This past weekend in college football was Rivalry Week. In essence, it’s that weekend when arch rivals clash and fan bases get crazy. Sometimes, too crazy.
I follow Twitter to keep track of all the games and notes that a large number of tweets – including some from people I know and respect – got a little nasty in deriding other college’s fan bases. While I’m all in with good-natured ribbing, expletive-filled social media posts aimed at groups is troublesome in a lot of ways. Here’s why and how it applies to your business:
The insinuation is that ALL of a group of fans are “expletive deleted.” While past individual experience might include poor behavior of members of a group or organization, it should never be an absolute that judges everyone in that fan base or group. We’ve seen this blanket statement go well beyond sports, and deep into our politics, workplaces, and communities.
Here’s the business application: Employers often refer in negative blanket terms to employees; employees speak in terms of management; and I’ve even heard businesses talk about customers in negative terms. Almost all are due to poor behavior by individuals in those groups, and then entrap the entire group that can spread gossip leading to poor morale and loss of reputation. Heck, if one isn’t careful, it could cost them their job, future employment (or promotion), or a client.
Humans are responsible for their own bad behavior. Sometimes they can mass together and make an entire demographic look bad. But in the end, individuals are responsible for behavior that is detrimental.
Your assignment: this season of the year is a great time to stop passing judgments and make assessments based on observed behaviors. Judgments on groups due to a few bad apples will spoil a lot of things, including productivity, morale, reputation, and career.
Make sure you are disciplined in your own observations. It ultimately results in increased fairness and better goodwill and friendships.
Quote of the Day:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
~ President Theodore Roosevelt
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