Calling people Out vs Calling them in

Calling people Out vs Calling them in

As a motivational speaker, mindset, and confidence coach, I always get excited when I get onto a call with a potential client. Normally, it’s a quick briefing call where I find out who their people are and what they’re looking for.


I usually go through a list of my key topics, things that I really enjoy talking about. This year, after looking back through my work, one of the most requested topics is the power of connection. And I understand why – the power of connection is something I’m really passionate about. As an autistic person, connection has always been at the centre of my communication. I always felt that I struggled to connect with people because I was trying to process non-verbals, body language, nuances, idioms, and all of the tools we use for effective communication.

The power of connection is a talk focused on empathy, compassion, and creating a productive and positive workplace.

I’m all about connection. And I can absolutely say that calling people out isn’t effective at all. It makes people feel like you’re pointing a finger at them, criticising them, and it’s never going to make the person feel open enough to consider a different way.

I’m usually speaking in front of an audience of 10 people or it could be 2000. But when I’m speaking in front of that audience, I have to connect with them. Everything that I do is about calling people in. And this happened yesterday…

My son came home from school and said he wanted to take his hair out. He didn’t want it in twists anymore because people kept touching and pulling his hair. So I spoke to him and we discussed what we could do to try to stop this. He asked me to send a message to the parents. I said, “Are you sure? I’m going to send a group voice note to the parents?” He said, “Yep.” I practiced what I was going to say in front of him. He gave me the green light. He specifically asked me not to mention the children’s names who were doing it. And I said, “OK.” Then I said, “Yeah, but many of your close friends, they don’t do it.” He goes, “But don’t mention any names. Just say it.” And I was like, wow, this is my 10-year-old. He already knows that you don’t call people out, which was amazing.

Anyway, I left a brief voice note just saying, “Please, could you have a chat with your children about touching his hair? We’d really appreciate it. It’s something that’s becoming annoying for Quba. And can people not ask to touch his hair as well?”

And you will not believe the messages and the kindness and the compassion that I received from this group of parents. And this just, once again, highlighted to me the importance of calling people in and not calling people out.

So my message today is when people are behaving or acting in ways that we just don’t understand, stop pointing the finger and calling them out. I want you to think that every time you point your finger, you’re pointing three back at you. Each of us has a responsibility to call people in because when you call people in, we are able to make things change.

If the world worked like this, we wouldn’t have many of the challenges that we’re faced with today because people would call people in, and then I have faith that humans will change.

So if you’re looking for a motivational speaker, someone who’s going to call your people in to get everyone on the same page, to empower and support them without criticising or condemning, then get in touch and book a briefing call with me.

I’m now booking for Christmas events and also for 2024 ‘Power up Your Year’ events.

See all articles in News

Fire Up Your Workforce

Have an event date in mind? Let’s chat.

Ife will give your audience more than just a talk – she’ll deliver a transformational experience.