Steve Harvey is an American comedian, television host, producer, radio personality, actor and author. When you watch him, what do you see? I see a man who seems real, someone who can be emotional on air. I have seen him fill up with tears. On several occasions he has choked up on the television show, Little Big Shots, as he relishes in the talented children. He often responds just as I would on the game show, Family Feud, laughing at some of the questions and responses. I take this as his way of being authentic and natural. That is why I like him. When researching him for this blog, I was looking for more about his mystique, his charismatic attraction, why is he so popular!? In doing this research, I came upon an email.
Yikes was I wrong?
I came upon a recent email that he sent out to his staff that did not sound like the Steve Harvey I thought I was observing. I began looking at the email, listening between his lines in the message. I tend to listen between most lines since the realty of most things lies there.
Here’s the full letter:
What a letter, right? What an ego??? As I read this letter initially, that is what I felt.
Then I tuned in and listened past the surface to something deeper. I listen between the lines.
What I hear is a note from someone screaming out for boundaries, clearly someone who needed space and didn’t know how to ask. He could have explained his actions a bit more and shared why he felt the need to write the letter. What I have found through listening to people is that when we are uncomfortable asking for what we need, we blurt something out because we don’t feel like we deserve a voice asking for what we need. When we know we deserve it, our message is softer, not as hard to deliver. It is more than ok to be direct, just listen to the tone and the words you choose.
I do congratulate Steve for at least recognizing he needs more balance, more space!
UPDATE: Today August 7th this is what I found on http://www.robertfeder.com/2017/08/07/robservations-steve-harvey-dredges-infamous-email/
At an appearance before the Television Critics Association to promote his upcoming talk show, Harvey said he thought his memo was “cute” — even if no one else did. “That email,” he said, “I learned two things from that email. Number one, I can’t write, and number two, I should never write. It was something I wrote a year ago.
So now you know the “real story” of how this note came into being. It is a good representation and example that words and tone matter. Remember you can get what you want, just ask!