Dr. Michael Heah
Question: There is a battle going on in my mind as to whether living in righteousness to speak the truth in all instances is better than compromising my values and principles to tell half-truths to protect people’s interests.
I ask this because it appears that my righteousness is not paying off. People are calling me all sorts of names, from being uncooperative to self-centered, selfish, and rigid.
As a result of this, both my peers and direct reports are avoiding me and are not giving me their cooperation for projects that we need to work together on.
Does being righteous really pay off? Or is this the price that I have to pay to live in truth?
Answer: You need to ask yourself honestly as to whether yours is an external righteousness to show people of what you are, or an internal one where it is really between you and the one above.
Why I ask this is because I know of many people who silently and subtlety tell the whole world how good, pure and honest they are. They have exhibits of all kinds to carry the message for them. They give advice to others; they judge others when they make the ‘wrong’ remarks; they openly steer clear from joining any gathering that they feel are against their beliefs.
And no matter how the others persuade them, they will never bend a little to give in to them.
Your stance may be something like this, where you want everyone to know where you stand in an issue. But life is never black and white. There are always imperfections everywhere and learning to live and adapt to them is the hallmark of a good people-connector.
Thus, when someone exercises flexibility and understanding in a situation, it is usually about the greater good that they want not only for themselves but more for the sake of others.
Let us take the case example of John who is at a friend’s wedding anniversary where everybody is enjoying themselves. John is a strict disciplinarian and is on a strict diet. Despite everyone persuading him repeatedly to drink and eat a little more, he flatly turns them down to their disappointment. He would not trade his discipline for anything or anyone else as he has a goal to achieve.
Wouldn’t he be a mood-spoiler in a party of this kind? How much harm is giving in going to do to him?
Powerful questions you can ask yourself:
• Is it important that others must know what you stand for in your life?
• Do you often feel that your interests must come first before others?
• Do you feel for others and put yourself in their place?
• Do you want others to care for you?
Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with www.corporate-coachacademy.com