Katie's Diary

Silence is Golden? by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

26th October 2015

SILENCE is golden, or so the song went but actually it is neither golden nor prudent.  ubu is determined to be the best organisation it can for everyone and that means evolving and clear communication.

We always have to be on our toes to make sure we’re doing the best job we all can, to deliver fantastic support to the people we serve.  We are always asking what we could do better, challenging ourselves to go the extra mile.

We rely on everyone to give us their honest feedback so we can improve the support we provide, we can’t do that if people don’t talk to us and let us know what’s working and what’s not.

As a child were you ever told, “children should be seen and not heard »?   I was and remember thinking that’s a bit batty.  Like all children, I ignored it when I was really young and had an endearing habit of stating the obvious.  The number of times I got a telling off and reminded that children should be seen and not heard I can’t tell you.   But I persisted.

I could be like the little boy in the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’.   Remember that story?  The Emperor was conned by a couple of crooks into believing that his stunning new suit was beautiful.  Not only was it not beautiful it didn’t exist.   His loyal, or so he thought, subjects kept quiet and said nothing.   He walked up and down naked as the day he was born with people marveling at his splendor.  Until, it was all shattered by the little boy who shouted at the top of his voice – ‘He isn’t wearing any clothes.’   Like all children he saw the truth and couldn’t keep quiet.  The Emperor was mortified, not just that he had been made to look stupid, but also that he had been taken in and that his pride had meant his subjects were too frightened to tell him the truth.  Unlike the little boy they were afraid of what he might say and the possible repercussions.

I have recently been visiting some services and noted that some people were like the emperors loyal subjects.  Rather than acting like the little boy who spoke out, some people didn't use their ability or willingness to see and then say it like it is.   But we all have a responsibility as members of the team to speak out honestly and tell the truth without apologising for it.

ubu appreciates honest friends. They hold a mirror up to us and let us see ourselves as we really are and as others see us.  They help us improve by questioning what we are doing and sometimes suggesting an alternative.  Even better it helps us see people in a different, more positive light.

Emotion can sometimes prevent us speaking out, but it shouldn’t.  We should never be afraid of speaking the truth because as part of a team it is our responsibility for speaking up like the little boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes.  If he hadn’t said anything the Emperor could have bought even more ‘new clothes’ from the conmen, wasted even more vital resources and looked even more ridiculous.

We believe in ubu that if you don’t speak up your actions could have damaging consequences.  Improvements aren’t made and resources are wasted and the level of service and quality deteriorates.  It is everyone's responsibility to speak out and tell the truth. 

And it isn’t just beneficial to the team to speak up, it helps the people we serve and you personally.  People will see the real you, a brave, self-assured person with a valid and intelligent contribution to make to the service.

To continue pioneering, ubu needs people who can speak up and speak out accepting their responsibility to tell the truth without fear.  

Pioneers don’t improve things by doing the same old thing the same way all the time.  They make a real difference by listening to lots of opinions, evaluating all the ideas and then taking some brave decision that usually mean a massive shake up.  ubu is like that.  We need people to speak up.

So please if you have something to say be like the child speak up, don’t be afraid it is your responsibility to tell the truth.

Silence is Golden? by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee Silence is Golden? by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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