At the beginning of the year, everyone is on their best behavior. You’ve made resolutions to quit bad habits and pick up good ones that’ll improve your life. You promise that this year is different and you’re going to become a better person.
January comes and goes quickly. Why didn’t you make these changes years ago? You’re happy. You’re healthy. You’re keeping out of trouble. Everyone is on the same wavelength.
Then February hits. The holiday cheer has subsided. The new car smell of freshly-made resolutions has worn off. People start to slip back into bad habits.
Siblings sue each other over their parent’s legacy and who’s the rightful heir to the family business.
A business partner is upset that he’s not getting his way, so he throws a tantrum by holding computer servers and funds hostage.
A new hire exploits the company’s “everyone’s family” policy by promptly turning around and claiming almost every conceivable type of discrimination under the sun.
And that’s all in the past week alone.
If you run your own business (especially if you have employees), you run the risk of becoming the target of someone else’s bad behavior. Double points if those employees are relatives.
How do you immunize yourself? Bad news. You can’t. What you can do is stay alert. Don’t become too comfortable. If you do, things slip through the cracks. Sadly, people tend to take advantage of those closest to them and those who’ve opened up and shown their generosity and vulnerabilities.
To fight back successfully, you’ve got to disengage your emotions. Take a step back so you can gain clarity and perspective. This is difficult, but it’s necessary. Don’t get drawn in by your emotions and say or do something you’ll regret later. It will only make matters worse.
It’s a delicate balance to find a way to communicate your message without taking a cheap shot, forgoing your position, or losing your credibility.
A wise man once told his daughter as she was learning to drive, “Operating the car is the easy part. 98% is protecting yourself against the other guys.”
To celebrate the launch of our two books, we’ve made the Kindle version of each available for only $0.99! Check out A Board Member’s Guide to Crisis PR and A Lawyer’s Guide to Crisis PR (Second Edition) on Amazon.
“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.
If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog, Insights on High-Stakes PR.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net