Speaking Up in the Workplace Course

In-House Training Courses > Speaking Up in the Workplace Course

This training introduces delegates to practical strategies to help them speak up and actively participate in meetings and discussions at work and in public situations.

Why Speaking Up in the Workplace is so important

Speaking up in front of others requires a certain amount of courage, because it asks us as individuals to step out of our comfort zone into a public sphere, in which we can be scrutinised and challenged. Some people find it easier than others to speak up in front of a group. However, we can all learn to speak publicly, and with practice, we have the opportunity to become familiar with the concept and enhance our participation in groups, at work and in society.

This training gives delegates the opportunity to explore the barriers that prevent people from speaking up and introduces practical strategies to encourage active participation in meetings and discussions. With regular practice, and support of others, these strategies will help delegates learn to speak up without feeling too self-conscious or overwhelmed.

Key benefits of attending this course

Key benefits to the individual of developing skills to speak up:

  • An opportunity to develop an existing life skill
  • Increases ability to influence decision-making
  • Reduces frustration as you are more confident in expressing opinions and feelings
  • Feel valued as your contribution matters; boosts self-esteem
  • Increases confidence to challenge commonly held views and ability to handle difficult situations
  • With practice, it reduces anxiety/panic and fear
  • Questioning enhances learning, understanding and skills development

Key benefits to the organisation when people feel safe to speak up:

  • Encourages active participation in meetings to ensure everyone’s opinions are heard and valued
  • Focuses on developing an environment of trust/psychological safety
  • Sharing of ideas improves performance and growth and enhances creativity
  • Problems are resolved more quickly and effectively if everyone feels safe to speak up
  • Ensures fairness, transparency and inclusion in decision-making
  • Demonstrates that the organisation has an open-minded culture that fosters discussion and debate

Who is it for?
Individuals and organisations seeking to enhance active participation in various settings, such as meetings, focus groups, and hybrid work environments, and aiming to overcome barriers like fear of repercussions and marginalisation would benefit greatly from this course, especially if they are interested in promoting equality, diversity, inclusion, and process improvements.

The course content and capacity can be customised for individuality and to meet organisations’ specific learning criteria. Consultancy is also an option either as a standalone service or with training.

Course Overview

This training can be tailored to your organisation and focus on situations where you would like to encourage more active participation. For example, the content can include references to meetings, focus groups, 1-to-1s, surveys, periods of change, hybrid working arrangements, equality, diversity and inclusion and process improvements.

Identifying Barriers to Active Participation in Meetings

  • Barriers/obstacles which influence speaking up, for example, fear of repercussions, marginalisation, career disadvantages, bullying and harassment
  • Understanding emotions
  • Psychological safety (establishing trust)

Exploring ways to encourage active participation at meetings

  • Creating psychological safety
  • Establishing a charter (rules/boundaries) for meetings
  • Preparation, agenda
  • Interactive exercises to encourage participation

Strategies for Speaking up

  • DESC Model (Bowers, 2009)
  • Active bystander
  • Open questions, active listening

Preparing for Difficult Situations and Conversations

  • Managing responses and behaviour
  • Speaking Up: from reaction to response in real/role play
  • Practice using approaches covered in the course using real experiences/issues
  • Each group member takes a turn as the observer, the one who speaks up and the one who is spoken to

Final Discussion
Participants share their main learning points and commit to a set of actions that they plan to take forward as a result of the workshop.

Testimonials for the Speaking Up Course:

“Very useful and timely at this stage of my life and career.”

“Be more mindful of the dynamics that occur when speaking up.”

“Enjoyed it, made me think a lot!”

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Find out more


Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. 

We are always happy to talk about our courses and help you to work out the best match for your requirements.


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— Leeds City College

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