As an architect, you make choices everyday about whether to speak up or stay silent. You choose who to listen to and whose voice to discount. Your teams and your organisations develop ‘conversational habits’ internally and externally, with stakeholders, around what gets said and who gets heard.

These habits have enormous consequences on your capacity to challenge and be challenged and offer and hear different perspectives. Ultimately, what you say and who you hear defines your reputation, your career, your ability to pivot in crisis and is a critical factor in shaping your lasting influence on the physical environment.

Professor Megan Reitz’s research suggests that counter to common perceptions, speaking up is more than a simple question of individual courage; speaking truth to power should be understood as relational and systemic.  Listening up is as important, if not more important, than speaking up. Findings illustrate how those perceived to be powerful are often deaf to the consequences of their power and how it silences others. Inviting others to speak and listening skilfully, proactively encouraging truth speaking and creating a culture of psychological safety is a fundamental leadership task.

In this talk Professor Reitz will explain how to say what needs to be said, and hear what needs to be heard.

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