Opinions. Everyone has them on topics wide ranging from topic to topic. Everyone is entitled to have opinions and to express them, too, but expressing them in an unguarded or thoughtless way can land you in hot water, either with your boss or with your family and friends. Here are some tips and tricks for expressing your thoughts in a way that won't damage work or personal relationships.

Sometimes, avoiding a conflict based on your opinion is as simple as making sure everyone knows your opinion is merely that - your opinion - and being clear about what you mean. Consider, for example, the statement: "That English preparation course was awful." Saying this could hurt the feelings of your instructor and damage their business if you spread it around. Instead, you might say: "I think that English preparation course was a waste of time for me, because I didn't learn anything new." This qualifies your statement and makes it clear that others may still benefit from the course.

It's always a good idea to think before you voice an opinion, because sometimes having certain people hear it is not a good idea. Saying that you think billboard marketing is immoral around your boss at an SEM firm can get you fired. Saying it at home to your friends or relatives is just a way of blowing off steam. If your opinions are inflammatory, avoid voicing them in a situation you know could become volatile (such as saying Star Trek is lame at a science fiction convention).

Many people do not realize that their internet and social media postings are not private conversations among friends but are in fact as public as if you painted them on a billboard. Therefore it is never a good idea to complain about your job online in your blogs or on your Facebook, as it can get back to your boss. Likewise with posting insults and inflammatory opinions, unless the site you're on can guarantee your anonymity.

Be careful too about what information you share when you voice your opinions. Your personal trainer will not thank you for revealing his whole method when giving your opinion of it online. Likewise you do not have a right to share personal details about family and friends or proprietary work information. It is up to the people whom the information pertains to if they want to let you give these sorts of details.

Social Media Etiquette: 12 Step Checklist




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