***Disclaimer: I don’t curse like a truck driver* all the time. I have been known to curse like a sailor* now and again.
I’m betting that when you decided to start your business your voice when communicating was not at the forefront of planning your business. Yeah, I never thought about it either.
If, however, you’ve played on the inter-webs for a hot minute and looked at anything related to social media, you’ve likely come across suggestions on the tools you can use to communicate about your business. Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest tend to be the biggies. But there are other avenues as well, such as your company’s newsletter, your own personal newsletter, blogs, videos and more.
Regardless of how you choose to communicate, what does your voicereally mean when communicating, especially in business? It means how you come across…. Not so much what you say, but how you say it. Your voice, even in writing, can convey emotions and persuade and influence your audience. How you express yourself reveals your personality, and this allows you to connect with your customers. Your voice can help establish your brand, and if you are consistent, it can even increase your creditability.
In the last few years ‘authentic self’ has been a pretty popular phrase. To be your authentic self, in a nutshell, means be yourself, whether it’s in person, in video or in writing.
But what if you curse like a truck driver in your daily life?
You know it, your family knows it and so do all your friends. Is it bad to have your customers find out? In my very anecdotal survey, the results seem to be age based. Not really surprising. The older crowd voted yes, it's bad, while the younger crowd voted no, not so bad.
Growing up, you’ve likely been taught that to be a business professional (well, an adult, really…), it requires, respect, reliability, professionalism, discipline, and maybe even some seriousness and leadership skills. So, if you go around dropping EFF bombs…what does that say about you or your business?
On the other hand, to be your authentic self means to be who you truly are, and that’s not just the hip phrase of the day, but what most people actually want. So, as it is in politics, it is in business. You can’t please everyone, and don’t even try, because it simply won’t happen.
So, there is the dilemma that many of us find ourselves in, the struggle between what we’ve been taught, versus the current mindset of being authentic.
The easy answer is to not curse, as you are a business professional! But... there is more to it and it also depends on other circumstances. Are you communicating in full public view? Are you only communicating with your VIP’s, who might likely also be your friends?? Are you a new or first-time business owner? Do you curse casually or for affect? Are we talking about all aspects of communication or something more limited?
Here are some other things to consider. What is your take on the person representing a business who curses up a storm? Think of a business like your own, i.e.; you sell clothes - you go to Macy’s, and your sales lady drops two or three EFF bombs, what is your thought? Does the type of business make a difference if it is acceptable or not?
For me, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Yes, I, I know, I just got done saying you can’t please everyone, but hear me out. There is no ‘right’ answer; you have to do what is right for you. I know I can hear you know, wow, thanks, that was helpful... So, think of business like love or relationships…there is someone for everyone!
If you want to curse it up storm, have at it! Your people will find you! Want to keep it clean as a whistle? Your people will find you! Customers will always come and go, for a variety of reasons. Your best bet is to simply be yourself.
*Sailors are far worse than truck drivers.
Come on over to my VIP group to see if I'm really a truck diver or a sailor!
What are your thoughts on the subject, I'd love to hear your feedback!