Confident Leadership Communicators Know When to Stay SilentJan 09, 2023
The United States Men's National Soccer Team is currently experiencing a bogus "scandal" that never should have been. What occurred should be overlooked, but it has coach Gregg Berhalter's job in jeapardy.
The "scandal" is sort of his own making because, while speaking at a leadership conference shortly after the U.S. team was eliminated by the Netherlands from the Round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup Tournament in Qatar, he alluded to a team situation that occurred during the tournament.
He did it anonymously, not mentioning any names, BUT, the incident he described was easily surmised due to the notereity of the player involved. It didn't take a genius to put two and two together. If you care about the details just Google Gregg Berhalter to learn more.
This has implications for you because sometimes even the most confident leaders make mistakes communicating because you just never know who's listening, and what the relationships are between individuals and the situation.
I wish there was a magic pill I could give you to let you know how best to handle these situations. And, most times the best rule of thumb is "when in doubt, leave it out."
If Berhalter had thought more about making his comment, he would have realized the notoriety of his athlete would make it impossible to keep the player anonymous, and he would have refrained from commenting. Lesson learned.
What can you learn from it? Making public comments, or even giving constructive feedback second hand or behind people's back anonymously, rarely, if ever, is a good idea.
As one of the 1960s biggest hits for my childhood musical hero, Franki Valli, states, "Silence Is Golden."