How many people have the courage to state their position and world view? It is easy to talk about ones values and beliefs when in the safe company of like-minded friends and family. However, how many of us would stand up and be counted when the consequences could be dire?
Considering the recent situation in Zimbabwe, would we all have stood up for our flag and risked imprisonment and worse? In a toxic work environment, how many people would be prepared to lose their employment by speaking out against the status quo?
How many times do we let comments and statements go unchallenged in order to keep the peace? And then go home and fume about the same comments and statements, expressing anger in a safer place.
When confronted with views which are clearly opposed to your strongest values, what is the best course of action? Do you get agitated and angry, expressing your own views and entering a territorial war zone?
It is my experience that allowing yourself to respond emotionally doesn’t help. Taking a deep breath and stating your opposing view pleasantly but clearly sometimes does. Alternatively, ask a question – I am curious, what has happened for you to think that way? Perhaps it will lead to our greater understanding of others. In some cases, the question will unlock some deeper thinking which may lead to an alternate view.
There are times, I guess, when we have to sacrifice our own comfort in order for change to be triggered. And then there are times when we should stand back, ask questions and give space to the other to consider their own position.
This post was written by Merridy Edgson