Don't Force Your Opinion on Others
I've been a 'conscientious objector' when it comes to my beliefs and opinions. I don't believe in forcing my beliefs on other people. This may seem obvious to some people. However, I've found that a strong core of core beliefs can keep me from doing things that would hurt the people who are close to me.
For instance, let's say you're the CEO of a company. Your direct reports have conflicts of interest. You don't want to be seen as protecting the financial interests of your direct report. However, if you believe strongly in the ideals and mission of your company, then you don't want to be seen as 'pulling rank'. By acting in accordance with your core beliefs, you're much more likely to make the right decisions.
Let's assume that you're a caring person. Being able to care about the people who work for you is an important quality. If you can't care about them, then you'll put your own feelings on the line. How do you know what to do if you're forced to do something you don't think is right? Will you risk your job or reputation?
If you're not a religious person, it's harder to know what to do when it comes to forcing your opinion on others. Some religions require you to be a certain way, and in the process of following their rules, you have to do things you don't really agree with. If you don't like doing those things, then you're not going to put your opinion on the line. Your religious beliefs may require you to do these things though.
In the business world, people are often required to do things that they don't agree with. They may be doing this because it benefits their employer, or because it benefits them. In other cases, they are being forced to do something they don't really feel comfortable with.
When you're in a leadership position, your opinion will always be important to make sure the vision you have is followed. If you're not careful though, others will use your opinion against you, even if they shouldn't. If you believe in something strongly, be willing to say so. Get others to see what you see too. Having strong opinions isn't the worst thing in the world, but having them twisted by others means you aren't truly following your own path.
People are often forced to do things they don't completely agree with. That's why we have free speech. Don't be afraid to speak your mind. Just don't yell at others when they are acting incorrectly. It's easy to anger others when you're acting in haste. You might get angry, but if you take the time to stop and think about your actions, you should realize your actions are wrong.
If you have a strong opinion about something, express it. Even if you don't agree with someone, telling them how you feel is usually more effective than telling them you don't agree because you don't think it's right. Of course, if you can't express your opinion without hurting someone's feelings, you might need to find a different medium to air your thoughts. Sometimes it's better to let others think what you want to think, rather than have your opinion forced on them.
Once you're ready to voice your opinion, be careful not to say something that will make others feel bad. Especially if you have a hard time backing up what you're saying with facts. You could turn something positive into a negative quickly if you're not careful.
If you have strong feelings about a certain topic, you should put them down no matter what. It's important to show respect for other people's ideas. But if you are still having a problem with that person or their idea, you might need to rethink the subject. This doesn't mean you have to agree with them 100%, but making sure you don't allow yourself to become involved in a huge argument about something that shouldn't be an argument. The worst thing that could happen is that you'll drive yourself crazy with all the arguing.
Learning how to let others lead doesn't mean you have to agree with everything they say. But when it comes to your own opinion, you should at least listen and give them the opportunity to say their piece. The last thing you want to do is to stand up for someone and then be perceived as someone who's trying to shut down free thought. You can't force your opinion on others, but you can learn how to listen and give them the freedom to speak.