When Your Values Require You to Take a Stand

When Your Values Require You to Take a Stand Sometimes, some situation really offends your values or sense of self. You feel the urge to speak up. But, if you can, spend a few minutes before you do so, deciding whether to go ahead. Who are you doing it for? There are a variety of reasons to confront a perceived wrong. Are you taking a stand on behalf of: The company? You may see or participate in some event which you know will damage the company’s reputation and, in the longer term, your job. Take a stand? It`s very noble of you to be concerned and every boss in the company would applaud you. Unless they already know of the problem and don`t want to fix it. Then you are in trouble. So, the question is, is it worth jeopardizing your job to safeguard the company`s good name? The company’s customers? You may know something about the company or its products which customers should know—financial double-dealing, unsafe products, etc. Take a stand? A judgement call. One of the criteria is probably how much hurt is inflicted on the customer. Threatening safety is one thing; paying a buck more on a…

The Wrong Way to Confront an Issue

The Wrong Way to Confront an Issue As I mentioned in the last post, sometimes you need to take to confront an issue. It takes guts to do so, but it also requires some skill if you want to minimize the damage to your career. Let’s take another example of taking a stand where You had the courage but not all the skills. The hot water way to confront an issue Josh: Erin, your report says the quality has dropped seven per cent.   You: Because it has.   Josh: In your opinion. Okay, so it’s starting. You: No, Josh, I told you—the tensile strength of the robo-bots isn’t high enough. He probably already knows this. Josh: So what? Our toys require parental supervision—it always says so right on the package. They’re safe enough.   You: But if a kid over 60 pounds stands on—     This argument can and probably would go on for a while. Let’s skip ahead.   Josh: Lookit, I’m done arguing. Change the report or else. He’s losing his temper. You: Or else what? So are You. Josh: Don’t mess with me, Erin.   You: You may not have any standards, but I do….

What is Taking a Stand?

What is Taking a Stand? In previous posts, I have discussed situations where taking a stand was an option. Whether it was trying to get a fair division of holidays (Intro), confronting a jerk boss (Power), refusing to maintain a lie (Lying), or trying to challenge groupthink (Groupthink), there can be times when you feel the need to speak up. Let’s do an example of what taking a stand might look like. What taking a stand looks like Amanda is your boss and you both work for an accounting firm. You are a Chartered Accountant as is she. Amanda comes into your office. Amanda: Ryan, I thought we discussed the Sanderson account. You: Yes, I know, but I just couldn’t find a way to not report the loss. Amanda: Oh, put it in a footnote, for god’s sake. You: I can’t do that! Amanda: Well do something. The client doesn’t want to highlight the loss. You: (a deep breath) Amanda, I know it’s important to please the client, but I just can’t do this. Amanda: Ryan, we’ve discussed your inflexibility before and I’ve had about all I can take. You: I’m sorry, Amanda, I’d like to accommodate the client, but…

My Boss Plays Favorites
Employee Stream , Power for Employees / December 11, 2017

My Boss Plays Favorites What it is As I mentioned in other posts, your boss creating an in-group is not unusual and even to be expected. Except when he plays favorites. He: Gives plum assignments only to them Re-assigns a project if a favorite wants it Gossips, you suspect, with the favorites about other employees Allows the favorites leeway no one else is given, like getting in late, slacking off, ‘business’ trips. What it looks like You: Tony, Hiro [Tony’s favorite] asked me about my surgery. I told you that in confidence. Tony (your boss): I’m sure he was just being sympathetic—it’s a big deal. You: That’s not the point—I told you that in confidence. Tony: I had to. He’s taking over when you’re off. You: Hiro! But he doesn’t have the background—he’s never done high level strategy. Tony: Good chance to learn. You: But so many files are at crucial points. Wouldn’t Rebecca be better— Tony: You just need to make sure you brief Hiro well. If you are hoping that Tony will slap his forehead and say, “Oh, my god, I have been playing favorites,” you’re going to wait a long time. What to do One option is…

My Boss is on a Power Trip
Employee Stream , Power for Employees / December 4, 2017

My Boss is on a Power Trip What it is This one is pretty easy to spot although not that easy to deal with. A boss on a power trip tends to: Take credit for others’ work Uses ‘I’ a lot not ‘we’ Blames others for his failures Is never wrong Makes unreasonable demands Is a control freak Spends more time brownnosing the big bosses than on his job What it looks like Lisa (your boss): You made me look bad in front of the VP! The prototype burned out before we even got started. You: But I told you we needed to rewire— Lisa: Don’t give me that. You set me up! You: I didn’t. I told you that it wouldn’t work— Lisa: Yeah sure, try to cover your ass now. Well, I’m not wearing this—I made sure everyone knew whose fault it was. You: But Lisa, if we had put in— What to do You might as well have saved your breath. Lisa has to find someone to blame. Let’s do over the conversation. An example Lisa: You made me look bad in front of the VP! The prototype burned out before we even got started. DO NOT…