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Unethical Speech Breaking A Damaging Habit

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Lesson Description
Unethical Speech is a destructive force in any relationship
whether it shows up in ones personal or private life.
Learn why this is one of the top habits I recommend you
eliminate from your behavioral repertoire and discover how
to accomplish this tremendously important task.
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Denition
Unethical Speech is any
derogatory or damaging
statement against an individual.
It can be anything which, if it
would be publicized, would
cause the subject physical or
monetary damage or would
cause him anguish or fear.
Unethical speech can also be
speech that will incite or
increase the listener's ill
feelings against another
person.
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Examples of Unethical Speech
Repeating condential information.
Disparaging another (even if the information is true!) or
yourself.
Negative comments made as a joke.
Bringing up a persons negative past.
Discussing the shortcomings of another (even if they are
true).
Tale-bearing.
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Damages Caused By
Unethical Speech
Cuts speaker o! from good
things.
Damages people, relationships
and reputations.
Wastes time.
Maintains the problem.
Breeds misunderstanding,
closed thinking.
Creates a negative impact on
your mind and body.
People who gossip to you will
eventually gossip about you.
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Why do we do it?
Creates the illusion of bonding.
Feels good.
Seeing the negative in others is a manifestation of our
unconscious mind telling us there is a problem with
ourselves.
Unethical Speech enables us to avoid responsibility and
takes the focus off of ourselves and some area of pain to
which we are holding on.
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How can we stop?
A principle from the eld of
Neuro-Psychology states that you cannot
create change in a vacuum.
In other words, you cannot stop a behavior
without replacing it with another behavior that
is equally accessible and one that fullls the
same purpose.
What new behavior creates bonding, feels
good and causes true intimacy?
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We can overcome our animalistic impulse to demean
others by practicing a concept I call Mindful Positive
Intention (MPI).
When you see someone doing something, and you can
assign either a negative intention to that persons actions
or a positive intention, then assign a positive intention.
This is the rst step in the MPI process.
Mindful Positive Intention (MPI)
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1. Imagine the person engaging in the specic behaviors as you rst became aware of them and
that could lead to Unethical Speech. For example, visualize someone that you have damaging
information about (Tom used to do drugs).
2. Instead of repeating that knowledge to another person, force yourself to have Mindful Positive
Intention and imagine what outcomes Tom was after through doing drugs in his past (e.g. he
needed immediate stress relief, they helped him cope with grief, he was in great emotional pain
and he reached out to drugs rather than kill himself, etc.).
3. Ask yourself if you have always behaved perfectly in every situation in which you have been in
pain, were grieving, or felt stressed?
4. Would you want to be captured on camera, lmed in detail at your weak moments in life only to
have them broadcast to those friends, family and strangers?
5. Get in touch with the feeling of empathy for Tom.
6. Now imagine a future scenario in which you would have been tempted to engage in Unethical
Speech about Tom and while holding onto the feeling of empathy for Tom, watch yourself
practice more appropriate behaviors.
Seeing another through the MPI process
immediately transforms the other person and you.
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When Unethical Speech Becomes Ethical Speech
You may need to repeat
damaging information in order
to help others if:
You witness theft or
damage to property.
You witness a person
damaging someones
reputation and no amends
have been made.
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Six conditions must be met to use Unethical Speech:
1. You must have witnessed the incident yourself, rather than knowing about it from rumor.
2. You should take care to think through what you witnessed and not make hasty conclusions.
3. You should rst approach the the person who has committed the offense and clarify what you saw
with him. If your facts are straight, you should encourage the person to make the situation right. If he
does not listen then you may inform others of the individual's guilt.
4. NEVER exaggerate the offense for dramatic effect or any other reason. Do not add to words or
actions at all. Do not leave out any detail that may cause the listener to misconstrue the information.
5. You must have pure intentions. They can include any of the following:
a. You believe it is possible to help the victim. This is indicated by only speaking to other people
who are capable of helping him.
b. It is possible the wrongdoer will make up for his actions and improve himself.
6. If your pure intentions can be achieved in another way, you should not use unethical speech.
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As a general rule, if you engage in the
same behavior as the wrongdoer that
you have witnessed, you should not
publicize the incident.
Congruency Test
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Should you listen to Unethical Speech?
Will the information have future relevance to me, or will I
be in a position a situation to speak to offending
individual in order to bring about some positive outcome?
If the answer is yes, then it is permissible to listen to
the information.
Although you are permitted to listen to the information,
the you should not treat the information as true when you
hear it. You should apply innocent until proven guilty as
you investigate the matter.
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Practice and review.
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Ask questions.
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Next Steps
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