The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Taking a stance

Depending on the atmosphere in an organization, taking a stance will have a different meaning.

There is the content, that is what someone is standing for, but beyond this, there is an idea of the intention that belongs to that stance.

The political stance is one where people take up a position and know that it signals a group one decides to belong to. A very common discussion in Europe right now is the one of deciding to be vaccinated or not. As a result people who decide for either position also belong to a group.

The personal stance is the result of choosing a position and making it about the person that is taking the position. In contrast to the political stance where the idea one stands for has priority, the personal stance is all about the leader one affiliates with. It’s a stance that comes with a leader-follower dynamic of status. It gives someone the leadership or competes for it.

Both the political as well as the personal stance can also be attributed. It happens for example when the atmosphere in an organization shows some degree of polarization. When identifying the other is linked to affiliation and serves a stereotyping purpose. It often results from the pressure the group is setting up to reach one position. The more anxiety there is to reach that result, the more people in the organization interpret their relationship based on knowing who is a “friend” and who isn’t. In the current discussion on vaccination, people who are not clearly declaring their position as with the one of the person they are talking to will often find themselves being identified with the opposing position.

The curiosity stance will be used to explore a position. By deciding to be curious about something and engage with a position it becomes possible to set one’s own evaluation aside for a moment. It is giving oneself the chance to put one’s own biases aside and test others. It’s allowing oneself to see a problem from a new perspective and see if something innovative emerges from there.


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