Guarding our precious reputations

I guess we can all think we know better than to say unwise things which can get us into trouble, but whether we are on-line or out in company, or even on the telephone we have to be so careful what we say.

Before Christmas we had the Vince Cable affair known on Twitter as #cablegate. Actually, without getting political, I quite like the man from the general impression he gives and his knowledge on a number of important issues, plus of course the way he is able to put his case. (For the sake of balance I could name a number of people from all three main political parties for whom I have respect).

Mr Cable made some very unguarded comments to some undercover reporters and whether you think he was duped by their pretending to be constituents of his, nevertheless, genuine constituents could have reported his remarks to the press. Had the Coalition not been so fragile I feel he would have had to resign rather than suffer the humiliation of having responsibilities taken from him. To suggest to the reporters that he had prejudged a matter on which he was the final arbiter without listening to recommendations gave an impression (no doubt a wrong one) of a distinct lack of integrity.

In the end when we speak in a public arena we must guard our words carefully. We must be careful what we say to our fellow networkers. We must be careful what we say to our colleagues. We must be careful what we say on-line. A careless word can give a totally wrong impression of what we are like, especially if it is just bravado and vanity, and few would realise it is not what we really believe. A clumsy retort can damage our businesses and our reputations very badly.

I feel sorry for Mr Cable. Do you? I think that there but for fortune go you or I. Which last sentence reminds me of a song…

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