“How do I have the confidence to speak up when I see something is going to harm the business?”

It’s tough. You might be worried about coming off as abrasive or difficult to get along with. But you want to make sure the company knows about your concerns.

If you’re thinking this way, it shows you care.

You care about the organization. You care about the organization meeting their goals. You also care about how you come off and how you can be a valuable part of a team.

In any team, we need to complete each other, not compete against each other.

How do you have the confidence to speak up when you see something that is going to hurt the business? Here are three solutions whenever you run into this issue.

Solution 1: Never Bring A Problem Without a Solution.

It sounds simple. Never bring a problem without a solution. It’s overly obvious, embarrassingly simple.

It’s not helpful to only point out problems, you need to be part of the solution. Even if you aren’t sure of the precise solution, ideas about how to approach the problem are extremely helpful.

Solution 2: Run Your Concern Through the Company’s Goals.

If you think you see an issue, run it through the lens of, “What are the goals of the organization?” If you don’t have clear goals of the organization, that’s a bigger issue for another time.

If there are clear goals for the organization, take the emotions out of it. You should be able to tie a potential issue to not meeting your company’s goals. It’s the difference between “I think we have a flawed process” and “No one is being held accountable to this process. Our goal won’t meet the timeframe unless we change our process.”

The difference is key: there is no emotion and it ties the issue back to the company goals.

Solution 3: Remember “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Spend time building bridges that can handle the weight of the truth. Build relationships so when the tough times come—and they will come—the business can handle the honest truth.

It’s not helpful to your leader if you wait until the problem shows up in the results. You have to speak up. You have to see more. And more importantly, you’ve got to see it before.

When you do see it, you need to have the confidence to speak up. The business could, quite literally, depend upon it.