Silicon Valley “Study Blue” CEO Becky Splitt on Speaking Up

Dec 04 2018



I’d been in a startup culture that had grown to a couple hundred people, but Microsoft culture was tenfold in terms of confidence, and even arrogance, in the workforce.I experienced many meetings where I didn’t get my turn at the table. I would try to lean in, in the way that I thought would be effective and heard, but wasn’t.

I would witness situations where men would be in the front of the room, proclaiming they knew exactly what we needed to do, but because of individual conversations I’d had with these men, I knew otherwise! I knew that they weren’t nearly as sure or as confident as they seemed in front of that room. And holy cow did everybody get on board!

I was uncomfortable forcing myself to be more confident and proclaiming something as the definitive answer –– even if I knew there was a chance it might not work. But to be a leader, you have to do that. You can’t just go halfway. Your best chance of succeeding is giving it 110% percent, so you have to decide that you’re going to go for it with your decisions as well. That was uncomfortable for me. The perfectionism in me, the I-wanna-be-nice, the I-wanna-be-heard because I’m right… It doesn’t always work that way.

I really struggled with thinking that by communicating more boldly I wasn’t going to be true to myself, because it would mean changing my natural style of communication. I had to get over that. I wasn’t being dishonest to myself. We’re our own biggest doubters, so you kind of have to get rid of that little voice in your head that’s saying, “But you might not be right, so just wait and see, or go check some facts.” If you aren’t feeling uncomfortable, or if you aren’t doing something every day that makes you wonder if it’s right, then you probably aren’t making decisions fast enough or speaking up enough.

Get Becky Splitt’s insight about women and perfectionism here.

About the Author

Allison Kelley


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