Swallow your pride, keep your staff

Embarrassment? Well, it does have a function after all. KIRSTY DUNPHEY

Kirsty Dunphey

By Kirsty Dunphey

The year was 1987 and I was a plucky young grade 3 girl in a country school with fewer than 30 students. As such, I was in a grade 3-4-5-6 class. The object of my affection was a floppy haired blonde grade 6 boy.

Each day I would make eyes at him over the crayon box and then eventually, slowly but surely, we became friends. That is until “the briefcase incident” when our burgeoning relationship came to a startling halt.

Sixth grade boy was up in front of the class telling everyone about this new briefcase his father had bought him. “Me father bought me this great briefcase for my birthday…” he started.

Without even thinking I corrected him “my father you mean”. What degenerated over the next few minutes was grade 6 boy insisting that it was his father and not mine who had purchased the briefcase and me wanting to be sucked into the earth whole for the sheer embarrassment of it all.

I’ve often thought back to that “the briefcase incident” in my dealings managing staff. It’s helped me bite my tongue or take a conversation into a private area when I’ve had a criticism or suggestion for a staff member, and while I didn’t end up with the blonde 6th grader, hopefully the incident has helped me a little bit with staff retention in the days since then.


Kirsty Dunphey is one of Australia’s most publicised young entrepreneurs and is the founder of www.reallysold.com – the ultimate tool to help real estate agents write amazing advertisements. The youngest ever winner of the Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award, Kirsty started her first business at 15, her own real estate agency at 21, was a self-made millionaire at 23 and a self-made multi-millionaire at 25. For more information on Kirsty or either of her books – Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million and Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can, or to sign up to her weekly newsletter head to: www.kirstydunphey.com

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