Something that always interests me about the business people I meet, is the approach that they have to their company and those around them.

Now, whether you believe in Karma or not, I personally see an unwritten code of conduct that businesses tend to follow. Examples of this include:

  • Acting with honesty and integrity
  • Treating fellow businesses with respect
  • Good manners
  • Assertiveness without aggressiveness.
  • Basic dignity and respect as a minimum.

All pretty standard? So one would think!

Increasingly I am seeing more and more business behaviour which has an edge to it that isn’t necessarily positive.

From non negotiation to nothing more than playground bullying and games. Not talking to each other (especially business partners) and even worse, taking issues to social media to air them in public are acts I see more and more regularly.

Clients usually come to us because they want a defined barrier between their home and business life. Who wouldn’t want this?

However when businesses start attacking each other and using online tactics to put each other down, what can you do?

Marie Coles – founder of Business Connections and all round social media superstar shares the following quick tips on how to handle the “playground antics”:

1) If it’s a business partner who is taking their issues to air with facebook/twitter etc, then arrange a face to face meeting. Consider a professional mediator. The cost of their services may save you a serious amount of money in the long run. Do NOT engage with any online debates or arguments. It will damage your reputation more.

2) If it’s a competitor or business relationship gone wrong, try your best to ignore them. Most of them go away in time. However if it’s blatant slander or reputation damage, seek legal or where necessary police advice.

3) Always remember that even bullying online is still bullying. Act assertively and protect your business but always remember good ethics and manners. Don’t be afraid of the “block” button on social media.

Marie x

These tips are extremely valuable. Are you involved in any arguments or issues? Are they really necessary and are you acting like a good business should? My tip for the week is to step back from your business for an hour. Look at it and walk around your premises if you have them. Ask yourself “am I facing the issues I need to” – because if as a business manager or owner the answer is no, then you need to look at all of the people affected by it. Making changes to your business, your staff and their responsibilities isn’t easy, but its much easier than losing good business contacts and staff because you don’t. Just be wise and know your allies as well as your enemies.

Until next time

Richard Cooper