In Her Return To Her Show, Kelly Ripa’s [Whatever That Was] Was Great!

What a way to come back!  I had seen somewhere on TV that Kelly Ripa, being blind-sided by an announcement that Michael Strahan, her full-time co-host of three-and-a-half years, was leaving in the fall to pursue a full-time stint on Good Morning America, was a no-show a day after the announcement.

Apparently she had not been told ahead of time of Strahan’s future departure and was shocked at the news. The show had to use guest co-hosts to sit in for her while she took time to process the news she received…at the same time as the rest of the world.

Was she disappointed by the fact that the news wasn’t shared with her beforehand or was it the news itself? Who truly knows?

I was curious to see what she would say when she came back, considering it was such a public and scrutinized affair.

So the public–myself included–wondered even more how she would specifically address the crowd and issue when she returned to the set of the show, if she returned at all. And she did return a week later.

Now, this post is based on what is said and seen publicly, not necessarily what might be behind the scenes. Who’s to know what her actual thoughts are?

Regardless, the manner in which she addressed the audience demonstrates so many great attributes about how to deal with hardships and adversity with grace.

As she herself proclaims, there are bigger issues to deal with in the world, so we might not file what happened to her under the every-man and woman’s common definition of hardship or adversity, but nonetheless it was an unforeseen obstacle which caught her off guard in her workplace and life. Generally speaking, instances of being surprised and betrayed are more the underlying common factor here and connection to the rest of us.

I’m not a fan of the show, and even though I think she was wrong in her choice to remain absent from her job, I can appreciate and respect the manner in which she finally conveyed her thoughts when she returned to the show.

It was a fairly concise address but it covered so many points, getting so many thoughts, emotions, and considerations across to her audience. Here are ten points I took away from her words:

1.  Sense of Humor

This balanced approach helps to keep the conversation light without compromising sincerity in, and true commitment to, the importance of the message. To come back from an obstacle in an overwhelmingly serious mode might put others on the defensive as they tentatively wait for another shoe to drop.

2.  Appreciation for the Work

This step allows the listeners to realize how much the speaker covets and respects what they do.  That expression might let the listener in, to understand that the speaker’s reaction—in this case, a removal from the situation—is based in complete respect for the work.

3.  Heartfelt Affinity for the Work

Furthermore, in addition to Appreciation for the Work, in certain cases, the speaker might even have a heartfelt connection to the work. This may not be the case for everyone in the workplace, but where someone has such heartfelt appreciation, every so often, it should be expressed. Again, as there needed to be balance in Sense of Humor, there should also be balance in expressing how important the work is to someone. It shouldn’t be daily proclamation of love, but it doesn’t hurt for others to know how important something might be to you.

4.  Respect for Those Behind-The-Scenes

It’s also engaging to express appreciation for coworkers and/or support staff that help the workplace move along and allow the final product to reach the customer. This allows the speaker to express their self-awareness–that it’s not only about them–and acknowledge each player’s importance to the mission.

5.  Love for the Customers/Fans

Another great step to demonstrate the mission is greater than the speaker or the obstacle is the appreciation of those who allow the workplace to be what it is—the customers.  Drawing them in and retaining them is what pays the bills and builds the base of support for that workplace, organization, or business. So this is yet another contingent and stakeholder which should also be included in such messages.

6.  Composition to Avoid Emotion

There is nothing wrong with stating disappointment. Too often, many people will refrain from expressing their disappointment. It’s not the disappointment that might be off-putting but the fashion in which most might express that disappointment. One can judge whether Ripa’s disappointment is justified—and there have been many who have—but anyone has the right to express their disappointment. In this case, Ripa stated that she decided to step away and collect her thoughts in order to not respond, act or speak out of emotion. (Granted, greater minds might say her absence was a reaction, but you know what I mean.) Does everyone have that luxury? Of course not. But as best as possible, people should take some minutes, moments, or time allowable to compose themselves, collect their thoughts and not react emotionally.

7.  Starting a Conversation

One of the most important key points in this message is that a conversation has started and should continue going forward.  It would be for nothing if someone came back from an obstacle, quickly resolved the issue, but proceeded with business as usual as if nothing had occurred and no effort is being made to avoid that obstacle going forward. As with any other steps or approaches, it is important that when issues arise, they be resolved as best as possible in the moment, but that consideration of the issue be maintained in an ongoing fashion so the lessons are not lost, especially if they have to do with communication, consideration, and respect, as she outlines.

8.  Gracious in Disappointment

Whether or not there is more under the surface or more than meets the eye in this instance, in this moment and in this message she seems gracious. She is not ignoring the issue in her return, but instead tackling it head-on and honestly, in a balanced tone. She could have chosen to ignore it and proceed with the show as if nothing had happened, but she chose to discuss it in a composed fashion without losing her…

9.  Mentioning Other People Have It Worse

This was a great acknowledgement on her part, identifying that her father was a bus driver for thirty years–a job a bit more arduous than sitting in a studio, receiving guests and having fun.  This conveys that she knows how good she has it and understands that she can’t take herself too seriously. It shows that the speaker is seemingly humble.

10.  Admitting There Are Worse Things to Go Through

Another point of humility is understanding that there are other problems out in the world that are much worse than the obstacle at hand and that the obstacle and the result could have been much worse.

While considering all these points, a caveat calls us to ask, “Did she mean everything she said?”  Does a speaker necessarily mean everything they say in such a situation or are they just saving face? Who knows, in all honesty?  Maybe it is a facade in order to keep the show going successfully, but sometimes you have to deliver the best message that you can, as honestly as you can, even if you’re not completely healed and recovered from the obstacle.

She is right–there are worse and much more serious problems in the world. But this happened in her workplace much in the same way we might have been blindsided in our own workplaces by obstacles or challenges. No one likes that feeling, especially when someone has invested so much time in their job, for their bosses, and with their colleagues.

We have to look at it as a workplace situation and not say there is no way to compare it because it is a celebrity situation compared to our everyday worlds.

We can question her initial approach, but her returning message is the right message that should be expressed in such a matter to address, resolve, and move past this obstacle. She just should have conveyed it from the get-go instead of staying away.

Shows like this might not necessarily be my nor your cup of tea, but most of the time we can parse out great examples, lessons, and takeaways in unexpected places, so keep your eyes open and mind ready.


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