For the first blog post, I wanted to write about something extremely common in the workplace, but never talked about. Various educators, and researchers, around the world have said stonewalling should be considered as a toxin in the workplace. I call it the unspoken sin. It’s that thing that holds back progress, but no one seems to know what the barrier is.
You might be able to pinpoint stonewalling when you experience meetings that never solve anything, constant changing of topics, project partners “dropping the ball”, or false rumors around the office. A stonewaller is usually someone who is only out to protect their own image and interests. They could be silent, or they could be extreme. A person usually becomes a stonewaller when they feel threatened. Or, maybe they don’t want to lose a valuable member of their team.
There are 3 things to keep in mind, if you feel like you’re being stonewalled:
1. Remain positive. Giving off that positive vibe will encourage people to follow and support your actions. It will also show your leadership that you are resilient, and can remain focused on completing your job duties or projects.
2. Be assertively ambitious. This requires you to take initiative, but be careful not to be aggressive in your actions. Make sure you ask before handling a task you weren’t directly assigned. You don’t want to put affirmation to the words of your stonewaller.
3. Have integrity. Don’t feed the drive of your stonewaller by falling into the workplace gossip trap. In fact, don’t even fall into the gossip trap outside of work (that includes on social media). A co-worker of mine once said, “Think of every day as an audition for your future job.” It’s true. You want everything you do, to give you the image your future job is looking for. I may touch on this topic in the future, but this is called your personal brand.