How to Increase Your Connections, Prospects and Overall Bottom Line

How to Increase Your Connections, Prospects and Overall Bottom LineBy Holly Reisem Hanna

“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of attacks, criticism, and overall negativity on social media. In fact, last week after Angelina Jolie shed light on her preventive mastectomy, I saw some malicious updates that I couldn’t even believe were being said.

And don’t even get me started on when there’s an election or political issue being discussed, it’s like hate flows out of people’s fingers to their keyboards. Of course there are the less heated, but very judgmental conversations which are still insulting.

Yes, we’re all entitled to our opinions and fortunately we will in a country where we have freedom of speech. But when it comes to social media, individuals need to be judicious in what they say and how they react.

Whether you’re a small business owner, a blogger, or a job seeker, what you say online and how you react can affect your overall bottom line. The truth of the matter is people do judge books by their covers. When negative messages are constantly being sent out people develop unfavorable associations, which can cost you sales, connections, referrals, and opportunities.

Not a single one of us come from the same set of experiences, values, or cultural norms. We are a melting pot and we need to learn tolerance and appreciation for others. Here are three tips for helping your bottom line by exercising tolerance and respect online.

Nothing Nice to Say:

As the old English proverb says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and there is no better place to apply this principle than on social media.

When a person sends out negative updates it creates a ripple effect, where over time people become numb to these updates and they tune out. Or worse yet, they make negative assumptions about you as an individual. Obviously, this isn’t good if you’re trying to cultivate positive connections. Try to keep your updates pleasant and refrain from complaining, if you need to vent, do so in a more private manner to friends and family who know you well.

Stop Attacking:

Have you seen some of the conversations on social media about gay marriage, abortion, or even Angelina Jolie’s preventive mastectomy? While I’ve seen a few civilized conversations on each of the topics, the majority of updates that I’ve seen are full blown vicious attacks on the opposing view. It’s honesty kind of scary.

While I’m a huge advocate for getting involved with issues that you feel passionate about, I’m not an advocate for intolerance and hate. When you’re on social media, try to reframe your words and push your passions out in a positive light. What this means is stop promoting your issues by attacking the other side.

When you attack the opposing view, either through your updates or your comments, you alienate yourself from a large portion of your audience. Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to build your business, this can be very detrimental.

Let it Go:

This applies to so many facets on social media, I’ll share an example to show you what I’m talking about.

Recently, a woman sent out a tweet to business coach on Twitter asking her opinion of a certain coaching course. In the tweet the woman addressed the coach as Sandra (her name is Sandi). The coach answered her question and then said, “BTW – It’s Sandi, not sure where Sandra came from”. While it can be hard to judge the tone of this tweet, I know it wouldn’t make me feel good to be recipient of it. Individuals make honest mistakes all of the time, let it go, it’s generally not intentional and by all means it’s not the end of the world.

Another area where people need to “let go” is opposing views. If someone sends out an update and you don’t like, let it go. By reacting negatively to individual updates, you just create friction and tension which isn’t helping you with your goals.

If your goal for social media is to build relationships and connections, make sure that you’re exercising tolerance and respect online.

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