As I was perusing my plethora of social media the other day, I came across a post that stopped me in my tracks. It was a post of a person that I followed personally as well as professionally. This post stood out. And, it made me think.
Would you stop business or un-follow a person based on the things that they are willing to put in print?
What the actual post I encountered said verbatim really doesn’t matter. But the feeling and the attitude of it did. It was divisive, it was hurtful, and it was enough to make me question the judgment of the poster. Although it was not directed at me personally, it was a clear slam on a belief of mine. It was not a sharing of their personal beliefs. It was a mocking and attack on others beliefs. That is divisive, and a poor use of words and communication.
I had been prepared to use this person’s professional services. They are clearly passionate about what it is they are doing professionally. However, the post made me question their character and decision making abilities. I chose to not use their services.
Sharing about personal experiences or personal beliefs in the context of sharing is a window into who we are. It is welcoming, and lets the other know what we are about and what makes us tick. It creates a space for us to know each other. Sadly, criticizing, slamming, putting down, minimizing, also tells others who we are. That’s probably not the impression we really want to leave others with.
Once something is said, put in print, or communicated, it can never be totally taken back. The message has been received by someone. Choose words carefully, but be genuine. Ensure the words, the photo, the captions, communicate the intended message. Step into a receiver’s shoes and think about the impact it will have on them and the connection or divisions they will feel. Realize that words have a lot of power. Realize that what is said will have an impact personally and professionally for the person speaking as well as the person hearing.
A great idea, a great opportunity, a great friendship, a great connection, or a great business relationship will never happen if the ability to effectively communicate is not there. Communication is more than just words strung together. It’s meaning, intent, context, emotion, and timing as well. Before using the mouth to speak or the fingers to type, it is wise to use the mind to think first.
Realize that communication counts.
Would you unfriend, unfollow, or not do business with someone based on what they communicate?