Most people that really know me, realize I have few filters when it comes to speaking my mind. Not that I would ever intend to be rude or offend anyone or share their secrets… I just believe in saying it like it is. Yes, sometimes I’ll express an opinion or share information and then wonder afterwards if I did the right thing. In the long run, I just prefer to get things out in the open and hope the information might lead to a better understanding or resolution. So my question is, “How far is too far?”
Immediately after I published my last blog post, my partner, Michael said, “Are you going to get fired for that?” I didn’t name any names or place blame on anyone, so that never even crossed my mind. The fact is, IF that were a possibility, I’d be better off not being there any longer anyway, right?
In business and education, everyone works under a veil of fear. You learn NEVER put anything in writing you might not want shared with the entire world; and never share anything you can’t back up or defend. So there’s always this looming secrecy surrounding certain subjects or projects that keeps you from being effective.
When people share their insecurities or frustrations regarding a subject or a relationship– I often find myself trying to help resolve it. Why else would someone share that information? If they just want to complain, then I’m the wrong person to tell. Maybe misery loves company, but if you tell me, I’m going to try to fix it if the opportunity arises.
Ignorance is NOT bliss. Moving blindly through life, unable to make progress because you are being kept in the dark is not a good way to live. Problems need to be addresses and sometimes just getting them out in the open can bring unexpected solutions from resources you didn’t think to consider.
Many times I’ve heard people say, “If I’d known that….”, but they didn’t. So, a potential solution may have been lost. So, how far is too far?
I think if someone shares information with you and you are in a position to make a change or influence a choice, it’s your duty to speak up. Where I get in trouble the most is that my tone of voice sometimes insinuates a know-it-all attitude that offends or hurts someones feelings. My passion for getting involved and excitement when talking about it has been translated as yelling or anger. In those situations, all I can say is– then I guess you really don’t know me. OR, often I haven’t been given the whole story so the person takes it personally.
If two friends aren’t speaking because of a misunderstanding, do you sit idling by and watch it happen? If you know a project someone is working on has already been canned, do you watch them spend countless hours on it without telling them? If you know there is a theft problem that is quietly being investigated, do you let people leave their belongings out where they can be taken? If a friend or colleague is about to make the biggest mistake of their life, do you say something?
How far is too far?
Update on my last blog:
First, I want to thank everyone for their concern, outrage and support over the incident at school. I was able to gather some information to report to my superiors and also provide some possible solutions. I’ve received quite a bit of staff support and expressions of frustration in the matter and hope the right steps will be taken to prevent further activities like this from happening in the future.
Today’s Pic of the Day: The Fly Rail. Looking up at the fly rail, backstage in my auditorium.
I went back to check out a few of your other posts. I can really relate to this one. I tend to be a bit of a gut spiller myself, as you’ve no doubt assessed from my blog. 🙂
Honest and open is the best way to be in my opinion.
I really like this one Jeff. Your honesty and forwardness is something I have, personally, always admired and appreciated!