Shame On You

Lately I have been fascinated, disgusted, yet curious about a topic that has become so widespread in our globally connected society — shaming.

Public shaming has become so normalized that many people no longer think twice before posting a nasty picture, comment, or video of someone doing something they ‘shouldn’t be doing’ online for the public to see. Now I suppose the intention behind this practice is for that person to learn a lesson, grow as a person, or correct their politically incorrect behavior; however, I believe the old adage ‘You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar’ applies here.

This culture of shaming can be equally as prevalent in business, where companies playing hard and fast, look to place blame on individual players instead of learning to support, develop and provide them an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe space.  After all, there is no better way to stifle creative ideas than to work for a company who doesn’t enable and support you through both the highs and lows.

In his most recent blog post, leadership coach and author Marshall Goldsmith discussed the “end of shame” as one of the biggest ideas in corporate culture today.  He believes that with coaching, guidance and leadership support, talent should feel empowered to acknowledge their faults and ask for help when needed.

I think it’s high time we examine this culture of shaming and question it’s usefulness in both business and personal practice.

Applying the personalization principle of empathy within your organization, rather than shaming, helps to create a work culture of fun, friendly, and authentic employees.

Your talent wants to know they are supported, and enabled to learn and grow within your company.  The vast majority of employees want to produce good results, learn skills that will improve their opportunities in the future, and get recognized for producing a good result.

In fact, the best companies catch their people doing things right day-to-day, minute-to-minute, all the time.  It’s not about shaming employees for failures, it’s about enabling them with skills and recognition to do the right thing, at the right time, the right way, for the right reasons.

This enablement of your employees happens with open, honest feedback on a regular basis, authentic acknowledgement of their success, and support through their failures.

When leaders view things through the lenses of their front-line workers, it helps to create a culture of empathetic, authentic, fun, friendly, enabled employees who will create exceptional experiences for your customers so that they buy more, stay longer, and refer others.
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