Do not hit send until you are absolutely positive that the comment you are posting or emailing is above reproach! It is all too often that I find myself grimacing as I peruse a conversation thread that suddenly takes a turn for the worse and becomes an emotionally heated, antagonistic dialogue. With the advent of social media there is a strong likelihood that one single conversation thread could be viewed by thousands and potentially millions of people. Any individual that posts an emotionally fuelled, derogatory comment with intent to damage a reputation is more apt to damage their own credibility. It most certainly demonstrates a lack of restraint, diplomacy, tact and respect. This lack of professionalism could easily influence the powers that be and eliminate you for consideration in future career opportunities. The details regarding the comments may not be easily recalled but the negative impact to your brand will have been established.
It is human nature to be much more highly influenced by that which is bad than that which is good. Consider the news as an example. If it was all good news you wouldn’t tune in. Your best recall will be associated with the most horrific of events and good news stories will be easily forgotten or at the least, difficult to recall. A Real Estate agent understands the impact of curb appeal when selling a home for this very reason. The house may be beautiful inside but walking inside with a negative first impression is usually a sure sign that no offer will be secured. Your personal brand is your real estate and presenting a positive, professional impression must be a conscious effort at all times. If you are enduring a particularly difficult or stressful day, stay offline. One nasty comment posted on a bad day could result in a lost opportunity.
At no time is it acceptable to take a personal fight public, which for many was a lesson introduced at a very young age when we heard the following: “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all” and “The less said the better.” If that was ignored the next unacceptable and equally uncomfortable dialogue scenario is “flogging or beating a dead horse”, despite the fact that most children heard the following: “Let it go!” “Stop now!” That’s enough!” “Drop it!” “Walk away.” Whether you enter into a thread of conversation in an offensive or defensive nature, the negative impact is consistent if the comments are emotionally heated, negative, insulting, rude, harassing, repetitive or downright hurtful. So the best advice to avoid heated conversations at all times are as follows: “Give them the benefit of the doubt.” “Take the high road.” “Turn the other cheek.”