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Issue 96 - You Cannot be Judged by What Others Say About You, But You Can by What You Say About Others

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 96
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



This quote from Coach Wooden reflected two very important parts of his personal philosophy. Don't be overly concerned about what others say about you and never say an unkind word about another person.
The great quality Coach Wooden had of never speaking ill about somebody else was something he learned from his father. In his book with Steve Jamison. The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership, Coach described his father’s example:
I never-not once-heard my father say an unkind word about another person. This is hard to do, but he accomplished it. Joshua Wooden believed that saying bad things about others is a bad habit.
For all the shortcomings I see in others, I keep in mind that my own failings are many. Tempting as it is to count up and call out when others stumble and fall in their behavior-to shake my head and wag a finger-I attempt to follow dad's example.
In his book with Don Yaeger A Game Plan for Life, Coach expanded on how his father’s example impacted the way he talked about his players:
I would never publicly criticize a player for poor performance. Even in moments of extreme frustration, I would check myself because it just didn’t seem right—because it didn’t seem like something my father would have done.
I admired my father’s refusal to speak badly about others, but I don’t think I necessarily set out to make that a rule for myself. I imagine I considered that to be too lofty a goal. Yet as time went on, I found it was a practice that had etched itself onto my soul, so that if I ever slipped up on that matter, I felt pain rather than satisfaction.
Coach’s practice of keeping it positive was also something he insisted his players do. One of his three rules for practice was: never criticize a teammate. If a player violated this rule he was subject to being kicked out of practice for the day.
Sometimes when people say negative things about others they are doing it to strike back or get even for something negative that was said about them.
Coach had two great quotes which summarized why he thought such a reaction was not a good use of our time and energy:
Revenge is the weak pleasure of a little and narrow mind.
Time spent getting even would be better spent trying to get ahead.
We have all heard the comment: I never heard him/her say a bad word about anybody given about somebody as a compliment. 

I think that would be a great thing to hear about ourselves as well.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry



Forgiveness is a thing sublime,
Which has been through the years of time,
The needed ingredient in the human mind,
To ever be able, any peace to find!

God provided and gave us a choice,
And acceptance and repentance was of course,
The key to having this peace of mind,
But we must just as quickly forgive mankind.

Do not hold or harbor hatred, you see,
For that is the poison, destroying humanity.
If we do not forgive, as we are forgiven.
We will never have a life worth living.

Betty L. Delaney




Not to forgive is emptiness
For cold and lonely souls
Who understand forgiveness
As somewhere they can't go
They fear a loss of strength it seems
And trap others in their web
Of blame and guilt and right and wrong
And leave the truth unsaid
For truth is not their province
Nor humanity their cause

David Keig


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