Forums, Facebook pages, tweets and emails – just a few ways to communicate to your customers and team members. Can you even imagine what it must have been like when the Pony Express, the west’s most direct means of east-west communication before the telegraph, was the only method of communication?
One of the challenges with instant communication methods is that it is far too easy to just post something without truly having an opportunity to think it through first. It’s also out there for all to read as soon as it is posted. For this reason it is imperative that if you choose to participate in online public communication, you post responsibly. Likewise, while reading such posts, keep in mind that just because it is now published does not necessarily mean it is accurate or factual.
The example post below will help illustrate the importance of word choice:
“Double check your xxx, it is calculating wrong.”
That would be fine, and a courtesy to others to give their own information a second glance, if we knew for certain that information was entirely accurate.
What else was wrong with the above post?
- At that moment, the team member’s information appeared to be inaccurate, yet it was posted that it is wrong.
- There was a corporate memo put out explaining why it would be different or why the information could fluctuate. This may have merely been a case misunderstanding or oversight on the part of the consultant who stated it was wrong.
- Before the consultant posted that the information [definitely] was inaccurate, the individual’s perceived error was not reported or investigated by the corporate office to determine if in fact there was a glitch. This type of irresponsible posting is how rumors get started and how false statements targeting the corporation are started.
- It also gives new consultants reading this type of information cause for a perceived concern, “Great, I just signed up and now find out they’re cheating or overcharging us.”
What would have been the better way to handle this?
- Say nothing publicly ask the sponsor/director if he/she has an explanation for why it appears incorrect or take it up privately with corporate office to handle it.
- Post: “My xxx appears to be calculating incorrectly. Has anyone else noticed that? Or do you know why xzy?”
- Post after there is data to support the claim, “My xyz looked incorrect, so I contacted [corporate] and they investigated it. They found out that it is doing that because xyz, so it actually is correct.” Or “My xyz looked incorrect, so I contacted [corporate] and they investigated it. They found out that in some cases it has been calculating incorrectly because “¦ so if you think yours may be wrong, you have 60 days to report errors.”
Do you see the difference? One appears to be stating facts and could cause needless negative reactions. The other options are much more responsible and accurate. Sometimes all it takes is one person stating something to be true, whether or not it was actually verified, for others to jump on the bandwagon and believe it to be reality.
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start and maintain a candle business in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Deutschland and the UK. You can find Laurie at http://la.Scentsy.us or http://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com