"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything"
- Peter Marshal
This quote holds true in the workplace. Your equals, subordinates and superiors need to know what your stand is, on certain workplace issues. You cannot seat on the fence and build stable workplace relationships. How would you like to work with someone who blows hot and cold on the same subject?
Defining your stand also means you make yourself trustworthy. Trust is a currency you earn from your stability and consistency not on unpredictability and indecision.
Why should I define my stand?
As a subordinate, the common advantage of defining your stand is that it prevents you from being used as a willing handmaid for illegality, violation of corporate principles and sabotage by your superiors. An unprincipled superior is more inclined to using a subordinate who is a "Yes man" to perpetrate fraud in the organisation, knowing his/her questionable requests cannot be denied.
As a superior, defining your stand helps you build respect and maintain integrity within your team. Your team must not go in a direction you cannot defend. The danger of not being decisive is the rising of pseudo superiors among your subordinates who will take advantage of your gaps to assert themselves over others, a situation that may degenerate into implicating you, for uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
One of the reasons why professionals shy away from defining their stand is the fear of being misunderstood or segmented. The result is, they force themselves into tolerance, which is the lowest level of acceptance in the workplace.
When do I define my stand? Early enough. Like the saying goes, It is too late to cry when the head is off. You cannot blow the whistle when you have lost the whistle. If you have been an agreeable beneficiary of a particular circumstance overtime, you have lost the moral right to challenge it. Let everyone know early enough where you belong.
How should I define my stand? Politely, simply and firmly.
Who can define their stand? This is a slightly difficult query, the reason is that trainees at the low end of the ladder are tongue tied and afraid to take a stand. At other times, the culture of an organisation may not accommodate such expression. My suggestion is that you take a stand within your sphere of influence. Don't make your stand known just for the sake of it. Be strategic, tactical, observant and wise.
By and large, if misunderstanding is the thorn of workplace relationships, there is no way to achieve understanding except everyone is clear about where they stand.
I hope this information has brought you transformation.