When You Should Not Mind Your Own Business

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(Read all the way to the bottom to learn about an exciting new Discovery Network show!)

 

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Kolker, had a favorite expression whenever one of us engaged in a favorite eight-year-old pastime: tattling.

 

“M.Y.O.B.” she would declare – Mind Your Own Business – before turning back to her work and pretending the exchange had never happened.

 

Now, having taught third grade myself for a brief stint after college, and of course having children of my own, I certainly appreciate the wisdom of that acronym. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to draw the line, especially as adults, both personally and professionally.

 

So today, I want to look at two scenarios in which you can – and hopefully will be inspired tothrow that conventional wisdom right out the window.

 

The first pertains to speaking with veterans.

 

The military, like many (most?) other “industries” is replete with jargon and acronyms and shared expectations for “do’s and don’ts” of communication, whether formally codified or simply understood to be true.

 

Un-learning that indoctrination and relearning the new “language” of a civilian workplace in whatever industry can be as disorienting as moving to a foreign country and trying to learn the language. There’s a steep curve, and while you might expect to make a few mistakes, you’re always a bit surprised and embarrassed when they happen.

 

Expecting instant acculturation to the new systems and cultures is unrealistic in either context, so it’s important to be patient, empathetic and willing to teach the “newcomer” (sometimes explicitly) how to communicate more successfully in the new place.

 

Ralph Galati, Executive Director of the JDog Foundation (remember Tracy Flanagan from way back in Episode 7?), shared this insight and many more on this week’s Speaking to Influence podcast. Ralph has a long and distinguished career, both in the military and in corporate America, and is a highly decorated veteran.

 

The Silver Star, The Bronze Star with Valor w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), The Air Medal w/4 OLCs, The Air Force Commendation Medal w/2 OLCs, The Purple Heart w/1 OLC and The POW Medal are among his many recognitions.

 

Ralph also gave a lot of insights into how to help translate military experience and skills into relevant terms when applying for civilian jobs — which is equally important to consider when hiring veterans.

 

“Get right up in their face and ask them: Are you getting all the benefits you’re due?” Because the answer is: Most of them are NOT.

 

Now it may feel uncomfortable to think about walking up to a stranger and asking such a personal question. But here’s the thing: The service and sacrifice they did for you took a heck of a lot more courage than that. So dig deep, and find the courage to ask them that ONE question that most veterans genuinely need someone to ask them.

 

Now it may feel uncomfortable to think about walking up to a stranger and asking such a personal question. But here’s the thing: The service and sacrifice they did for you took a heck of a lot more courage than that. So dig deep, and find the courage to ask them that ONE question that most veterans genuinely need someone to ask them.

 

After all, isn’t that the least we can do in return?

 

Then tune in to the rest of the interview here or on YouTube here to catch Ralph’s simple advice for what to do if the answer to your inquiry is “No.”

 

 

Then when is the second time to NOT mind your own business?

When it’s a question of helping children in need.

 

Two weeks ago, Chris Jacobs, executive director of The Adoption Center, shared their work in helping children in the foster care system find their “forever families.” Well today there’s a “24 hour influence challenge” of a different sort: it’s a challenge to raise $24,000 in 24 hours to help them do exactly that.

 

Did you benefit from a safe, stable, loving home as a kid? Do you try to provide that for your own children? I know both of those are true for me, and this is a chance to give that priceless gift to other children who are NOT so fortunate. Help us spread the word!

 

Again, we’re back to courage.

 

If you’re balking at the idea of telling others about this challenge, ask yourself which takes more courage:

 

  • being a child who goes to bed every night wondering if somebody will ever choose to love them as their own, or
    being the adult who asks a friend to join and chip in $10 (or as much as you want) to help make that child’s dream come true.
  • So here’s me having the courage to ask YOU to help.

 

If you need some help finding the words to use, check out my one-minute video about it HERE.

 

 

Oh! I almost forgot about the fun news: Remember Episode 7 of STI with Tracy Flanagan, co-founder of JDog Brands, a veteran-owned junk-hauling franchise company? They’ve been picked up by the Discovery Network for a new series called Operation Hidden Treasures!

 

The show follows two veteran teams from JDog Junk Removal and Hauling as they take unwanted items from homes and businesses, then transform them into necessities, keepsakes and valuables for people in need.

 

In each episode, an item will be auctioned off and the proceeds go to the JDog Foundation. Congratulations Tracy and Ralph! Watch for the show premiere soon on Discovery.

 

But most of all, remember: DON’T M.Y.O.B!

 

 

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