Most of us are guilty . . . guilty as charged, when it comes to violating the ‘open mike’ law. What the heck is that, you say? It’s when you are speaking to someone else saying something you shouldn’t be saying and it gets overheard by someone you didn’t want hearing it. And if you’re not guilty, well good for you!

One of the worst cases I’ve heard about, and there’s been plenty including Vice President Joe Biden’s “This is a big (expletive deleted) deal” comment, since this one occurred, was when CNN reporter Kyra Phillips unknowingly had a live wireless microphone with her when she went for a break into the CNN ladies room during a speech given by President George W. Bush in New Orleans.

She made positive comments about her husband and her brother, but those about her sister-in-law were not so flattering. In fact, they were downright indignant. And every word was heard by the audience – above the Bush speech.

“I’ve gotta be protective of [her brother],” she was heard saying as she washed her hands. “He’s married, three kids, but his wife is just a control freak!” Oops! I sure hope her sister-in-law is the forgiving type of control freak. Otherwise the upcoming holidays are going to be loads of fun! Why even her brother and some other family members might be a little ticked off.

I often coach my clients, especially those in leadership positions or who own their own businesses that they should conduct themselves in front of everyone, clients, prospects, employees, suppliers, etc., as though their lives were an ‘open mike’. I also recommend that they don’t do anything they wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the paper. Yet, every week, wherever I go, I see those same judgement mistakes being made.

I wrote another article regarding ‘Destructive Comments’ that asks you to think about whatever you are going to say or do next, and if it doesn’t help you, your company, your customers or the person or people you are talking about, then don’t say it or do it. Pretty simple stuff – but incredibly powerful.

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote in his book, “The Four Agreements” that if you model your life after these, it will be much more rewarding.
They are:

1. Always speak with integrity.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

Had Ms. Phillips behaved according to just the first one of these ‘agreements’, she never would have seen herself on the ‘front page’ of the paper, so to speak, regarding her