Pick your battles
None of us want to sit on the fence when it comes to things that we care about, but sometimes it might be best to just let it go – to pick our battles.
Taking a stand can be powerful. But always taking a stand and confronting what you find unlikeable can be exhausting. It takes up too much of our brain’s energy and leaves you with less time, energy and brain capacity to focus on other things.
When is it worthwhile to take a stand?
Let’s look at a few perspectives.
Is it personal?
When Ruby joined the team, one of the team members reminded her of someone she went to school with that she had not particularly liked. She found herself disagreeing with this team member regularly, and attempting to impress her manager with her perspective. This continuous battle proved exhausting and unproductive.
Perhaps what you are taking a stand for is based on your personal history and isn’t so relevant for your team and your work right now. Instead of fighting, you might just look within and find out why you find this other person so annoying.
What is at stake?
Is the stand that you are taking going to produce an outcome that serves you and your team well? Or is it something that is going to take energy away from more critical issues?
Is the timing right?
Kate, the sales Team Leader was getting tired of her sales team ignoring their responsibilities to capture information in their CRM system; they were starting to lose solid leads. The yearly sales cycle was coming to an end and the team was already running on empty. She knew that talking to them now about the CRM was not going to work. They could start the new sales cycle with a fresh start to how they were going to manage customers from that point.
When giving feedback to people, or making requests of them, you will be more successful when they have the space and brain power to hear you.
Is it worth it?
Not everything is important and while we may have views, even strong views, there can be a range of reasons to choose to leave this particular battle for another time, or even leave it altogether.
There was a popular book written in the 1980s called, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – and it’s all small stuff”
Perhaps we need to revisit it!
Remember that every battle takes up time and energy. Perhaps we should save our energy for the ones that really matter and will really make a difference – to ourselves, our teams and our world.
Below, we are showing some related blog posts:
Tolerance eats at us. It takes energy, it distracts, disempowers, and demeans others. We can only take so much of it. Acceptance doesn’t require you to like the situation. But it does require you to actively work at seeing that it is what it is.
The next time you find yourself complaining, you could instead ask yourself, what power do I have in this situation?
It is very helpful to be able to “get things off your chest”.
This kind of release will help you release cortisol and reduce stress – which most of us could use more of these days.
What is not working is the loud levels of blame and shame which seem to be creating more sensitivity in some and total resistance in others.