People are watching you, integrity matters.

integrity matters for making business connectionsDo you believe that statement to be true?  Have you ever said that out of your mouth and projected that belief onto other people?  I believe it’s true.  And I’ve said it to other people too.  I’ve even proclaimed it adamantly from the rooftops in opposition of someone’s poor behavior.  But recently I’ve had some great lessons taught to me (by my own mistakes) and I have seen a deeper look into this mentality that may surprise you. 

It may convict you and humble you.  It may make you mad and disagree.  It may make you think I’m crazy.  And it just might change you… it just might triple the business opportunities you get… and it might just triple your income and catapult you to crazy success… so that’s why I’m sharing. 

 

Ever been quick to cut off business relationships or reject possibilities based on something you saw someone do on Social Media?

Here’s scenario #1 – Twitter Tantrum

You’re actively looking to build relationships on Twitter.  Everyone that follows you, you follow them back, as per some protocol that you learned.  You expect that people would do the same when you follow them.  You also feel like if they don’t follow you back, they aren’t doing Twitter right, they don’t know as much as you know. 

Or worse yet, you read their description of themselves and they said they are a ‘social media expert’ or they are a ‘social connector’ or ‘super social networker’ and then you notice they didn’t follow you back and you immediately categorize them as a hypocrite. 

 

Here’s scenario #2 – Facebook Folly

You’re on Facebook and you notice that someone posted the same image with a quote on it that you posted.  Or someone posted the same news article from Mashable.com or Forbes.com that you posted today.  Or someone shared the same funny video from YouTube that you shared on your page…  But they didn’t share it from your post by clicking the ‘share button’.  They didn’t give you credit for being the one who originally shared it.  So you say these people stole your content.  Or you think that they aren’t doing social media right because they aren’t giving proper credit and source citations.  So they are immediately categorized as a scumbag.

 

Scenario #3 – LinkedIn Lunacy

You’re on LinkedIn and you get so many messages every day that they drive you insane.  So you get a message from someone wanting to get to know you better and learn more about your business to explore if there’s any synergy and maybe some collaboration opportunities to share referrals, do a JV, or just help them out. 

You’ve gotten so many solicitations and spam from your so-called ‘connections’ that you’re so fed up and you reply to the message telling the person off, telling them to remove you from their ‘mailing list’ and even going as far as telling them that you don’t appreciate getting a ‘canned message’ that their VA sent you.  You categorize this person as a heartless, opportunistic spammer. 

 

So here’s the fabulous lesson I learned… Kick-in-the-pants Style

women in business - integrity mattersI tell you that I’m sharing this info because I learned this lesson based on my own mistakes.  I saw myself making these snap judgments often.  I saw myself analyzing people’s character based on a tiny isolated social media blunder. And so I learned that when we say ‘People are watching you’ – no, no what that really means is that ‘People are judging you’.  There’s an awful lot of judging hearts, judging motives and judging intentions. 

 

A lot of times we tend to adopt an attitude about integrity that’s slightly off kilter.  Thinking that if someone doesn’t operate their business the same exact way you do, that they’re not ‘worthy’ to do business with you.  Or if they don’t do things the way you think they should, and the way that you’ve been taught… then they are not worthy to have a relationship with you.  That’s not integrity, that’s pride.  And you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities because you’re letting the smallest things stop you from making fabulous connections. 

 

There’s a fine line between integrity and pride

Don’t get me wrong here, I am a huge advocate of living in integrity and having character.  I’m a huge advocate of having strong values and sticking with them.  I’m also a huge advocate of having discernment and being able to have healthy boundaries as to what you allow into your life and your business.  I do know there are valid warning signs to look for in order to make proper business decisions and I advocate doing your due diligence in looking into people before partnering up with them, as well as rejecting partnerships that undermine your values and integrity. 

But here’s the thing.  We need to find a balance in seeing warning signs and being too sensitive and judgmental.  It’s important to be able to recognize warning signs, use our God-given women’s intuition, and watch the actions of how people are living their lives that speak louder than words… of course I agree that’s all super important…

But where do we draw the line? 

Where is the standard set? 

Are we quick to judge someone’s character the first time we see them make something that we consider to be a mistake? 

Or the first time they do something that we consider is out of integrity? 

