Monthly Archives: March 2011

Social Media – Food for Thought

Social Media – Food for Thought

I'm Watching You

I'm Watching You

With the increased usage of social media like twitter, facebook, youtube and blogs, there is an awareness that word-of-mouth comments about a business can spread very fast.

It is one thing to deal with people outside an organisation making comments or criticisms, but what happens when staff within an organisation starts to share their personal opinions and views online?

Where is the boundary of personal freedom (including freedom of speech) and control of a staff member’s ability to express an opinion publicly?

Some issues can be addressed with clauses within employment agreements regarding confidentiality of information and clauses that mention bringing the organisation into disrepute. There is no difference between offline and online activities in regards to this.

For the person who is using these forums it is good to remember a few basic rules about social media:

• Online, treat everything as public regardless of personal privacy settings

• People, including the media, employers and staff, are watching your personal accounts

• It is recommended to think twice before you post anything online, for example those comments and photos of that party last night may not be the best thing for your employer (or employee) to see.

Remember that it works both ways, you may check up on staff but they may be checking up on you.

Now what happens when staff members who have personal social media accounts become known publicly as being part of the business? The line between personal and business becomes blurred. If a staff member expresses an opinion or discusses personal values, beliefs or ideologies or even details about their routine or daily lives, does it reflect on the business? Can an employer insist that staff stop using social media or control/restrict what is said?

There are other questions in this area as well.

• Should an employer be searching a staff member’s account?

• Is it appropriate for an employer to “follow” or “friend” a staff member?

• Should you ignore/decline/block staff members (or your boss’s) friend request?

The question is where are the boundaries? Should it be left to chance or common sense or does it need to be controlled by policy or legislation?

Social media is here, to try to stop it is futile, to control it is problematic, so the other option is to become aware of how it works and educate yourself and others as to the appropriate use of this media.

Food for thought.

Paul S Allen

Other Articles

Social Media the Next Stage

Social Networking and Business

I Am Watching You

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Strong… or not

How may times do you pretend to be strong when really underneath you’re a mess?

Who are you being strong for?

How long can you keep up the mask?

See what Robbie Williams say’s in his song “Strong”

And you know and you know
Cos my life’s a mess
And I’m trying to grow

You think that I’m strong you’re wrong
You’re wrong
I’ll sing my song my song my song

In this positive and bright sounding piece of music Robbie confesses to the inner battles he is going through.

Perhaps we should admit to our own issues remove the masks and get help if we need it. We all go through the “dark night of the soul” from time to time, pride will keep you in it.

Have a listen to the “Strong” video below.

Paul S Allen

The Uriah Strategy

The Uriah Strategy – Failure By Design

Have you ever experienced the situation where you are given a task or mission to complete then seem isolated and unable to achieve it? Have you put someone in that position?

You are not alone.

The strategy of putting someone into a situation and then withdrawing any necessary support from around them only to use it as an excuse to criticize or remove them is not new. It has been used for thousands of years by rulers and leaders usually to cover up their own weaknesses or failures.

The prime example of this is Uriah the Hittite.

There is a bible story of King David who slept with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite who was one of his faithful commanders,  as a result of this encounter she became pregnant. To hide this King David arranged Uriah to be placed on the front line of a battle only to have the supporting army retreat from that position allowing Uriah to be killed by an enemy and for Bathsheba to become his wife.  (Bible: 2 Samuel 11:2-27)

Some leaders/rulers have made conscious efforts to do this as a way of hiding weaknesses or even to arrange for a reason to dismiss someone whom otherwise is a good worker/employee/subordinate, or to deal with people they disagree with.

Ways to avoid this.

  • Do not put yourself into positions where you need to cover up mistakes
  • Honesty is the best policy
  • Respect others
  • Keep good accountability structures for yourself.
  • Do not take for yourself that which is an others. (ideas, property, concepts,)
  • Do not put your own pride before the safety of others.
  • Always provide the resources to see that a task can be completed.

Always think about the consequences of your actions. There is no place for any form of bullying in any organisation. A great leader shows respect, courage, honesty and lives a life of integrity, when they do make mistakes (and they will) they will admit it and put things right.

If you are a leader, never use this strategy. It will destroy others and ultimately yourself and the empire you are building.

This was failure by design, failure for Uriah who was killed, Bathsheba who lost her husband and her child, The result for King David was that his own family rebelled against him and he never knew peace in his kingdom again, he lost his integrity, respect, and his vision, his family, his peace and he was never able to see the vision that he had for his nation completed.

Leadership food for thought.

Paul S Allen

Fallen Down

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