This One Mistake Could Cost You Your Reputation
A colleague shared an interesting story about a conference she attended.
Various speakers took turns presenting on stage and then returned to their table. As luck would have it, my colleague was sitting close to their table. Pretty exciting, right? Well, not really. It could have been a blessing but it ended up being a curse.
Two of the speakers who’d already presented, turned to each other and began chatting during the next speaker’s entire presentation.
My colleague was both dismayed and disappointed.
Initially she’d been inspired by the two speakers but instantly lost respect for both. Not only were they being disrespectful and distracting to the expert on stage, but they were also being disrespectful and distracting to nearby audience members.
The importance of walking your talk
Despite all the words of inspiration from these two speakers on stage, what many will remember was their lack of basic manners off it. Not very inspiring.
Their actions were also damaging to their personal brands. People who may have bought their products that day, possibly didn’t. People who may have sought out their future services, possibly won’t. And people who might have sung their praises after the event, actually wrote about their rudeness in their newsletter – which is how I heard about it in the first place!
It’s a great reminder to walk our talk as much as possible. It’s impossible to practice what we preach (and live up to expectations) all the time, after all, we’re only human. Motivation coaches sometimes feel unenthusiastic. Personal stylists sometimes look daggy. Productivity experts sometimes watch too many kitten videos.
But, if we consistently can’t walk our talk, then we have to ask ourselves why, and perhaps change some aspect of our business and/or lives accordingly. Otherwise we could end up losing people’s trust.
A good example of someone who does walk their talk
In 2009 I sat in the audience, mesmerised by a speaker talking about his inspirational, tragic, and uplifting life story. He wove the story into the theme of his keynote, which was on how to bullet-proof your business. The speaker was Andrew Griffiths.
Later that day at the same conference I was on a panel discussing topics related to copywriting and marketing. Who should be sitting in the audience? Andrew Griffiths! Most impressive was how intently he listened to every single panellist. Surely he’d heard all these topics before and probably written 307 books on them? But, given one of the ways to bullet-proof your business is to continually learn and grow, he sat there quietly and humbly. Listening and learning.
That’s the difference between people who walk their talk and people who don’t. Andrew is a highly respected Small Business author and entrepreneur in Australia, but had he been chatting all the way through our panel discussion, perhaps people would have thought differently of him. I certainly would.
Walking your talk ensures you’re true to yourself and authentic to your purpose. It’s good for your soul and it’s very good for business.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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