Boss Lady

5 ways to know if you’re being stubborn at work and 3 to calm it down


Being flexible while also standing your ground and standing up for what you believe in — and your opinions — are all great qualities for you to have.

And the thing they have in common, is that they don’t involve you being stubborn—which can be seen as ‘unfavorable’ by your team and certainly not endear you to them. If you get a reputation for being stubborn and inflexible, people are less likely to want to negotiate with you, and often it results in them deciding to push back against you even before they hear your proposals or suggestions.

But there may be times when you don’t know you’re being stubborn at work. Here are some ways to judge whether you are crossing the line — and calm it down.

1. You keep at an idea or plan, even when you know you’re wrong

While sticking with an idea or plan can mean you are persistent, it can also mean you are belligerent, narrow minded, unable to admit when you’re wrong, and most importantly — stubborn.

Not being able to admit you’re wrong can hamper your career and business success, because it telegraphs that you don’t have the clear judgement of somebody who knows when it’s time to change tack.

2. You do something you want to do even if no one else wants to do it

Trying to force everybody else to agree to what you want against their will – or their judgement – is never going to get a good result. If you do manage to succeed, they will generally resent it and won’t do their best work with you. And if you don’t succeed, they will be better prepared to push back against future suggestions.

3. When others present an idea, you tend to point out all the reasons it won’t work

While an idea may not ultimately work, it doesn’t mean you have to be stubborn in pointing out all the reasons it could fail.

Generally, an idea will be presented for it to be discussed, and not shut down right away. Make your case firmly and clearly, but politely — and this means also listening to opinions that disagree with yours.

4. You get upset when others try to persuade you of something you don’t agree with

While it is okay to disagree with others on things like the direction of a project, you should never get upset or let your emotions get the better of you when others disagree with you. Especially if they are adamant about their idea.

This will just make you seem like an angry, frustrated, and impatient person who can’t accept any ideas that you haven’t thought of.

What you should do in this situation is to take a moment, listen to what they have to say and politely explain your position and thoughts on the idea, just as they have.

5. You agree to or commit halfheartedly to others’ requests, when you know all along that you’re going to do something entirely different

To put it simply, you’re lying.

Halfheartedly agreeing to things others suggest or ask you to do — when you know you’ll do something completely different, can give you the reputation of being an untrustworthy flake and being unreliable. Nobody likes to work with a loose cannon.

Seek to understand

Being open-minded and understanding towards the ‘how and why’ of someone else’s idea can help you be a less stubborn person and give you a greater influence in workshopping it so that it is the best it can be.

Admit when you’re wrong

Knowing how (and being able) to admit when you’re wrong can be one of the best qualities you can have.

It means you know you’re not perfect and you don’t have all the answers — and are not driven by pride.

Say “I don’t nnow”

Lacking knowledge isn’t always a bad thing. After all, it is how people learn.

A great way to lower your stubbornness is to admit “I don’t know” from time to time. Doing this can make you more approachable and friendly to colleagues.

So put these three into practice before you get a reputation for being stubborn, And if you already have that reputation, people could well take three actions above as a sign you are changing.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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