Why it’s important to stand your ground

Maxim #36
Don’t let anyone step on your toes

maxim_36This maxim means that it is important to stand up for yourself, and what you believe in, and to not let other people take advantage of you or somehow “push you around”. There are many examples where this can happen in day-to-day life. You may not even be aware it is happening. Here are some simple examples:

  • You are waiting patiently in a long line up and someone jumps into the line ahead of you.
  • Every time you arrange to meet with a friend of yours they show up 10 minutes late.
  • A friend repeatedly makes plans and then cancels at the last minute.
  • You arrive for a scheduled appointment and have to wait in the lobby for 40 minutes.
  • People don’t return your phone calls or emails.
  • Someone jokingly makes fun of you (or your company).

In each case it is easy to just let things happen and walk away, either to avoid confrontation or, ironically, to avoid offending the person who is busy stepping on your toes. “Stepping on your toes” is how people demonstrate, intentionally or not, that they don’t respect you. Standing up for yourself is important to show people that you deserve their respect.

To implement change in an organization it is very important that there is mutual respect between managers and consultants (or performance improvement staff). Therefore both groups must be careful not to step on each others toes, and also to push back appropriately if the other party is disrespectful, intentionally or not. Mutually respecting each other’s time, personal space, information, colleagues and company is important for working together and managing change.