Bullying

Leave Miss Utah Alone

Marissa Powell Miss Utah 2013Last night was the Miss USA pageant. Normally, the big news would be that Connecticut’s Erin Brady won. However, the buzz is all about an answer from Miss Utah, Marissa Powell. No, this time it wasn’t something racist or bigoted or otherwise shocking. Instead, she got nervous, stumbled through her answer and used improper English.

If you’d like to see her answer, the video is below:

Being A Difficult Person Has Its… Disadvantages

I once heard a story about a traveler harassing a ticket agent at the gate of an airport terminal. The traveler didn’t want to wait to get on the plane so he went into a tirade. “Do you know who I am!” he shouted repeatedly at the poor woman handling the tickets. But the ticket agent handled him beautifully – she simply picked up the intercom and announced over the loudspeaker that this man needed help because he didn’t know who he was. Everyone at the gate laughed – especially those who witnessed his bad behavior.

10 Things to Never Post on Facebook

With use of social media on the rise, it’s not uncommon to see people misusing it. While spamming, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying and identity theft are some of the misuses that often make the news, the most common misuse is people posting things they shouldn’t.

Now it’s debatable as to what’s acceptable to post to social media depending on your particular situation. You may not be identifiable or have your security settings mastered so only people close to you see what you post. But one thing to consider is that even if you have your profile locked down is that social media sites are prone to bugs and policy changes – both of which can give access to people you don’t want looking at your profile. So here are ten things to never post to Facebook.

Should a Gentleman Hold the Door for a Lesbian?

I had my first experience in training in 1996 when I was an instructor at what’s now Bentley University while earning my Masters Degree. In the brief training I had before getting unleashed upon five groups of mostly first semester freshmen, something stuck out in my mind. The syllabus that I was to hand out to my students noted that the only dumb questions were the ones that were never asked. The point of it was that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask a question out of fear that you’ll look dumb. I get it – and even bought it, for a little bit. But then after fielding some of these questions, I realized that some questions were better off not being asked.

I was reminded of this recently when someone asked me the very question that is the title of this post. It was in response to my review of the book “How to Be a Gentleman.” At first, I thought it was a dumb question. Phrases like “being open minded” popped in my head and I decided to be open minded about the question and my answer. And guess what? It’s actually an interesting question that warrants a legitimate answer.

Dealing With Bullies When the System Fails Us

This past week I came across an article about a man in Florida getting on a school bus to confront some kids that were bullying his daughter. He threatened the kids saying that he would kill anyone who picked on his daughter again and this got him arrested. Interestingly, the article asked the question of whether the father was a bully and paints him as some sort of wacko. While one can certainly argue that this wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, the article shows no empathy towards the father or the girl. And that is part of the reason why bullying is an increasing problem in today’s society.

The article doesn’t say much about the bullying although upon further research, it was reported that the harassment was both verbal and physical. The father is criticized as bulling the kids because he’s someone that could carry out his threats of harming the kids. However, the fact that he said he’d only harm those that harass his daughter seemed to have slipped the reporter’s mind.

How to Be Liked

You’ve probably heard the infamous phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know” – the phrase is true to some extent. In the extreme case, you have the incompetent and under-qualified son or daughter that takes over the family business. More commonly, someone who is likable or able to communicate a connection between themselves and the decision maker is able to land jobs or clients despite competing with others who have stronger qualifications.

Finding a connection such as attending the same school, growing up in the same small town or having a similar hobby is an easy way to create instant rapport. Equally as helpful is having a personal connection such as a family relationship or mutual friend or associate. Sometimes, we don’t have these connections but there’s something else that can tip the odds in our favor: likability.

Joe Wilson: Unprofessional or Brilliant?

Last night during President Obama’s speech, Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina shouted “You lie!” in the middle of it. When I first heard about it, I kind of laughed to myself as I thought about how other countries have more spirited debates during these types of speeches. But then I thought a bit more about it and I felt that Rep. Wilson was, politics aside, both unprofessional and disrespectful. As I read the reactions later today, I started to believe that it was a bad idea for him to do that because his actions made him and his party look bad, and gave the other side ammunition and motivation that could change the momentum of the debate. But then as I sat down to write about it, I realized that Rep. Wilson’s outburst could only be described with one word: Brilliant.

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