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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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No Shame or Embarrassment

The Sages said: "It is better to jump into a flaming furnace than to embarrass somebody." Rather interesting thought, isn't it? One might even say it is extreme... and maybe it is. On the other hand, maybe it isn't :-)

Of course, the message is not to be taken literally, but to serve as a very pointed reminder that shaming or embarrassing another human being is something to avoid at practically any and all costs.

I've personally never seen anything good come out of embarrassing someone. Never heard a joke so funny that it was worth coming at the expense of another person's feelings. Never seen an employee make a mistake that could be effectively corrected by the use of shame.

Or, a lesson to a child so profound that it was worth embarrassing or shaming him or her, especially in front of others. I actually saw this happen recently and can only hope the child doesn't carry the embarrassment with him forever, or learn that that is how one teaches a lesson to one he loves.

If you (and I'm sure you don't) have a tendency to, or have formed the habit of, embarrassing or shaming others as a way of teaching or getting them to do what you want, you might choose to print out the above quote and keep it somewhere where you can see it until you begin to notice an end to that particular trait.

People who win without intimidation always carry an awareness, and act with the awareness that a person's ego is the most fragile thing they have.

Remember what the great author, Les Giblin said; "What counts is attaining personal satisfaction without trampling on the ego of the other person."

Those who win without intimidation also know that when we get our point across in a way that leaves the other person's ego intact (via tact and kindness) we earn their respect, loyalty and a desire to more readily accept our point of view the next time a situation to persuade arises.

[Source:, by Bob Burg]

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