There’s something familiar about Kobe Bryant’s description about the style his coach, Phil Jackson uses. As this article explains, his teamates sometimes get upset when Jackson zings players in the media, but Bryant says:
“…when you’ve been around Phil for as many years as I have, we all understand that he likes coaching publicly,” Bryant said. “I think it’s important for the new guys to understand that. Ron, Pau, guys that kind of have issues with that, that’s how he coaches. It’s fine. Just let him do his job and go about your business.”
When someone you trust conveys private messages in public, you are being abused. They are enlisting the shame and shock of hearing feedback for the first time in public as a way to to intimidate you into behaving the way they want. It’s both insecure and immature. It happens every day in some workplaces and families, where people with less power are constantly surprised and belittled in front of their peers.
It’s a weak way for people in power to abuse their influence. They are confusing the fear it creates in other people with respect. Victimizing those around you only makes everyone weaker.
A stronger way for someone in power to communicate is to speak directly and privately. Giving the other person a chance to consider and respond, things denied when messages are expressed for the first time in front of strangers.