Updated: Mar 27
In my first year of engineering I was given this advice. You can be the smartest engineer but if you cannot articulate your ideas and communicate them then it will not matter.
Many engineers tend towards introversion (myself included) which means that learning to communicate requires overcoming fears in the presence of uncertain reactions. Recognizing that not all work environments are "safe" and even for those that are there will always be for many the fear of failure and what others might say.
This is where courage comes in – acting in the presence of fear or uncertainty. Taking risks (calculated or not) has always required courage. It may work out or it may not. You may shipwreck your career or send it to the moon. However, what is worse is living under fear and regret – wondering what if.
We need to also remember that fear itself is not a bad thing. We should fear what is dangerous. However, our fears can be misaligned. When it comes to communicating, we need to fear the risk associated with keeping silent more than the risk of speaking up.
In the upcoming year, may we all find the courage to face our fears and the knowledge to know what not to fear.