I’ve come to understand that I have struggled with being critical. I see a problem and I want it fixed, even if I have to do it myself. The issue is, it isn’t always my place or responsibility to do so. When responsibilities fall to other people, they are just that, their responsibilities. Most of the time, people in leadership roles don’t want my unsolicited advice. They certainly don’t want, nor need my criticism. If I ever have people working or volunteering for me, I need to give them some latitude to succeed as they choose. Even outside of the professional sphere, people have free will, and I have learned and am learning not to judge their actions.
The problem with criticism is that it demolishes my influence with people. Without influence, I cannot exercise my leadership gifts and honestly, I become a pariah.
In order to combat this issue of criticism, I’ve come up with a code of conduct. I call it The Tenants of Insistence. Rather than saying what I won’t do any longer, I have listed situations where I should insist, making the list positively oriented. I’m hoping it will make a difference in how I handle this problem of mine in the future.
The Tenants of Insistence
- The Boundary Tenet. I insist in situations where I need to defend my personal boundaries.
- The Physical Harm Tenet. I insist when physical harm may come to innocent people.
- The Good Student Tenet. I insist on being open to learning, even if it overrides the other tenants for a time.
- The Work-Learn Union Tenet. I insist on only working and volunteering for superiors from whom I can learn.
- The Stone-Thrower Tenet. I insist on being uncritical concerning the actions of others, and allow them to fix their own problems.
- The Law of the Land Tenet. I insist on obeying the will of established authority, unless doing so would put me at risk for violating the other tenants.
- The Impersonal Tenet. I insist on not taking it personally when someone reacts adversely toward me, except in so far as I can better myself and my conduct. I will, however, distance myself from corrosive influences to preserve my peace.
Expect edits occasionally, I will do my best to make these better, and perhaps in the process, add a few more. I hope you find these as useful as I already have, dear reader.