The Bore As Hero
I just read Gay Talese’s profile of , the manager of the New York Yankees in The New Yorker. Evidently, in the sports world, Girardi’s calm and soft demeanor is confusing. Perhaps they expect baseball managers to be hot-tempered and volatile? After his fourth year of managing the Yankees, a sportswriter characterized Girardi’s style as “boring.”
Nevertheless, this “boring” man is respected by his players. Reason: He doesn’t criticize or say something negative. He prefers to give positive feedback.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we went out of our way to give people positive feedback? I think people are starved for it. We starve ourselves of positive feedback. It’s true.
I once listened to the most awful soundtrack in my head. You would not believe the things I said to myself. It’s a wonder I got up in the morning…that debilitating voice was constantly reminding me of my weaknesses and never praising me for my strengths. And then one day I opened the window in my bedroom (I kid you not) and cracked open my head (I kid you yes) and threw the tape out the window. Bye bye tape.
I rewrote the script. I told myself I was good, sometimes even great. I laughed when I mispronounced a word instead of cringing with shame. I looked in the mirror and smiled. It wasn’t narcissistic — it was food for the soul. I didn’t have to wait for someone to praise me. I would appreciate and praise myself.
The change was remarkable. My self-esteem bank was full. I had so much self-esteem I could spread it around. I would give it to others by reminding them of the qualities that make them a superstar. I became a mother bird bringing worms to feed my baby chicks.
The next time I’m tempted to offer a “helpful” opinion that could sabotage someone’s ability to swing for the fences, I’m going to think about Joe Girardi…and how he brings out the best in his players by focusing on the positives.
There’s a lot to be said about being a bore.