Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
People say there are things that cannot be recovered. Time, when wasted, words, when spoken. There are people who say a lot of rubbish and people never paid attention and there are people when they sneezed it is immediately amplified beyond normal especially in this hyper connected world.
Watch your back is a great advice for everyone today especially if you hold a very sensitive position. People always hear what they want to listen to. When you speak, people often listen to the conversation from their own perspective and not necessarily from the point of view of the speaker. Interpretation is often assigned to a speech based on the listeners’ point of view. This is a major reason CEOs and frontline leaders can be quoted out of context. But no one can blame anyone for holding their own brief and interpretation of opinions as they think it is.
For those who follow trend, pay attention to online conversation within the Nigeria digital space, we woke up to the seemingly ‘controversial’ opinion shared by the General overseer of The Redeemed Church of God Worldwide with headquarters in Lagos Nigeria. This is a church with a global vision and has branches in over 180 nations in the world. The highly referred General Overseer, Pastor E.A Adeboye, known to all as ‘Daddy G.O’ in the ongoing church’s annual Convention was in my opinion ‘quoted out of context’. The flashpoint of the quotation going round sound like this “if she cannot cook or pray for an hour at least do not marry her”. Also admonishing the church leaders he warned ‘that they be role models indeed and should not be seen with beard’.He also adviced ‘Do not marry a man who has no Job”
Looking at these sentences, even though no one has produced a taped version of this speech, those who think that is the position of thing will be tempted to say the man of God is reducing the value of a lady to a typical African misconception. The possibility of seeing Pastor Adeboye as not valuing women or sees them as product to serve man ego can be deduced. But such opinions need to be checked with his church appointment and approval of Women into top leadership structure. From every indication, those that took his words out of context need to do basic research before coming out with unverifiable opinion.
On the second statement, as a leader, it is not out of place to express what brand representation and affiliation you want your team leadership to dress or model after. So if the referred Pastor charges his own team leaders on how to dress, it will still not be out of place. It is brand protection mechanism. This is not a general advice to the world at large.
Now the other dimension is that should a highly referred person of his status made a statement either as a man of God or whatever? His faith and profession has manual to follow. Despite this, as a leader in the church, we do think he is entitled to his own opinion. Though one would have expected as Paul, the great Apostle would have done said ‘this is my opinion and has nothing to do with Biblical principles.
If I head the communication team of this global organization:
1. There will be no panic: There is no reason to rush into the press to make any official statement for now. I will keep monitoring the conversation until it gets to a sizeable proportion where it can become a crisis. The possibility of that is narrow. But if we must do anything just for the record sake to prevent future misinterpretation (as the conversation is online and one day someone may pull that up as alibi), the official communication will only be done online.
2. If need be: Since the message is recorded. it will be good to include the link of the online copy of the message in the Public communicated beyond the less than a minute video circulating now (that will be the last option though) and the scenario that led to that quotation will put in perspective.
3. In the future, even if the statement is true and is not quoted out of context, one will only advised Pastor Adeboye to add a caveat like Apostle Paul in the Bible would do, ‘this is my own opinion and personal advice to my children’. With that he is entitled to his opinion. But when one listens to the qouted version, it is a personal advice of a father to children without any intention for general public.
The expediency of this is that we now live in a sensitive world where we MUST NOT Over-simplify OUR PERSONALITIES especially when highly placed as many ignorant and lazy people want to find excuses to pour out their minds even when such is never substantiated with facts.