Think back to the last big oopsy-daisy you made.
Did you apologize sincerely? Did you ignore it hoping it’d go away? Did you deny it ever happened when confronted about it?
How’d that turn out? How’d you feel? How’d those affected feel? Did it affect your business, family relations, or social circle?
Everything we do impacts our reputation, negatively or positively. We all make mistakes. It’s how we handle the situation that matters.
When it’s time to divvy up an estate or business, disputes quickly turn into an episode of Game of Thrones Even close-knit families and business partners devolve into backstabbing with ulterior motives.
Those involved are too emotional. They’re each carrying around baggage from their past, which clouds their judgment.
Their overriding desire is often to right wrongs from long ago, real and perceived. Jane was Mommy’s favorite. Sam broke my favorite doll on purpose. The business partner’s child has no business taking over the company.
When a crisis occurs, lawyers, financial and business counselors are among first called. The reason is simple: The biggest problems tend to be legal or financial (or both).
There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for managing conflicts. But there are a few quick tips that are always true:
- Take a deep breath.
- Be strategic, not reactive.
- Watch for “red flags” — and pre-empt them.
- Control the situation. Don’t let it control you.
- Be intentional when what you put something in writing. Often what you don’t commit to writing is as important as what you do. On the flip side, you can use someone else’s intemperate or ill-thought-out writings to your advantage.
- If one family member is bullying the others and you intercede, make it clear you’re protecting the best interests of the entire family. That makes the bully’s position untenable and makes you the hero.
- You have limited opportunities to impact any situation. Venting is usually a waste of time and emotion. Instead, use your energy to achieve what you want.
Remember this as another season of Game of Thrones comes to an end tonight.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep. More than half a century of expertise working with clients to resolve issues both in and outside the media’s glare — in their professional and personal lives.
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