Rather I think we should use wisdom and watch for recurring patterns.  We shouldn’t be so quick to reject people and opportunities based on surface evidence, without knowing all the factors that caused the person to make the decision they made and take the action they took.  

 

Believe the best because there are lots of unknown factors.

On social media, where you’re interacting every day with people you really don’t know on a personal level.  There is absolutely no way you can know WHY people make the decisions they make, or why they run their business in a certain fashion, unless you know them on an intimate level.   

Let’s take a closer look at the 3 scenarios I gave you earlier:

Scenario #1 – Twitter Tantrum… Behind the Scenes

Here are some reasons the person might not have followed you back:

  • They have healthy boundaries with how they value their time and they’re excellent with time management & productivity.  They don’t get on Twitter all day long.  They have a set day of the week they do all their followbacks and that day simply hasn’t come yet. 
  • They have very specific goals for their business.  They have laser focus on who they want to target and who they’re building relationships with.  They focus on quality and relevant connections rather than numbers.  You just didn’t fit the profile of a quality connection for them, and just because you followed them, does not mean they need to follow you back. 
  • They had a former VA doing their social media who was an idiot and didn’t know anything about Twitter.  Their VA went and followed a million people in hopes to grow the following.  They now got blocked from Twitter and aren’t allowed to follow any more people because their following/follower ratio is out of whack. They’d love to follow you back, but they can’t.

 

Scenario #2 – Facebook Folly… Behind the Scenes

Here are some reasons the person might have shared the same thing as you without giving you credit:

  • The thing you shared was in the public domain (video, image, article).  They might have stumbled upon and curated the content the same way you did, not even knowing that you posted it the same day. 
  • Sometimes if you share via a certain app or mobile device the ‘share’ button is not available for people to choose (I’ve seen this a lot). 
  • The person just might not know about the same ‘sharing protocol’ that you follow and value.  They may simply just be unaware and if you alerted them to it and how they were perceived, they’d be mortified and correct their behavior immediately. 

 

Scenario #3 – LinkedIn Lunacy… Behind the Scenes

Here are some things you may not be considering:

  • It wasn’t a boilerplate canned message at all.  The person took time out of their day to write you a personal message and reach out to you.  You’re just so sensitive about these things because you get too many emails every day. 
  • Maybe it’s your own fault because you’re making hundreds of ‘connections’ with every Tom, Dick & Harry without any discretion.  So you get messages from people you don’t care about, and businesses that you have no synergy with in the first place, and that’s why they annoy you.
  • The person really did have their VA send you that canned message as part of their protocol.  Big deal.  The person works smarter not harder.  They are highly successful and super busy making craploads of money.  Having the VA send that message is the first part of a systematized protocol the person has in place to qualify a quality connection.  Once they received your answer and got to know more about your business, if they determined there was synergy, they would have contacted you personally and had a phone chat… and who knows what magic could have happened?    

 

Giving Grace opens the door to a multitude of opportunities

It’s no secret that collaborations and strategic relationships will get you farther in business faster than you can imagine.  One strategic connection can easily double your income.  So, of course there are little ways you can try to discern a person’s character by what they do in the public arena, and there are little warning signs we should learn to identify, but I just think we’re getting far too judgy around here and missing out on meeting a lot of great folks, and building great relationships just based on some outside things – when we don’t see the whole story.

Even just last week I posted about how I saw someone publish their blog article with an image that had a watermark in it, showing that the image was obtained illegally, and I brought up the integrity issue.  But how could I conclude that this person lacked character based on that?  Their VA could have done that without them even knowing.  And so it would be absolutely insane if I were to make a snap judgment and put this person on my radar as someone I don’t want to explore biz opportunities with because of that isolated thing.

Smart people build businesses to FIT THEIR LIFE – they don’t do cookie cutter business.  So everyone has different life situations, different goals, different family situations, different skill levels, different budgets, different knowledge, etc… so there’s no possible way folks can determine what kind of person you are by a small, isolated thing they see on the outside. 

Of course in situations where you know more info, and it turns out that someone really is a scumbag, and they really are treating people bad, lying, cheating & stealing… then by all means… cut ties with them for sure… but…

I think we all (including me) need to give a lot more grace, we’d see a heck of a lot more growth in our business (and ourselves)!

 

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