How to have opinions at work
email@example.com. Lightly edited transcript of a talk originally presented at a staff all-hands meeting at Forward, October 9, 2019. Opinions mine.
Lots of people at Forward like to express opinions, and one of the things that makes me proud of our culture is the fact that we’ve hired for the sort of people who explore the contours of their beliefs by finding areas of logical consistency and inconsistency rather than the sort of people with the best polish to everything they say. What I don’t want, however, is a habit of provocation and offense, where anyone feels silenced or belittled or excluded. So this is a two sided talk: on one side, I’d like to talk about having real opinions (even controversial ones) and expressing them in an ethical and professional way. On the other side I’d like to talk about hearing opposing opinions in the context of a well-intentioned but superficially abrasive colleague (not naming names :p). The whole rest of my ten minutes presupposes genu