As of 2021, I believe there’s no place for the Silver Sword — including the workplace — and it should be buried forever. Sadly, there are owners/executives who still wield the Silver Sword daily. I may have used it myself occasionally. Paraphrasing from the book, “When the foundation of a team member’s life or career is shaking, they suddenly remember a master of the Golden Sword, a leader of seamless integrity and a warm, encouraging, accepting manner who has earned their admiration” versus an owner wielding a Silver Sword (paraphrasing from the book), “Who makes one razor-edged remark, left unattended, perhaps simply unnoticed by many, and the biting pain can still sting after 40 years.” To make matters worse, we know that John Gottman’s research confirms that it takes at least five positive comments to offset one negative comment or criticism.
My blog subscribers, who have followed my writing for almost a decade, are aware of my disdain for the Silver Sword — and for that reason, I won’t list the damage inflicted by the Silver Sword. Instead, I’ll take some liberties with the authors’ advice and apply it to a business setting.
Owners/Executives/Supervisors/Team Leaders wield the Golden Sword when they:
- Understand and appreciate a team member’s natural strengths. My partner, Barbara, and I have discussed focusing on team members’ strengths in several previous blog posts. We like to say, “Determine the highest and best use of a team member and find a role where they fit.”
- Develop meaningful communication. We need to increase meaningful communication in the workplace. It has almost become a cliché, but in my experience the root cause of most business problems is poor or no communication. The authors use the phrase “Quick Listening,” which they define as a method of carefully hearing what your coworker is saying, then clarifying what they said in an attempt to better understand the meaning behind the words.
- Deal with anger in a timely, healthy way. Again, I’ve covered this subject before and I would refer you to my November 13, 2017, blog or page 28 of my book, Reboot Your Mind for a Healthier Workplace.
Hopefully these three tips will be great reminders of actions that are important to building a strong, successful team.
p.s. BTW, The Hidden Value of a Man has many wonderful warnings and suggestions, and as I already stated, the authors were giving advice to husbands and fathers, not business advice. If you’re looking for that type of input, I would recommend reading the book.