Can you Educate without Shaming?

Oh No! Don't tell anyone

Oh No! Don’t tell anyone

My wife, Linda, is studying to become a therapy supervisor. She’s almost finished the course. In parallel, I have been secretly reading all of her books. It’s bad enough losing 70% of the arguments at home and I don’t want my ‘share of arguments’ to decline further.

Providing Education: One of the key roles for a Therapy Supervisor is education.  Of course they demonstrate empathy for the supervisee and they form high trust relationships. These are the baseline conditions that have to be in place in all therapeutic relationships (“It’s all about the base”). But, over and above that foundation, Supervisors have an educational role – essentially mentoring younger therapists about best-practice working with clients. The phrase they use is ‘education without shaming’. Wow! Now, there’s a novel idea.

Playing Golf: I was reminded of the above during a recent golf outing. Playing so badly, I had to distract the other players by deliberately talking about work (hey, whatever it takes to win). One of the women told the following story. She has a new boss who became enthused by a new idea around recognition. Nothing wrong with that, per se. But the specific suggestion was as follows: Every time the staff do something ‘good’ (determined by the manager), they get a small ‘star’. They then display that star on their desk. When they get 3 stars, they will get a reward. €100,000 paid into an offshore Swiss banking account? Shit. The Revenue Commissioners have just closed off that option. An all-expenses-paid trip to Maui? Nope. Taking part in dance classes with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders? Eh, no. Actually, it’s a ‘Duvet Day’ i.e. they get to stay in bed on one day. Now this woman has about 3 normal brains and is hugely committed to the organization (at least, she was). I know that the author of the Dilbert cartoon got inspiration from people sending in real-life scenarios. This one would qualify (If only I’d learned how to draw).

Key Influencers: I’ve worked with many successful people. Some of them had great academic track records. Some made a ton of money. Some invented new stuff.  Some had great family lives. Some were gifted musicians. In short, we know that there are many ways to be successful. And, being basically nosey, I’ve asked these people if there was a single person in their life who had a disproportionate influence, someone who really helped them. The answer is invariably yes, there was someone.  And while they didn’t use this exact term, a central idea in this mentoring was around education without shaming.  Of course I can bully you into doing something.  Or I can demonstrate how clever I am by highlighting something that you’ve done stupidly. But, if I want to really leave a legacy, I will educate without shaming.   Try it.


PS Lighter Moments: Thoughts for the Day

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. War does not determine who’s right – only who is left.

5. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

6. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

7. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street…with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

8. You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

9. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

10. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.

Check our website or call 087 2439019 for an informal discussion about executive or organization development.


About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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