Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks was fined $100,000 for violating the NFL’s Media Policy which states, “After a reasonable waiting period, defined as 10-12 minutes maximum after the completion of the game, the home and visiting team locker room areas will be opened to all accredited media with immediate access to all players and the head coach.” Lynch didn’t make himself available and after the following game, gave yes or no answers to questions that needed a few more words added to make sense. His teammate, the ever loquacious Richard Sherman, held a press conference to mock the Media Policy and the hypocrisy shown by the NFL when it comes to sponsors and endorsement. Within his comedy skit, Sherman plugged every product that he endorses even those in direct competition with NFL sponsors which is forbidden. Whereas, Lynch said nothing and not enough, Sherman said everything. And, he, like Lynch, will probably get fined for it.
The NFL Media Policy doesn’t consider those who may have a phobia of public speaking. Remember Rickey Williams? Nor does it consider those who simply dislike the spotlight and want to remain as anonymous as possible. I would gather that some players just want to do their jobs on the field and let that speak for itself. Imagine if a camera was put in your face while you were at work writing a report, grant proposal, etc.? Peyton Manning’s commercial showed it best. Why not just make the team’s captains responsible for meeting with the media? Or, the most popular players based on jersey sales, social media status, or some other formula? I even think coaches should be exempt from this. The sideline reporter’s interviews with coaches during halftime falls within this category. Does it really add value to the game experience or is a distraction to the coaches performing their jobs?
It also works like that in the work lives of everyday people. The new trend that I see is to force everyone to work in groups whether that’s your preferred style or not. Some of us introverts like to brainstorm on our own before working in a group. Just because you as the “leader” like to think aloud with a sounding board, everyone else shouldn’t be forced to do so. The same goes for office space. Is it wrong if I want to work in private without the distractions that come with a cubicle farm? The needs of extroverts and introverts should be considered. We introverts can be social to a certain point, but having to do so all day is exhausting for us and counterproductive to our productivity and creativity. The needs of extroverts should also be taken into consideration.
The pace of work has intensified everywhere. Which means that everyone – including extroverts – needs access to private places to get stuff done, or simply take a breather. As humans we need privacy as much as we need human interaction. But too often our workplaces are designed with a strong bias toward collaboration and social connections, without adequate and varied spaces for concentration and rejuvenation. Distractions are troubling for all of us, but extroverts can find them irresistible.
Allow people to be individuals who can work to their strengths and not weaknesses. Good leaders and managers make it a point go get to know those they lead and manage. This is why diversity, not just diversity of race and sex, but diversity of ideas, personalities and ambitions is so very important. Work places need this diversity to handle those tasks that may be one person’s weakness, yet another person’s strength. We all do some adapting in the work environment, but do we have to change who we are at the core?