Tool #12 of 104 tools is speaking to be understood not just to be heard

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute, Proverbs 31:8.” “When I was in prison,

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute, Proverbs 31:8.”

“When I was in prison, visiting, an inmate, a talk light skinned slender man, in a yellow prison Uniform, came right in front of me after my talk on In-Mate Reformation and Skilling During Incarceration and said while looking directly into my eyes “Mustapha thanks for your talk. It was great and eye opening. However, how would you advise someone like me serving a jail term of five years for a crime I did not commit?

You see, I know some lawyers in my circles who do offer pro bono legal support services to people. I was like, maybe I could connect him to one of my lawyer friends. This could be my opportunity to help. I instantly became interested in his story. I wanted to know more. In the process, I turned my head, and in the corner of my right eye saw an old woman, wearing a dark brown Gomesi shabbily. She appeared to be in her early 70s.  She was standing and holding with two hands on the prison metallic bars that are usually put as burglar proof to prevent in-mates from escaping. Inside the room, she was looking directly at someone who looked like a young man in his mid-20s. What caught my eye is the old woman was crying.

I just concluded that she must be the mother of the man in prison. Now, I know some of you reading this article are mothers and fathers. Mothers cry three types of tears- (i) the tear of Joy. Something great has happened to her children or in the family. A mother of the child will be so happy that she will drop a tear. As a child, we all dream and want to make our mothers so happy that they cry tears of joy for us. If you have attended University graduations or weddings, you have seen mothers cry tears of joy! All serious mothers look forward to such tears (ii) Mothers also cry tears of sorrow. This is when something bad has happened that is beyond ones control. It could be an accident. Or a loss of some kind, that occurs and bring sorrow to the family. This kind of tear is part of life. No one can avoid it. Because it usually results from acts of nature, no one can be blamed for it although it will bring tears of sorrow. And last but not least, a tear of shame. This is the worst tear to cause your mother to cry. On that Saturday Afternoon in 2014, I saw a mother crying a tear of shame before his son. When you steal or go out of your way and do wrong things, you become a shame to the family. You make mothers cry a tear of shame. As those thoughts were going through my minds, don’t cause your mother cry tears of shame, I looked back at the inmate in front of me. He told me why he was in prison and realized that he had actually been used by his boss to steal petty cash, but that is a story for another day.”

Welcome back. That is how I start my presentation when conducting fraud awareness training to bank and telecom staff. I take them through my experiences. I speak to be understood. You too must speak from the heart so that you message goes to the hearts of your audience. Once you master the tool of speaking to be understood, not just be heard, you will become a leader who inspires and gives morale. Success.

Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit to become a better Board member TODAY.

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