Stop Being A GobShite

"If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."


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“If there were no bad people,

there would be no good lawyers.”

– Charles Dickens

I was talking with a smart and successfully female leader recently about how to overcome Impostor Syndrome. i.e. outwardly successful but inwardly fearful of being ‘found out’.

Key to it is understanding that Self-Esteem is like a muscle – with the right exercise it can be strengthened. And it needs to be worked on regularly and pro-actively – it’s not stagnant.

I jokingly said, ‘the better your Self-Esteem the more you can handle the gobshites.’ 

She looked at me and said ‘Yes, it makes sense and is useful. Although it would also be helpful also if the men in question would stop being gobshites.’ (GS for short)

Very true.

Helpful but not as easy to work on because usually if you’re like that, you’re probably not aware of your GS behaviour.

The dictionary definition of ‘GS’ is:

gobshite |ˈɡɒbʃʌɪt|

noun vulgar slang, chiefly Irish

a stupid, foolish, or incompetent person. e.g. he’d have looked l ike a right gobshite bringing the lawnmower for a walk around a baldy garden. 

I’d go as far to say that if an Irish person wrote the above definition it would be more severe…

And having worked for 20 years across 50 industries with male and female leaders, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know that their behaviour is not acceptable to most and even worse, very damaging to the business and their relationships.

And let’s face it, even the good people can have bad days and drop the ball.

Here’s my simple recipe for stopping GS behaviour:

1. If you realise you just did it, apologise immediately. (But good people know this)

2. If you see it, call it out the GS behaviour. Regardless of the fear. Otherwise nothing will ever change and at the very least, at least someone told them, and there’s the possibility of change.

And of course in an organisation, it really is about leadership. If there’s a No GS policy from the top then all should be good.

The real problem is if the top person in a team, division or business is a GS.

But even then change can happen if someone steps up…

Will that be you?

Food for thought…


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