Voicing Dissent

Voicing Dissent

Category : PROspective

Most public health workplaces involve teamwork, and no team always reaches unanimous consensus on every topic. In fact, one of the strengths of teamwork is the integration of a variety of points of view. On occasion, you might be the only member of the team who sees things differently than the others.

This week’s PROspective offers guidance on whether and how you should speak up. I especially like that the article encourages you to think about whether the group is asking you to compromise your values. If so, speak up!

For example, if the group is taking a shortcut in an analysis that compromises the rigor of the work, and so also the integrity of your part in it, speak up!

But then how do you speak up in a way that maximizes the chances that your view will be influential? Start by showing empathy for the views you don’t hold – that actually opens the group to hearing your views.

Second, separate the topic from the people; your team members need to know you value them, even if you don’t agree with them about the topic.

I encourage you to click through to this short article, which provides strategies for when and how to be the voice of dissent, a valuable skill in the workplace.


Have you struggled to speak up in a professional setting when your opinion was unpopular? Share your stories and ideas in the comments!

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