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February 3, 2014

I saw a YouTube video clip of a reporter being threatened by a congressman. The congressman became angered by the reporter asking him questions about an ongoing investigation into his campaign finances, and threatened to throw the reporter of a balcony.

The next news clip showed the reporter on a cable news show describing the incident in the most passive manner he could. For example, when asked for his version of the story, he began by stating that the congressman “seemed angry.”

I am strong advocate for tact, but there is a thin line between being tactful and being fearful. My intention is not to blame the reporter here for being  threatened, but how many people can relate to being part of a bullyish workplace culture? Where you are expected to conform to a culture of tolerating disrespect and bullying from others for the sake of not getting your pay check disrupted?

That kind of stress builds up and over time it creates health issues for others. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reporter was encouraged to take a passive stance on the issue by his employers, for fear of being denied access to the congressman and other politicians. Sadly, but that kind of conformity is irrational and humiliating.

So why do people do it? Why do people conform to certain standards that go against their best interest? The reality is that most of us have been conditioned from an early age to follow the leadership of certain members of authority regardless of how  immoral or unethical that leadership is, with the promise that after all is said and done, we will be rewarded with______.

What if you came to believe that there is no reward from being a blind follower? What if you came to believe that you can create your own reality where you can advocate for yourself without detriment to your ability to provide for yourself? As a soldier I once had a senior officer come into my supply shop to bully me into giving supplies without signing them out. I always told him no. Then one day he took the direct route and pointed to the rank on his collar and asked me if I knew what that meant. I then invited him into my office where I was candid with him. I politely asked him not to harass and intimidated again, or I would file a formal complaint. He apologized and it never happened again.

Conformity is overrated, people then to put their trust in others while conveniently forgetting that there are no guarantees in life, which only calls for us to do the best we can without over thinking consequences.

Regardless of the obstacles we face, we have the ability to create our own realities, so if you want a workplace culture where you are treated with respect and dignity, you can make that your reality. In this previous post, I discuss how two types of thinking patterns shape our reality.

 

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