Many wise men and women have commented over the centuries on how negative experience can ultimately shape who we become.
I often think a rejection is the universe telling me “friend, you got it wrong this time; do you know why?” via something or someone closer to home.
Now that we are all very much in the digital spotlight it would be foolish to suppose that everyone is going to heap praise on everything we do, that there will never be a word of consternation uttered and that the whole process will be nothing other than a blissful journey to fame and fortune.
Life, my friends, is never like that. Because there is always a lesson to learn, no matter how long you’ve been plying your trade, on your social networks or otherwise.
When someone calls you out, unfollows you or makes a negative comment on your blog you have a superb social media management opportunity to ensure that you demonstrate to the world your commitment in the pursuit of business excellence.
“Have you lost your mind??” I hear you cry …
Absolutely not. Here are a few points that I’d like you to mull over:
Have you truly listened to everything that is being said about you and to you? You have? Have you written blog posts to showcase various examples? Mark that down on your ‘to do’ list if you haven’t, but don’t name names! Being seen to publicly acknowledge your shortcomings along with a readiness to take action where necessary is crucial in the digital age. Show your audience that you’re not just full of hot air.
Being unreasonably attacked says more about the other party than you. There is one proviso on this one, and it assumes that you have your own house in order. If you have done absolutely nothing to provoke outright hostility from another quarter then take the appropriate action (i.e. block them) and move on. And remember this: feathers usually don’t get ruffled unless you’re making progress.
You can’t please everyone all the time, and nor should you expect to. There will always be those who decide for their own reasons to walk away. When they do, ask yourself was there anything you did to contribute to it? Anything at all? An ongoing engaged, open-minded two-way communication will often help to iron out little gripes before they turn into a full-blown rebuff.
Rejection sets you free. Maybe, just maybe, that connection or prospect you were chasing was never going to blossom into a meaningful business relationship … In which case, go and sow your social marketing oats elsewhere. Once you’ve learned any applicable lesson that may be hanging around in the aftermath, that is.
Act swiftly, act positively. If you have legitimate questions to answer, be they service or product-related, don’t try and brush them under the fear of rejection carpet. Tackle them head on and do it (for the most part) in the public arena; that is to say you should thank people for taking the time to bring the matter to your attention before you outline how you will deal with it. Don’t deliberate on this one; speed is of the essence.
Lose the emotion. It’s so very easy to take criticism or rejection personally, particularly if it’s your business or personal project that is under scrutiny. No matter how strong the urge is to lash out publicly, don’t. Count to ten, and then don’t. Count to ten again, and then don’t. Repeat this process continuously until you’ve accepted that despite every fibre of your being wanting to let rip, you don’t.
A rejection is a golden opportunity to do better next time. Try harder. Be more responsive. Listen more intently. Step it up.
Make sure you use social media to develop a reputation for being responsive, attentive and positive. Always.
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