In principle, lawn signs and bumper stickers show where we stand. They are little indicators of leadership; courageously showing friends and strangers what we stand for. It’s very helpful for me to see where others stand (1) as a group in terms of sheer numbers of signs or stickers for a particular candidate or issue, and (2) as individuals whom I know and respect. Seeing what my mentors think helps me decide.
Practical Tip: If you are clear on your choice and if you want to encourage others to make a similar choice than show a lawn sign, bumper sticker, Facebook post, whatever. Take a stand. Lead by example.
Taking a stand and leading by example are helpful in meetings too. Here are two methods. Straw polls are where everyone shows a quick thumbs up or a thumbs down on a particular question, non-binding, just to quickly see where people stand. Line-ups are when we identify one wall of the room as being one extreme point of view and the opposite wall as the other extreme point of view and ask people to get out of their chairs and stand in the place between the two walls, the two extremes, that matches their own point of view. It’s a quick way to see where everyone stands.
To do lawn signs, bumper stickers, Facebook posts, straw polls, and line-ups people need to feel safe from retaliation and need to be allowed to change their minds. This is why we so cherish respectful and civil discourse. Showing each other where we stand helps all of us see the big picture and make good group decisions.
– Craig Freshley