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  • Personal Branding Weekly – All Marketers are Bullies

    Bullying photo from ShutterstockFact or fiction?  I have trouble with the word “all” in the title. It’s one of those absolutes like always and never that leave no room for diversity. After this week, it feels more like fact than fiction. I remembered Seth Godin’s book titled, All Marketers are Liars, and think mimicking his title is apropos for the focus of this post (catches your attention doesn’t it, especially if you’re a marketer).

    Every profession has its share of bullies. They are the ones who attack others who have a differing opinion using absolutes. Instead of a professional discussion around the subject, their fervor (even anger) is focused on the person. They are the ones with that “my way or the highway” attitude who are not open to discussion. They may not behave this way in every situation, yet around certain subjects when they hear a differing opinion or practice they leap into full bullying action with words of attack and even gathering others to create a “mob mentality” inciting others to join in on the bullying.

    This week I published a post with a recommendation I provide to solopreneurs first delving into social media. I know it’s not a recommendation that everyone agrees with but as an advocate for solopreneurs and small business, I do what I recommend and have watched it successfully help a solopreneur kickstart themselves into creating a more social business. In fact, after a small business owner hired me to assist her with her social business strategy, I asked her what I ask all my new clients, “Why did you choose me”?  Her answer, “because you’re nice”. She explained that she had spoken to several marketing consultants, agencies and social media gurus and every one of them made her feel stupid and small for not knowing more about social media. They spoke in acronyms, smirked at her lack of knowledge and then even chided her that doing it on her own will only waste her time, money and that she would eventually fail.

    She said she felt bullied.

    Let me be clear – I’m not making light of bullying. I believe there are bullies in all walks of life, of all ages and all stages in careers. By definition, bullying is use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

    You may know your stuff but knowing it and acting like a “know it all” are two entirely different things. What can you do to be a pro in your industry and not a bully?

    Read Stephen Covey’s Book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

    1. Be Proactive.  Take the initiative. If someone’s opinion is different than yours, ask them “why they feel or practice what they do and then listen.” You may learn something and the frame of reference may give you a better bearing and understanding. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow. If you do blurt something out, there’s nothing wrong with sincerely apologizing and starting the conversation over again.
    2. Begin with the End in Mind.  What do you want from the interaction? Is it more important to win or more important to develop a relationship?
    3. Put First Things First. What matters most?
    4. Think Win-Win. Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had got his way.
    5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Ask, keep an open mind, and listen – this creates an atmosphere of relationship building and positive problem solving.
    6. Synergize. Combine the strengths of people instead of being a person who has to tear someone else down to stand taller. Stand tall together – it’s a great way to build relationships and your personal brand.
    7. Sharpen the Saw. Continually learn, hone and develop your skills.

    I hope that for 2014 these helpful reminders of the 7 Habits will help you start the New Year right and this post will help you to honestly review your successes and challenges this past year.

    This week our contributors also shared with you:

    Here are some tweetable takeaways from this week’s posts, too:

    Say “yes” to the holiday gatherings you’re invited to; this is a great place to meet and network with new people. http://ow.ly/rYXO1 [tweet this]

    There is nothing wrong with other social networks; It’s just that LinkedIn is the place to be for business. http://ow.ly/rYYRG [tweet this]

    Create new items with repurposed content in several formats to get the most bang out of your content marketing. http://ow.ly/rYZjJ [tweet this]

    The best way to protect yourself at work from harming your reputation is to avoid negative speech. http://ow.ly/rYZmK [tweet this]

    When changing careers, explain the source of your inspiration, not what is inspiring your change of mind. http://ow.ly/rZ09H [tweet this]

    Career growth is not only about changing your job; it is about your personal growth as well. http://ow.ly/rZ0hJ [tweet this]

    Statistics have proved that 60 to 80% of people found their jobs via networking. http://ow.ly/rZ0lF [tweet this]

    Take advantage of the slow season to focus on your wish list and get a head start for the New Year. http://ow.ly/rZ0oU [tweet this]

    Attend work holiday parties to make connections throughout the company. It is one of the best ways to get promoted. http://ow.ly/rZ0GQ [tweet this]

    Knowing the need to leverage your best relationships in job searches is one thing. Actually doing it is something else! http://ow.ly/rZ0OZ [tweet this]

    In business meetings, handshakes are vital first impressions that can help you build better connections in your dialogue. http://ow.ly/rZ0Zi [tweet this]

    Under no circumstances should you compromise the quality of your product to cater to the client’s needs. http://ow.ly/rZ1jY [tweet this]

    All of us at the Personal Branding Blog, hope you have an amazing holiday week!

    Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat- a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

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