They were all fired within the last 30 days for Facebook postings.
As a motivational speaker who teaches the power of speaking your truth I was compelled to learn more. Were these professionals speaking their truth? How can speaking your truth be dangerous? Is this an example of privacy invasion, sheer stupidity or poor judgment?
A New Reality Show?
At first glance we think “What an idiot!” No intelligent person would ever bad mouth someone in an environment so public. The humorous, cynical part of me envisions a humorous blog or TV show. Shall we call it Social Media Mess Ups or Facebook Foibles?
Yet these people were accomplished in their careers. Essence Magazine’s Managing Editor was the first Caucasian editor of the magazine and was fired for what were considered racially offensive posts. The Marine Sergeant was discharged dishonorably after 10 years (losing all his benefits) for criticizing the President, and the ER doctor was given the pink slip because he violated patient privacy laws. There were more notables in the last few years: a New England Patriots cheerleader, 13 Virgin Airways flight attendants, a teacher who posted a picture holding 2 drinks. I wondered would 1 drink be okay, but 2 drinks was the limit? A waitress complained about a bad tip and was fired over the “disparaging customers” rule in the employee handbook. Just last week a Missouri school principal “resigned” due to posing as a student and having over 300 Facebook friends.
Have you ever regretted speaking your truth?
I was asked that question in a television interview last week. No. I never regretted speaking my truth, but I have regretted speaking my mind. There’s a big difference. Speaking your mind comes from a place of frustration or anger, where speaking your truth is rooted in respect, grace and tact. I don’t believe you have to take anybody out to speak your truth.
I think most of us have gotten “caught” talking trash about someone. You rant in an email and accidentally hit send…or send to the wrong person…or your entire company! (Note to self, never send an email when you are angry!) You complain to a friend or colleague and someone overhears you or finds out about what you said. The challenges remain the same, it’s just a new medium. We used to use letters or the phone to communicate/complain, now it is Facebook, blogs and twitters.
Today, speak your truth and stay rooted in respect for yourself and for others. Honor those not present. Reshape your complaints and frustrations into a search for solutions. Better yet, reach out directly to the individual or cause that is frustrating you and have a real conversation. There is dangerous power in the poison pen, keyboard, or spoken word. Take the poison out of the way you think, speak, and live.
What do you think?