Responsible Communication – Your Reputation, Your Influence, Your Role
Communication professionals are wordsmiths. Every word that goes out, be it in the form of verbal or written communication, holds weight and is relied upon. We are in the business of information. It cannot be anything else but responsible communication. Especially in today’s world where information spreads so quickly. Responsible communication is a critical aspect of effective and ethical interaction, both in personal and professional contexts. It has three key aspects – Your reputation, Your influence and Your role.
Your reputation is the perception that others have of you based on your past actions, words, and behaviour. Responsible communication involves safeguarding and nurturing your reputation by adhering to principles of honesty, integrity, and empathy. Consider these aspects:
a. Transparent: Be truthful in your communication, and avoid exaggeration or deception. Being honest builds trust and credibility, which are essential for maintaining a positive reputation.
b. Be at it: Demonstrate consistency in your communication and actions. Inconsistencies can lead to doubts about your reliability and trustworthiness.
c. Own up: Take responsibility for your words and actions. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and apologize if necessary. Accountability strengthens your reputation as a responsible communicator.
d. All lives matter: Show respect to others, regardless of their backgrounds, opinions, or beliefs. Avoid engaging in offensive or disrespectful language or behaviour.
Everyone is always influencing their surroundings, with their thoughts and work and beliefs. Even the Social Media posts and stories that we put out, influences the thought process of those who see it. This influence can be used responsibly to promote positive change and mutual understanding:
a. Compassion: Practice empathy by trying to understand the perspectives of others. Empathetic communication encourages stronger connections and avoids misunderstandings.
b. Avoid Manipulation: Refrain from using deceptive or manipulative tactics to sway opinions. Respect others’ autonomy and allow them to make informed decisions.
c. Avoid spreading rumours or unverified content that may cause harm.
d. Positive feedback: When providing feedback or expressing disagreement, do so in a constructive and respectful manner. Aim to promote growth and learning rather than tearing others down.
Your role is never not important. It is on you to consider your position important and add value with your insights, work and efforts. Consider your role in various contexts, such as in a professional setting, social media, or inter-personal relationships. Different situations may require different communication approaches:
a. Avoid casual attitude: In a professional setting, maintain a level of professionalism and adhere to established communication norms. Respect confidentiality and be mindful of the company’s values.
b. Digital world: Digital world demands an uber careful attitude while sharing information out there for the online world. The consumption is unbelievably huge so responsibility doubles there. Think before posting, sharing, or commenting on social media platforms. One must be aware of the potential consequences of your digital footprint.
c. Resolving issues: In case of conflicts or disagreements, mediation is the way forward. One must focus on finding common ground and seeking solutions rather than letting the tension build.
d. Enable: If you hold a leadership position, set examples and promote responsible communication within your team or community.
Remember that responsible communication is an ongoing process of learning and improvement. It requires self-awareness, active listening, and a commitment to treating others with respect and dignity. By embracing responsible communication, you can build a positive reputation, wield your influence responsibly, and effectively fulfil your role in various aspects of life.