How Leaders Can Speak With Conviction When It Really Matters

LaRae Quy
4 min readSep 29, 2022

As the spokesperson for the FBI in Northern California, I found myself in several situations where the FBI was criticized, and I was expected to justify its actions. As with most sophisticated investigations, there are many steps when building a case and evidence is not always made public until it goes to trial.

That didn’t stop reporters or members of the public from criticizing what they didn’t know or understand. They hoped they would find a soft center when they peppered me with questions, and that I’d capitulate under their harsh cross-examination.

They left disappointed because I could speak to them with conviction when it really mattered. While the FBI is not perfect, I was proud to be an agent because the FBI’s core values resonated with my own:




What Is Conviction?

When we speak with conviction, we convey a strong belief or opinion; we are confident that what we believe or say is true.

It can take mental toughness to speak with conviction. Are you mentally tough? Take this evidence-based, FREE Mental Toughness Assessment.

You can fake it for a while, but when the chips are down, and you are face-to-face…



LaRae Quy

Former counterintelligence FBI agent | Mental Toughness Center | Consultant | Speaker | Author: Secrets of A Strong Mind, & Mental Toughness for Women Leaders