Make It Happen
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Have you ever been disappointed, frustrated, or annoyed with an experience with a person or organization? In today’s Social Media world, suffering in silence need not be your only option. You can Tweet, Blog, post to Facebook, create a YouTube video, write on a review site or even create your own complaint site. You can galvanize your network by sharing publicly – perhaps for the first time – the nature of your grievance. Especially when you’re in the right, you can wield your social network powerfully.

But should you?

Once your complaint is public, it can never be retracted: What if you were wrong? Or you didn’t have all the facts?

It’s true that many organizations have staff monitoring Social Media, and that many are empowered to head off crises, but still: once your complaint is out, it’s out. Before you hit the “submit” button, here are six questions that you should ask yourself first:

  1. What is the point of your post: is it to accomplish something specific, or merely get some emotional satisfaction?
  2. Are you sure of your facts?
  3. Imagine that your manager reads your post – what would they think? And if it were your parents reading the post – what would they think?
  4. Imagine your post appearing in the newspaper, or on a billboard next to your home. Are you comfortable with it?
  5. Would your post provoke a legal response against you? Sometimes posts can cross the line: does yours?
  6. Ten years from now, how might your post be interpreted by others? You don’t want the “tomorrow you” to appear small-minded and petty. (Thank you Google.)

This week’s action plan:  This week, test these questions whenever you have an important message to send. These questions are just as important for any communication transmitted across the social web.

Special note: As you may have guessed, I was recently disappointed by someone who did not keep their commitment. It was tempting to send a blistering note about them into the blogosphere, but cooler heads – and these six questions – prevailed.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


There is an important hierarchy in the real world when we think of our relationships with others. At one end of the spectrum are those nameless individuals we see on the street, while at the other end are those closest to us – usually our immediate family. And in between, there are many more:

  • (People on the street)
  • Citizens
  • Folks
  • Acquaintances
  • Associates
  • Ally
  • Contacts
  • Followers
  • Fans
  • Disciples
  • Connections
  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Girlfriend/Boyfriend
  • Fiance(e)
  • (Immediate Family)

In the real world, we understand implicitly where each person we know sits in this hierarchy. When we interact with a person in one group, there is nuance: we treat colleagues different than acquaintances, who we treat differently than our immediate family.

In the Social Media world, however, this isn’t the case at all: we treat all Friends, Connections, Followers, etc, the same. For the most part, there is no way to specify the strength of each of our relationships. This has to be done manually – and thoughtfully.

This week’s action plan: Whenever you update your status or send a tweet, carefully consider how different groups would interpret it. Depending on the strength of their relationship to you, they may, or may not, be interested in what you have to say.

Bonus idea: Set your status differently on different Social Media sites, as some are designed for personal social interaction, while others are more professionally focused.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Social (Support) Networks

by Randall Craig March 23, 2010

What happens when you are stumped? In the “olden days” of just 3-4 years ago, you would apply time to the problem, researching different alternatives until you had a viable solution. If you were more clever, you’d reach out to your network – working the phone and email until you found someone who could help. […]

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No Conflicting Advice

by Randall Craig January 6, 2009

There are great colleagues, and there are bad colleagues, and you have to work with them all. But what happens when your interaction with the bullies and the slackers begins to influence your success? Here are some strategies you might use to get back on track: Approach them: It may be that the offender is […]

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The Centre of Gravity

by Randall Craig February 6, 2007

We communicate by writing and by speaking. We project our ideas to others using nuance, idiom, tone of voice, and body language. We do it in our business presentations, group meetings, in proposals, job interviews and resumes. But how do we know that the message is getting through? We don’t. The first paragraph of this […]

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Learning from the Rest

by Randall Craig January 24, 2006

Ever hear the expression “Learn from the Best”? This is great when it comes to a coach or consultant, but a more important concept is “Learning from the Rest”. Each day, we interact with our workmates, friends, and sometimes even the youngest of children. Each of these folks has something unique that they can give […]

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