Every morning when I open LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, I’m always amazed at what I see people “liking” or commenting on which shows up in my newsfeed as something I might be interested in. The only thing that truly interests me is how many people continue to participate in activities online which tarnish their reputation.
You see, I only need to perceive the idea of what I see to formulate an opinion about someone. If you think someone is going to investigate why you feel passionate about something, think again. Rarely will someone dig deeper into why someone “liked” something they perceive is rude, derogatory, divisive, malicious, inappropriate, or other negative thoughts and ideas.
Do you see what I see?
Recently, Chip Bergh who is CEO and President of Levi Strauss & Co wrote an open letter to customers about their weapons policy in a post on LinkedIn. There were very real considerations taken into account as he penned this plan specific to an incident where a consumer was hurt when a gun went off, injuring only the owner of the gun.
I’m not 100% sure if LinkedIn was the place to share this open letter, but the CEO felt it was and therefore, it was published. What concerns me more are the comments made by many who felt scorned by his position on the company gun policy (albeit a very passionate and heated belief of many) and then name-calling by what should be professionals of one another. C’mon, folks. We have to be better than this because all of your connections are seeing this in their newsfeed.
What we perceive around us is our own truth. When I look into a mirror, I’m not sure I see the same woman looking back as my husband, my children, my grandchildren, and friends. The same goes with comments taken out of context and small-minded tantrums of name-calling while taking the low road on subjects of passionate interest.
I feel compelled to remind others what your connections see, they perceive to be their version of who you are, what your brand is about, and how they want to interact with that brand. I call this Reputation Perception. It doesn’t mean it’s really WHO you are, or WHO your brand is, it’s WHAT someone else thinks about you and your brand. Now, if you are 100% ok with people making judgments on those out-of-context comments and/or name calling moments, then stop reading here and have a wonderful day!
For those of you who it does matter, though, know that others see what you’re liking and posting on – especially on LinkedIn. Don’t let a moment of unbridled anger ruin your brand in a moment’s notice. Don’t engage in banter which may provoke an unappealing response.
And if anyone questions how often the negative Nellies are coming out in many professionals, here are a list of seemingly innocent posts with ugly comments:
- Are local coffee roasters beating Starbucks at their own game?
Be the opposite of Nike
Just don’t do it!
Engaging on topics of political and religious interest in a public forum rarely goes well with any brand. Arguing your point, no matter how valid or correct you might feel you are, is usually not well-received. In practice, we must all take the high road and not involve ourselves in areas where we could unravel years of work with our clients and customers.
I’m simply asking you to consider changing the activity of your brand to reflect the most positive perception. Set yourself up for success by having a plan during these moments to not send out a fiery message or “like” something which may negatively impact your work.
Be bigger, better, and more BIONIC today!
Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite