Cartoon mouth wide open with a blank balloon beside it

What Are You Saying?

Sometimes the Universe kicks me in the ass. See, She (yes, the Universe is a female. Don’t hassle me on this one) wants me to pay attention to something and I’m like a raven, too busy playing with the shiny (or dead) things to be bothered. When this happens events conspire to smack me upside the head until I’m crying and saying, “what?” really loud.

Okay. So I get it now. This week’s theme: Communication.

I’ve had several events which I will relay to you and perhaps you’ll be faster on the uptake than I was. Who knows? Many people are much smarter than I am.

Sometimes trying to talk to each other is like trying to communicate with semaphore. Add in social media or emails and now you have a gremlin in the works guaranteed to monkey things up. There’s a lot that we communicate online to one another that is not intended or may not be clear. That’s bad business for anyone. Here’s some tips to ensure you’re saying what you mean to;

  1. But that’s not what I said! 80% of human face to face communication happens non-verbally. This means that we see that eye roll or that shift in weight while you tell us what a good job we’re doing. Don’t think we don’t. However, when you’re online, I can’t see your eyeballs unless I have them on my desk and that’s just creepy. Nor do I hear the melodious sound of your voice. All I see is what you type. All I hear are the pixels on the screen. That joke you sent? That’s not really funny if you really look at it. Look at your words and ask yourself how you would perceive them if you were seeing them for the first time ever. No, emoticons don’t count as facial expressions.
  2. Eighth person rebound shot! Information you’re getting may not be firsthand or even true on the Internet. GASP! Say it’s not so! Everything on the Internet is for true! Well, brace yourself, kids. The Tooth Fairy is just your mom or dad creeping into your room at night and not everything you read on the Internet is real or true. Verify your sources before you open your mouth.
  3. No do-overs! What happens on the ‘Net stays on the ‘Net. Forever and ever and ever…. Remember those fun pictures you and your boyfriend took after a bottle of tequila? Yep. They’re out there. Be careful that you aren’t saying something that will come back to haunt you for years to come. Something you said five years ago will come out to bite you on the ass today. The Internet may seem immediate but there are long term consequences.
  4. By the Power of Greyskull, I have the power! Isn’t it great to feel like a god on the Internet? You can say and do anything and no one knows your name. Except we do. Don’t do that stuff. If you wouldn’t say or do it to someone’s face, don’t say or do it on the Internet. It’s not nice and it’ll come back to bite you.
  5. Today is a good day to die. Remember, what you say and do on the Internet has an impact. If you run a business, this means it can generate more business or it can leave you broke. Your choice. So that funny blonde joke you made on Twitter? Not so funny now that blondes are angry at you and won’t come do business with you, is it? Ha ha.

The Internet is a great source of fun and information but it can really hurt, too. The person reading what you’re saying is a real person with thoughts and feelings. When you’re running a business, what you say can mean more or less business. It’d be a shame to have your business take a nose-dive because what you said isn’t what you thought you said.

Above all, communicate. That’s the message this week and the Universe will give me a spanking if I don’t pass it along. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…