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Being professional with complaints

Continuing on from naming publicly

Have you ever lost respect for a professional or a business because they complained/whinged about a peer?

Even if it is warranted (and sometimes even more is deserved than is given!), criticising a supplier, colleague or competitor can backfire and damage the complainer’s reputation. It just doesn’t look professional to say “Business M is unethical” or “Don’t use Business N”, and there are of course legal implications.

It is different if someone approaches you to ask about a business or person, but I think that using a public forum to criticise is a very risky action.

Of course, it can be very frustrating to always be the professional party and not publicly denigrate someone, but it is the better long term action.

I am curious, however, as to how people feel about a calm review  (ie factual and non-emotive) of a supplier on sites that warn people about disreputable businesses – not good enough, ripoff report, etc. Is that as damaging to how you view a business?

Is social media changing this? For example if I tweet “ABC always delivers late” or “designer Z copies others’ work”, is that more acceptable than blogging about it because of the chatty and short term nature of Twitter?

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