The other day, I posted a rant on my individual Facebook page about some major frustrations I was personally having with our insurance company. While some friends shared in my frustration, one made a political comment about the situation. Much to my surprise, another individual whom I know through an advocacy organization began to banter back-and-forth with the friend making a political statement. Given the fact that neither individual truly knows each other, it was a strange interaction.
What I found most disturbing is that the replying individual, whom I know in a professional capacity, would step into my personal relationships and risk alienating one of my friendships in order to win a political argument. Frankly, I found it rather unprofessional. I expected this person to keep the “wall” I keep between personal opinion and professional conduct. There is not one shred of a doubt that I serve individuals who do not share my political views. Yet, I serve them with compassion just as I would anyone else. Frankly, I was aghast that this advocacy leader would not do the same.
As I so often do in these posts, I offer this story as a cautionary tale. Friends, guard your professional image like you guard your life. Your professional image not only reflects upon you, but upon the God you serve. Be extremely careful when you “Friend” or “Follow” your members on social media. Your misstep doesn’t even have to be about politics. A simple comment on a photo can put you in trouble given the right circumstances.
I also try to be mindful of this level of decorum with my volunteers. I have actually witnessed people fighting with their families on social media. While it may seem like we can add value to a person with our input, we are wise to think twice before publicly inserting ourselves where we’re not wanted. If we must say something, it is best to do it privately, outside of the public eye.
Ultimately, the best practices to guard our professional interactions are this, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
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