I read recently in The Daily Beast http://bit.ly/jEQ537 about Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich’s “disastrous” campaign rollout. Of particular note is a quote from Rich Galen, who worked for Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, “On the Richter scale it’s pretty serious—7.2. It feeds into the greatest fear about Newt’s candidacy, that he can’t help himself. He’s missing the gene that says because it comes into your head, it doesn’t have to come out of your mouth.”
Whatever political beliefs you have, one thing is for sure…diarrhea of the mouth, in any case, is simply inappropriate. Very often, emotions run high and when some people are in a situation where confrontation is inevitable, it’s important to think about the questions…and stay a few steps ahead of where you think the questions are leading too…and where YOU would like them to go. An important part of public relations is media training– which I find very fascinating. Many client’s I’ve worked with in the past often believed they knew how to respond to questions from key stakeholders, including the media until we put a camera in front of them and hit the replay button. The reality is that each stakeholder is coming from a different place. And when you think you know the answer automatically, without considering the stakeholder you are responding back to there there is a good chance you’ve just put yourself into a dangerous situation, not only for yourself, but for all those you are representing.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard one mom on the playground explain to another what she meant to say…I really think one of the most popular phrases around the slide is “Oh I didn’t mean it, you shouldn’t take what I said that way”. The damage is already done. Here is the lesson for today my fellow readers…THINK before YOU SPEAK…Say what you mean (be sure to back it up), and finally MEAN WHAT YOU SAY!