Mom always said “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Sound advice? I tend to think so. With Facebook, Twitter and other public forums, it sure makes it easy for some to ignore my mama’s advice.
What I find interesting is what some consider a gripe, bitch, vent, complaint, or whine. For example – it’s no secret that I’m not overly fluffy in my speech. I’m very direct, don’t mince words and am sometimes unfiltered. Because I don’t often give sugary, sweet, lovey dovey comments, I’m accused of ignoring my mom’s advice. I’m frequently charged with being mean or not nice. I certainly beg to differ, but those who prefer a softer, gentler, delivery will continue to believe what they believe.
However, having a less than confectionery delivery is not the same as griping, bitching, venting, complaining or whining. I am referring to the people who feel it necessary to come into a public forum and spew negativity. I’m sure it is a widespread problem, no matter what network or forum you frequent. I happen to see it most often in direct sales team forums.
Team and company forums are typically set up for independent sales consultants to network with each other, share ideas, ask questions and help fellow team members. For the most part they are a fabulous platform for this type of support and information sharing. The benefits outweigh the negatives. Yet still, some feel they need to come in with their cyber-courage and act as a wet blanket for all the good that is trying to be maintained in that environment.
For instance, if your leader posts information that is helpful to your business – FYI type information – is there any good that can come from you interjecting your negative opinions about how stupid it is, or how your parent company should do something different? That may be a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but the answer is No, there is nothing positive that can come from your gripe, bitch, vent, complaint or whine. It’s not the appropriate time or place.
If someone asks, “We’re considering this, what do you think about it?” I’m not suggesting you respond that it’s the most wonderful idea ever raised if you don’t genuinely believe it; that is actually a good place to interject if you do not think it is a good idea.” But responding to a request for truthful feedback is different than merely spewing negativity any chance you get.
Ironically anyone reading this who has been subjected to those Black Clouds will know exactly what I’m talking about. Those who may be guilty of infesting a forum with toxicity may not be aware they are doing it. They will feel completely justified sharing their unsolicited negative opinions.
To be clear, merely having a difference of opinion does not automatically constitute complaining, especially in a brainstorming environment. I have a great deal of respect for those who are confident to speak out against the masses, even when not the popular response. Although, interjecting negativity into an informational or positive thread serves no useful purpose. Before you open your mouth, or more aptly start banging on the keyboard, ask yourself, “Will this comment be part of the solution, or part of the problem?”
Equally as important is to ensure your comments are directed to the people who have the ability and authority to do something about it. If you have a question, comment or concern that only your parent company can do anything about, send an email to those folks who have the power to act upon it. Griping about your corporate office to your fellow sales consultants is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Are you part of the problem? Or part of the solution?
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland and the UK. To download a FREE Start Up Guide which provides more details about how to start a home business as well as to learn about our compensation plan go to https://www.thrivingcandlebusiness.com/how-to-start-a-candle-business/