Heather Hansen

Trial Day 12 – Learn To Object

Today I want to talk about learning to object. I give entire keynotes on this topic, and it has a full chapter in my book, so this is just a tease. But it’s an important one. You have to learn to object effectively. You have to learn to stand up, use your voice, and set your boundaries. Because no one can do it for you.

You might think that they can. As a child, you depended on your parents to object for you. I know I did. If someone hurt me,  I quickly looked to my parents to fix it. Women especially tend to look to others to do their objecting for them. We’re taught to be nice, and not to rock the boat. There’s value in that, as rocking the boat can get your wet and without a ride. But sometimes, you have to rock the boat. And only YOU can know when that time is, for you. 

The way I object in the courtroom taught me a lot about objecting in life.For me, there are 3 steps.

1-Stand Up. Action often precedes motivation, and sometimes all it takes to object is a little movement. There are even times when the movement itself is enough. A shake of the head, standing in protest, or leaving are all small movements with great impact.

2-Use Your Voice. This gets its own day a little later, but it bears repeating. We are the only creatures on Earth with the gift of language. We have to learn to use our own, singular voice. This takes practice.

3-Set Your Boundary. Only YOU know what that boundary is. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. You have to know your boundaries, and set them for yourself.  It’s worth your effort, because your boundaries are shown to be an important part of your personal identity and self esteem.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO OBJECT. When and where will you object today? Maybe it’s when you see someone else being spoken down to, or maybe it’s when you’re on the receiving end of that behavior. You don’t have to scream, yell, or fight. But you might have to stand up, use your voice, and set your boundary. And then share. How do you feel about objecting? Does it come easily for you? And if it doesn’t, why not? This was a hard one for me, in court and in life. But it’s also been the key to my wins.

Don’t forget to comment and to share!

Heather Hansen

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