There is No Smiling in Officiating



Aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors

I am a girl.  I wear emotions on my shoulders.  I multi-task.  I am able to take in alot of information at once. I love hot pink, bling and accessories. I love life and live with a smile. I am… I am.. I am…

I am alot of things and one of my best qualities is that I am self aware.  Self aware to also know that I am bossy, and sometimes appear unapproachable.  Though I can talk to anyone, I am not a good small talker.  I am not working out as much as I should.   I know that sometimes my behaviors and traits prevent my advancement in officiating.  I am aware.

Today, as part of a two day seminar for my business, we are discussing self awareness. What I am hearing is easily transferable to officiating.  One very true indicator of an official’s ability to progress is her ability to objectively assess herself.

One thing Charity told us today is that when she first moved from California to Washington D.C., she learned really quickly that her cute pink scarves and the cute pink heels simply prevented her from being taken seriously.  She didn’t have to be told, per say, but she was getting the gist.  If she wanted to be taken seriously on the Hill – the pink had to go!

Hot Pink in DC

Hot Pink in DC

Similarly, at a young age, I was told I smiled too often and was having “too much fun” on the court, which implied a lack of seriousness.  But I am a smiley person.  I am a happy person.  So, at a crossroads, I had to ask myself, “How do I remain authentic in my personality and yet drop all the smiliness?” This was not a question I really wanted to answer.  I actually was having fun officiating and I was happy to be there and the athleticism and competition does make me smile.  So dang it, why should I have to quit smiling?  And really what does smiling have to do with my ability to call a foul?

At age 22, 24, or 25 this seemed like a big compromise to, not smile.  But in true self awareness I adjusted.  I took the less smiley approach.  I appeared more serious on the court.  And as we all know – their perception is their reality.  And after some time, some of those officials much older than me or more senior than me began to take me more serious.  They began to trust and like me – and I didn’t even smile at them.  🙂

So going into this season – are you seeing yourself as others see you?  Are you really self aware?  And if you are told you are too smiley or too frumpy or too lazy or too late or too whatever, are you going to make a change in behavior to help you advance?  Or will you do as you have done in years past and make excuses as to why that shouldn’t really matter?  Will you continue to wear a high pony tail when you have been told the low pony tail looks better?  Will you continue to have that lazy walk/run step you’ve been asked to change?

This year is your year to improve.  This is your year to make those tweaks and changes in your game to advance further into post season.

Because the little things do matter.  And after having spent a decade proving I am serious, focused and intense, I have built relationships with partners and now we smile together on the court.  I am my smiley, bling – loving, girley self more often in the officiating world now that I have been in the trenches and proven I am a serious, rules-knowing, calm when the going gets tough kind of referee. I have earned my smile back.

What trait or quality do you need to adjust to advance?  I would love to hear stories of your self evaluation.

About Rachael Melot

Entrepreneur - Mentor - Speaker - Blogger I find great joy in helping people become their best self by seeking personal, professional and physical success daily.
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