You ARE NOT The Father! Human Relations Tips From The Maury Show

Yes, I’ve got a dirty little secret.  It’s not terribly appalling but, also, not one I’m terribly proud of…I love the Maury Povich show.  Perhaps it’s the drama that draws me in or maybe even my love of hearing the words “You are the Father!” but, never the less, I love the show (and I’m know I’m not alone).

Even with all of the drama, screaming and DNA tests, I think we can learn some lessons from the show that can help in our day to day interactions with people as leaders.  I know I have.  Here are a few of the nuggets I’ve taken from the show.

Who ever is the most loud IS NOT the most right.  I’m always amazed at the yelling that goes on  between people on the show (even with people they supposedly “love”).  Normally, the person that is yelling the most has the most issues they’re trying to guise.  You want people to listen?  Speak softly so they have to. 

You can be 1001% sure and still be wrong.  “Are you sure he’s the father?”  “Yes, Maury, I’m 1001% sure!”   Then, the DNA results come and he’s not.  I’m not even going to address that 1001% is not a real percentage or that it’s hard for me to believe that someone’s had 4 different people on the show where she was also that positive.  What I will address is that people make mistakes.  I’ve been (nearly) that positive on a lot of things in my life and still been wrong too.  The lesson I take from this as a leader is that, unless there is irrefutable proof, be open to possibility.  You never know something unless you unequivocally know it.  It’s been proven (like with DNA results type accuracy).

Perception is NOT reality.  Perhaps it’s me but I think babies look like babies.  I can’t look at one and figure out who it is related to.  Never the less, it happens nearly every show.  A picture is thrown up on the split screen with the supposed father and then identifications are made.  None of my kids looked like me as babies (they grew into good looks later).  Lesson?  People see what they want to see (and what they don’t).  That’s not reality.  Reality is reality.  Separate yourself from emotion and try to look at things as objectively as possible.  You’ll still have your own perception bias but it won’t be as skewed.

Honesty up front saves heartache on the back.  If I know I’m going to have to take a lie detector test (even though they are fallible), you can bet your ass I’m going to tell you the truth up front.  Even so, I can’t believe how many people on the show lie and then try to beat the test.  Then, they have to explain their lies AND their stupid actions.  Double betrayal and double hurt.  No one can argue with the truth.  The truth may be hard to put it out there but there’s a reason the phrase “honesty is the best policy” took hold.  Give your team the truth…they can handle it.    

Past behavior is a pretty good indicator of future behavior.  Notice, I did not say a definite indicator.  People do change.  But, if your boyfriend has cheated on you five times in the past, chances are pretty good he’s going to do it again.  I give people all sorts of second (and third) chances but there comes a point in time when you have to accept what is.  People always tell you who they are through words are actions, pay attention.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice (or five times), shame on me.

Be prepared for the can be painful.  There are some people that come on the show to hash out things that were way in the past.  If it’s in the past and you’re still living there, there is a larger issue at hand.  Fish or cut bait.  Either move forward or move to something else.  For me, there are things in the past that I might have wanted the truth on but I don’t live there anymore.  I don’t need the truth because I’ve moved forward.  The past is the past.  A picked scab never heals.

You can run away but your problems but they usually end up staring at you in the mirror.  There is a LOT of blame cast on the show.  I try to look at life like this…if an issue keeps recurring, it’s (most likely) me and not everyone else.  The lies we tell ourselves are the easiest to tell and also the easiest to believe.  Take a hard look and step up to the part you played in the mess.  Otherwise, you’ll keep repeating the mess until the lesson is learned. Here’s what psychology today says about honesty

I write most of this with tongue in cheek but, honestly, these are lessons I remind myself of daily when dealing other people.  People are messy.  I’m a people so I am messy too. We all have our messy days but good human relations are the cornerstone of any leader’s strategy.  What are you practicing? 

Have another lesson you’d like to throw at me from the show (or some other garbage TV show)?  HIT ME UP at!  I’d love to hear it!


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