The Art of Rocking the Boat

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Growing up I was terrified to rock the boat. The thought of someone getting angry or upset with me made my stomach turn. I was a big-time people pleaser.

rock the boat – do something that might upset somebody/something, cause problems or change the balance of a situation in some way.

It took years of practice to realize that when I spoke my mind or had a differing opinion — I was still fine and I actually felt more empowered. I was still standing, no one hated me and if they did, well then either it would blow over eventually or we’d agree to part ways.

Rocking the boat means speaking your truth. I believe this can be done with respect and kindness. It doesn’t have to be an affront.

If you aren’t rocking the boat at work, you likely aren’t getting your needs met. Here are some ways I’ve done it in my career and got what I wanted or simply felt empowered:

  • Asked for work from home days or a flexible schedule (even when no one else was doing this)
  • Had a very difficult and uncomfortable conversation with a colleague who threw me under the bus during a meeting
  • Told my boss that I felt I had been unfairly treated
  • Asked why I wasn’t selected for a job after an interview
  • Made the decision to start my own business even after being advised against it by people I love

Asking for what you want or blazing a new path when others doubt it, doesn’t always get you what you want. Sometimes you learn something powerful that changes you in the best ways, ways you would have never imagined. You may piss off your boss, you may lose a friend, you may get your heart broken—however, what I’ve found is that it has always been worth the risk.

One of my favorite sayings is…

You don’t ask, you don’t get.

So simple and so true. Sometimes we do get things without asking, but often we need to ask.

What will you ask for? Rock that boat.

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