Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Adapting Yourself to your Audience

One day my son wanted to wear something to school that could be considered a costume accessory. As a parent, I was torn between two things. On one hand, I wanted him to feel free to express himself creatively, to be who he is and not apologize for it. On the other hand, I was concerned that other children would tease him and break his heart. Ultimately I chose to express my concern and have him make his own choice. Aware of the possibility of being teased, he made the decision to wear what he wanted to.

The situation got me thinking about my own behavior, and how I may curb my language or change my behavior based on where I am and who I'm with. 

With family, I can express myself freely and be silly, but will eliminate words from my vocabulary in front of my children. With close friends, I can tell private stories, share a laugh, or disclose challenges. With clients and colleagues, I try to maintain my professionalism while still being approachable.

Are you the same way? Do you change your language or edit your behavior based on where you are and who you're with? What about on social media?
Especially when you're on social media for business purposes, think about your audience and what would be appropriate. Similar to my discussion with my son, should you be free to express yourself and say what's on your mind and not worry about the consequences or the reactions from others? Or should you be more conservative and express yourself in a professional manner? Ask yourself these questions and establish parameters for your businesses social media. Make sure your posts support your objectives and are in alignment with your brand.