#26 - Fighting for Harmony
I was having separate conversations with two young persons about the need to fight for something that is important for one’s wellbeing and integrity. Both were feeling cornered, under-valued, frustrated by their lack of progress in their respective fields. One was in a manufacturing environment and the other in a large administration. The first one had to resort to physical jousting and strong language to get a bully to back away. The second one, the office worker, had been avoiding conflict with a certain co-worker for the better part of the year, and was ready to explode or leave.
When asked what each wanted above all else, they both identified Peace and Harmony in their personal and professional lives as key to their wellbeing. Although one was reacting and the other was retreating, both were getting the same result.
Each admitted that the hardest thing to do was to put into a strong, clear, yet respectful language what to say to their nemesis, or to their manager, about what they were experiencing and what they desired. And truthfully, this is the case for most of us. Maybe we’re afraid of opening Pandora’s box, and therefore keep a lid on our feelings and needs. Maybe we don’t believe that our needs are important and say nothing when challenged. Maybe it’s a matter of upbringing when we were unfortunately taught that taking a stand is rude and it just isn’t done. So our short-term exits strategy is Avoidance, hoping the problem will go away or our adversary will miraculously see ‘the light’. In the meantime, we let off steam by talking with anyone who’ll listen, except of course the one who is challenging our peace.
Enough is enough in 2015! By shoring up the courage to speak directly to the challenger, the boss, the significant other, the colleague or even a friend you have disagreement with, you have a fighting chance of creating peace and harmony in your world. It’s true that the conversation may not go the way you’d like. What if the other person dismisses what you say or goes on the offensive? Holding your ground may not seem worth the pain or embarrassment. And yet… when you flex those fighting muscles and prepare for the tough conversation, your determination may be all the warning the other needs to go look elsewhere for a scapegoat or to start taking you seriously. If this doesn’t happen, by all means, go up the chain of command and start the formal complaint process.
In 2015, I encourage you to face forward. Be the courageous person you already know yourself to be. Flex your conversation muscle and speak up; Do so calmly, clearly, and assuredly, regardless of the response. Make your need for peace and harmony a priority in your life.