Even if you win; you’re still a retard

I’ve come across a lot of discussions about organizational conflict during the past years of my study in organizational communication. It’s not that much of a surprise that its one of the most common research topic every year. Not only is it interesting, its also very important to every communication specialist, HR, or PR practitioner. Conflicts can be good or bad depending on how you handle it. But one thing that is know to every communication specialist out there is that internal conflict is a lot easier to handle than external conflict. External conflict directly involves the people that should be buying your products and messing up in handling external conflict can deal a devastating blow to every company.

Now, imagine that external conflict being ‘excalated’ to the internet. Yes, I meant to use the word escalate because internet conflict gives the power or anonimity and broadcast communication to your adversary. This is unlike in real life where you can actually contain the problem before it gets ugly. The internet is the nest of bad news hungry people that love beating the hell out of big companies and bashing their products. So how do you solve Internet Conflict?

Calm down. Seems like your generic advice when it comes to anger management but it actually is the most important of all the tips you can get.  Dealing with an idiot spouting nonsense about your company with a hot head can attract more idiots to bash your company. Do not give people more reason to hate you. Never fight fire with fire, or in this case, flame with flame.

The thing you’d want to avoid the most is more people joining in on the discussion and rallying against the big bad company. Calm down, and end things quickly. Avoid caps lock. Do not sound arrogant. Do not be too apologetic as it may give flamers more confidence to flame. Do not use ill words. Listen to what the other person is saying.

Remember that not all people hate you for valid reasons. Sometimes, there are just people that love to hate. They are more commonly known as “Jackasses”. There’s nothing you can do to stop them because they flame you for flaming’s sake. It is important to remember that dealing with these people is like studying tornadoes. You go near and examine it but get too close and you’ll be the last person I’d want to be. Ignoring people like these can be potentially dangerous as people may view the rant and end up believing it. That’s where you come in. Go in the battlefield,give your two cents and try not to feed the attention hungry troll too much. The more people see how calm and collected the company is in handling a flamer, the better the rep your company gets and the less the people that listens to the jackass.

Do not be agitated by trolls. Do not be absorbed in a flame war. Leave immature ranters alone to make idiots out of themselves. Empowering your supporters is more preferable than attacking haters. Do not give he impression that you’re company is on a defensive stance on an issue.

There are some people you just don't want to have an argument with.

Avoid conflicts as much as possible. As they say, “prevention is better than cure” The more controversies and issues your company gets involved in, the less credible it seems to people. You’d be surprised on how a couple of red marks can affect your company. The internet is one to blame for this. People write on the internet and these writings can be viewed by other people all over the world. And they’ll blog about it, and blog about it and blog about it. And that shit is potentially permanent.

Before you know it, an issue on the delay of pays can transform into an issue of employees not receiving any compensations at all. Then you’ll become a national phenomenon and that image will stick to you for a very long time.

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13 Responses to Even if you win; you’re still a retard

  1. I enjoyed reading this post. 🙂 I guess the debate on whether people are rational or not continues to what their behavior is on the Web. I come across some Facebook fan pages just for laughs or crap tweets for or against celebrities or organizations as well. Their rationale behind doing these things may not be held in question but instead count on how organizations or people attacked on respond to this.

    • melem1 says:

      Thank you Jody. There’s no such being as a rational human being in the Internet. That’s why you can’t fight with logic alone when arguing in the internet. Swaying people to your side with demeanor and manner of speech plays a very important role in this. Looking like you just “attacked” a hater may leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Worst case, people will support the hater even if you make sense in the first place. In other words; make haters look like ranting idiots and your consumers are safe 🙂

  2. If you fight back you will seem defensive. Yes, we should keep our cool because if not, it’s a big turn off. Plus, we should look at situations like these as learnings.

    • melem1 says:

      IT pretty hard to learn something from someone bad maouthing you for no reason whatsoever but i guess it is important to get something out of every experience. “Cool” is definitely the trait to have 🙂

  3. Franze says:

    Haha, I remember my ‘general’ flame war post. I think it’s easier for people to be childish or to become a jackass online since they are veiled with anonymity. As long as there’s no assurance of the other party will be able to nab them for their attitudes, they’ll persist. I agree that these people should be ignored rather than entertained with lengthy answers. The more you say, the more bullets they have against you.

    • melem1 says:

      But really now.. Some people are just plain annoying. So there may be SOME exception to the rule (^_^)

      Hehe guess it goes to show that people with anger management problems should steer clear of the Internet or at least forums and discussions. Things can and will get ugly 😀

  4. kimgiel says:

    Lem, I guess I’ll bring with me these three points as I enter the corporate world.
    Calming down. That’s a general rule whenever something unusual or challenging come your way. Organizations need people who are not too emotional and who knows how to think first before saying or doing something. We should also remember to be professional in dealing with conflicts. It’s a lot of money at stake!

    • melem1 says:

      But at the end of the day (whew! few moments when I can use that XD) companies must learn to not act like companies and more like people to other people. These tips are only intended for the opposition of those ranters and haters that targets your company.

      Its still important show the “human” side of the enterprise so that the label of “huge bureaucratic bundle of dullness” will not befall your company. One of the good things about the Internet is you can filter your emotions and show only the “good side” of the blogger on the other side. 🙂

  5. blahblahblogsheet says:

    Nice post lem! I remember dogbert saying “Never underestimate the stupidity of the public.” What I extracted from this post is that organizations should now when to shut up. Most of the time, giving reactions just exaggerate the situation. This does not mean that they would totally ignore what the public saying but rather they should just do it in moderation and pick situations to address.

  6. Jet Tumang says:

    @offtopic: I think the use of the picture of special Olympics might be taken as an offensive post.

    @topic: Yep. Organizations should have a good sense of balance between reacting and staying quiet. One small mistake and your company would receive grave consequences from either reacting (or overreacting for that matter) or staying quiet. Learning how to handle crisis would surely help an organization maintain this delicate balance.

    • melem1 says:

      @offtopic: Thank you for telling me that. Wasn’t thinking straight when i made this. Now looking for something to replace it.

      @topic: All the more reason to prevent crises. Right now, anything epic that happens in your company whether good or bad will be immortalized in the Internet more so if its bad. So do not give people reason to bash you.

  7. I was never a good fighter, I would always hide and hope for the best. So as you can see, I am a good conflict resolver after all! Haha! I’m kidding. I know that that is not a good way of resolving problems, especially in the internet.

    But I do like your first suggestion: to keep calm. It’s something I have never tried before. I always panic first. Haha! Anyway, you are right, sometimes there are just some haters in the internet world who go online for the sole reason of starting a conflict. It’s an unhealthy practice which will not benefit any party. I suppose one way to counter these people is just to keep clean and not sink down to their level.

  8. One thing that somehow disappoints me is how the internet has changed the dance scene. Sure, videos and tutorials are more accessible now. And dancers can easily connect each other through the internet.

    But now, people can openly “hate” on other’s without fear of retaliation. And also, biting, or copying the moves of others, has been made easier thanks to Youtube.

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