6 Steps for Taking a Stand

We've all been there. Whether in our career, business, or personal life, we've all encountered situations where someone is being, well, let's say, unpleasant. They are trying to push you to do something you don't want to do, they are questioning your work, they are dismissing your opinion, or they are exhibiting some other wonderful behavior.

When it happens good girls shake in their pink fuzzy booties. Bodacious Women decide to do something about it, booties or not. Here are my bodacious six steps to taking a stand that every woman can do:
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1. Trust your inner voice that says something's not right.

If something feels wrong to you about a situation or person at work, it probably is. We may not know exactly why just yet, but the first step to effectively managing conflict is to believe that there's a problem. Good girls tend to deny or minimize a problem. Bodacious Women don't look away or pretend. They accept that a problem exists.

2. See the situation for what it is.

After you've accepted that a problem exists, back off from your frustration for the moment and use your head to paint as complete a picture as possible. Who are all the players or people involved? What are the facts of the situation (for example, he did this, then she said that, then I said...)? What underlying dynamics do you also see going on? Try to be as objective as possible at this point. It's easy to get emotionally swept up and thrown off as you think through this. Resist that as much as possible.

3. Decide what you want.

Here's where you first need to take a stand with yourself. In almost all the conflicts, there is usually some aspect that attacks our sense of self-worth or self-esteem. Standing up for yourself first means you internally reject negative, critical messages from others as true, and believe that you are a person worth being treated with respect.

Now that you're clear about being treated with respect, what do you want to be different in this situation? Is there a behavior you want the other person to demonstrate? Is there a decision or result you want in your favor? Be as specific as possible, because when you are, you're more likely to get it.

4. Decide how you're going to interact.

Determine what you're going to say and how you're going to say it. Start with a statement of your main point, pause, and then add backup information of what you mean and why you feel the way you do. If you're writing an e-mail or letter, write it once, then put it aside and read it again later. Is it clear? Is it too long? No need to over explain.

5. Do it!

I know that taking a stand in person is a tough thing to do. I also know we have to face our fears head on. One thing that helps is to know that you can't fail. Why? Because you aren't shrinking from the situation. You're doing something about it and that's success right there!

6. Expect some pushback and then respond.

Once you've determined what you're going to say and how you're going to say it, anticipate the response. If you're addressing one person, come up with at least two ways he or she may respond. How will you reply? If it's a small group, consider at least one response for each person.

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