

By learning a few tricks to craft and script conversations and recognising when shut up or speak up is required, the vital messages will flow and the angst will fall. Better still, the technical and commercial problems can be solved more quickly and with less pain. It makes commercial sense.

Here’s a little Speak Up and Shut Up Tool I use for myself. I right down these dot points before a meeting or when I need to tackle a hard issue. Below are some fictitious examples.

Stay safe. Farm well.