Living the life in line with your own values while still showing respect to thoughts and opinions of others
What is it like swimming against the flow when river’s current is moving at a very high speed, heading towards the ocean, and what would happen if you choose to stop and resist the flow?
It should not take much to understand that you would most likely get swept by the strong current. This analogy is an illustration of what happens when we choose to resist the expected, the norm in our personal and professional lives. That is why so few people choose to go against the flow, and instead choose to follow that what they believe is right vs. that what is expected. This small group of people choose to stand up for what they believe and trust. This is especially difficult when one is immersed in the environment where popularity and social and financial status is the only attributes that are valued and cared about. What if you are the one who does not share the same values as the rest of the larger group? What happens then? Are there any options for those who choose to live by the book, those who choose to be themselves and live in tune with their own values vs. someone who they are expected to be? Of course, there is. I am going to over simplify here, understanding that each situation is different. However, the main concept and steps that one would take are the same.
So, what can one do when he or she finds themselves in toxic environment that is draining them of any positive energy and expectations for positive outcome they had in a specific situation and/or team environment?
First, remember that you are not a number on the company’s payroll or roster. You are an individual with your own thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and feelings, and no one can take that away from you, unless you choose to give it away. There’s nobody in this world like you. We all bring something unique to this world. So, don’t trade your uniqueness for place in the group that chooses not to recognize your unique set of qualities, talents, and your value as a person and as an employee.
Second, don’t feel like you must hold your valuable opinions inside of you. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions that bring value as soon as opportunity presents itself to you. But make sure that you are sharing with those who can do something about it and act on your feedback. Sharing your thoughts and opinions with those that don’t care, not ready to listen, and/or can’t do anything about feedback and thoughts shared, would only create an empty noise in a loud room. However, those who are ready to hear you out and act on the feedback provided should be your audience.
Third, just because majority thinks that something is right thing to do, it does not mean that it is the right or the only option/solution in a situation. So, don’t be afraid to express your opinion(s) when appropriate, focusing on the facts, prior experiences, and observations, and do so in a manner that is neutral in tone. Those leaders who are ready to listen and open to feedback of others will listen, and those that are not, would still do what they feel is right, regardless of opinions shared by others. Don’t waste your time and energy if you feel that your feedback/opinions go nowhere, just move on.
Fourth, don’t allow opinions of majority to squash the inner you. If you strongly believe that something is wrong, don’t hesitate to voice your concerns supported by the answer to question “Why?” Stating concerns or problem without being prepared to provide a solution is not a problem solving, it’s called complaining, and that is not what is being discussed in the article. You do not want to be viewed as complainer, but you do want to be viewed as a problem solver in all situations, both at home and in the place of business.
Finally, always remember to be yourself, the person you were born to be, and if everything else fails, go back to this step and remind yourself of who you are. You are unique and awesome individual!
I hope you enjoyed reading this module as much as I enjoyed writing it, and hope that you found it to be very useful for you or someone else that you may know. Please feel free to share this post if you know someone who may benefit from reading it same way you did
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