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The Importance of Having an Opinion at Work

The Importance of Having an Opinion at Work
From Recruiter - September 29, 2016

In school, were taught to understand both sides of every issue. If you can argue for and against a point, youre more likely to truly understand all dimensions of the problem at hand.

In the workplace, its also helpful to understand all angles of an issue. Earlier in my career, I worked in strategy roles. My internal customers, so to speak, were C-level executives. When I shared my ideas, I tried to remain balanced, presenting both sides of the argument. I wanted to be unbiased in my approach.

But one executive I worked for wanted to know my ideas. On multiple occasions, he would ask me, But Angela, what do you really think about this issue? He once told meI was the only employee hed ever had whose personal opinion he couldnt guess. In a way, this felt good. I was separating the business and the personal.

Over the years, Ive learned that this is not always the best approach. Recently, something happened to remind me of this point. Ive been working with a smart person to help me on a project. The person is an expert in an area I know nothing about. I respect their experience and perspectives. When it was time to make a decision, I asked the person, What do you think about this? The person responded with, Well, I generally try not to influence my clients with my own opinions.

There are certain times in your career when youre brought in to work on a project because you know more about a particular subject than anyone else in the room. When that happens, its time to share your opinion. Its time to have thoughts based on your past experiences. To a degree, its okay to have biases in that moment. The bias you have is your past experience guiding youpast experience that nobody else in the room has.

Dont get me wrong. There are times at work when your employer is just looking for someone to complete a task. In those moments, theyre not looking for feedback, suggestions, or improvements.



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