Have You Ever Spoken Out Of School?




“Speaking out of school” is a term that many of us have heard numerous times. It refers to saying things outside of a group that should have been kept inside the group. I have been aware of organizations being terribly harmed by this practice, and I’m sure that you can tell of similar instances. It happens in businesses: employees berating management to outsiders, sometimes even to customers – or management berating employees. It happens in sports teams, with athletes throwing blame on coaches during interviews – or coaches belittling the players. It happens in politics, churches, and, of course, schools. It can be especially devastating when it happens in the home, such as the case I bring up today.
Some media try just about anything to “relate” to teenagers and young adults. You and I could discuss examples of the direction this has taken for hours, maybe even days. This week I saw an example of a newspaper trying to capture teens by encouraging them to speak out of school about their family relationships. More than likely, the problems the teens quoted will be exacerbated rather than dissolved. They should have been encouraged to talk with their parents and/or trusted counselors about the situations rather than tell the reporters and the world. With their photos, accompanied by their names in bold print, the teens told what it is about their parents that annoy and embarrass them.
For several years, my cornerstone speaking presentation has been A Strategy For Winning, based on my book of the same title. Principle Number Eight in the strategy is “Enjoy, Like, And Appreciate Others” An excerpt from the book reads:
“…I’ve noticed that so many corporations, sports teams, and communities with talented individuals have never become winning groups because they can’t live together, work together, or win together. They’re like the members of the committee that wanted to plan a New Year’s Eve party, but couldn’t agree on the date.”
People working with people. People communicating with people. That’s what it’s all about. When leading in workshops with groups to help build camaraderie and success in the organizations, I often guide them to list and discuss their individual and group strengths and weaknesses. But I never encourage them to speak out of school. Championship teams, businesses, communities, and families are built from within.
Cooperation is what we’re talking about here. And I’ve heard cooperation described as: “Not so much learning how to get along with others as taking the kinks out of yourself so that others can get along with you.”
Take a long, hard look at the people with whom you associate. Then choose what you consider to be their best attributes and honestly praise them for these attributes. Major on their positive points. This will help them build on these points and they will appreciate you for helping them to appreciate themselves. If someone can truly feel, “You make me glad I’m me when I’m around you,” then you and this person are going to do well together.
Principle One in A Strategy For Winning is “Accept Yourself And Your Worth (And Help Others To Do The Same).” One’s self image determines how he or she will live life. It determines how you will perform in your career. It determines how you will perform as a spouse, parent, student, athlete, and a member of society.
If you would like to hear more of the A Strategy For Winning emphasis, I invite you and/or your group to join me on Tuesday, September 19, at a Lunch and Learn event sponsored by Mountain National Bank. Most of my engagements are closed events at conferences or in-house corporate meetings. However, this free event hosted by Mountain National Bank in Sevierville (TN) is open to the public. We’ll eat, have a good time, and take a look at A Strategy For Winning, from 11:30-1:30. Reservations can be made before September 15, by phoning Amy Reagan at (865) 908-1531. If you live in the area or are visiting, we invite you to attend.
© Carl Mays, author and speaker at over 3,000 events, may be contacted at carlmays@carlmays.com. His books, including A Strategy For Winning, Winning Thoughts, Anatomy Of A Leader, People of Passion and Are We Communicating Yet?, are available in stores, on www.carlmays.com and other Internet locations.
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