Speaking Up at Work

Publication Date: Summer 2023

If you have ever feared speaking up about your ideas or have done so but are frustrated by your lack of success, this book is for you. You’ll learn from the stories of others who have been a “lone voice” or an “independent thinker” and their attempts at change—both successful and unsuccessful. By learning from their experiences, you’ll gain insight into effective tactics and pitfalls to avoid. In addition, if you are a leader and afraid you are not hearing the best ideas from your team, you’ll learn various tools and tactics to let the best ideas emerge.

Along with stories ranging from CEOs to individual contributors, you’ll learn insights from studies in psychology and management and what has been found through decades of research. Together the book offers an engaging portrait of when, why, and how to have your voice heard at work and in life.

Review Quotes

“An engaging, evidence-based, and actionable read about how to raise problems and solutions. From his extensive experience studying the challenges of speaking up, Ryan Smerek offers vivid examples and useful guidance to help you make sure your best ideas get the attention they deserve.”~Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THINK AGAIN and host of the TED podcasts WorkLife and Re:Thinking

“Ryan Smerek masterfully explores the difficult activities of speaking up and independent thinking by interweaving evidence from first-person interviews with relevant research and frameworks to produce accessible guidelines that lead to impactful original thinking. These ideas redescribe the quality of leadership in an important new way!” ~Karl E. Weick, Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior (Emeritus) at the University of Michigan

“Self-censorship and self-editing are prevalent in our current organizations and in society. Being fearful of being ostracized, criticized, punished, or just offensive to others for articulating one’s perspective is common. In this environment, Ryan’s book is not only badly needed, but it is crafted in a way that is both practical and grounded in proven principles. Most importantly, Ryan uses the experiences of real people who have demonstrated how to navigate this territory effectively. You will learn a lot from Ryan’s book on how to effectively exercise your voice.” ~Kim Cameron, William Russell Kelly Professor Emeritus of Management & Organizations and Professor Emeritus of Higher Education at the University of Michigan

“In these times of uncertainty and competing definitions of any situation, it is more important than ever to become an independent thinker. This timely and well-written book shows you how to use critical thinking, truth and reason, and evidence instead of fiction and opinion to have your voice heard and to lead positive change in your organization and your life.” ~Wayne E. Baker, Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and author of All You Have to Do Is Ask