Tell me your war story and I will tell you mine
One of the premises of social media is to create a conversation with your followers. Some people are really great at striking up a conversation, while others lack social grace and simply ask the wrong questions. Organizations and individuals that are trying to help, motivate, or promote a cause will ask public questions about failures, things you had problems with, what was your most challenging customer? Their premise is, we can learn from your mistakes.
As the saying goes, misery loves company, so getting people to talk about their business war stories is not difficult. However, you are not sitting in your living room enjoying a libation and socializing with one individual; you’re telling your story to a community or nowadays the world.
Sensationalism is what drives many people to read a posting and face it, we all want people to read what we write and respond to it. These posts typical have some type of exaggeration, either positive or negative just to make the story more interesting. Strangers reading these posts can now respond in favor or against you.
If you try to write a detailed blog posting explaining everything in detail you will find people will just skim the post, paraphrase your information and then respond. Some of the responses will have follow-ups correcting about misconceived perceptions drawn by people who did not fully spend the time reading the entire post. The whole process becomes one big mess and you wish you never responded to the post. So the next time you see a question asking for how you failed, skip it. No need to tarnish your own image, leave that up to somebody who’s not skilled at protecting their image.