While we’re on the subject of sensitivity, there’s another aspect of the Town of Aurora that has been exhibiting hypersensitivity of late and that is the Sesquicentennial Ad-hoc committee, or at least whoever is responsible for its twitter feed.
I commented in a previous post how the committee’s twitter feed mistakenly claimed an event was in Aurora when it wasn’t.
Their original tweet remains uncorrected, but they did find time to post this rather dismissive tweet:
When did the Sesquicentennial committee become adverse to critical thinking?
In an April piece to CounterPunch Paul Craig Roberts, assistant secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan explains how if you tell the truth, you are offensive: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/03/america-land-of-the-lost/ :
“If you tell readers what is really going on, they want to know why you can’t be positive.”
Mike Bundrant explains how focusing solely on the positive empowers the negative, because the negative and the positive are connected. It works like a teeter-totter. Sit on one side and the other pops up. Put equal weight on both sides and you can live in balance and harmony. You can read more in his March piece over on Natural News here: http://www.naturalnews.com/039430_thinking_positive_mentality_holistic.html#
Bundrant references Eccelesiates 3: 1-8, which reads:
There is a time for everything. Including a time to be silent and a time to speak.
To tweet that they have “No time for negativity” the Aurora 150 Committee has exhibited an unwillingness to recognize and learn from their mistakes.
Peter McWilliams, author of You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought, reminds us of two important factors: that we should not attempt to eliminate all negativity from our thinking, and that thinking only positive thoughts can be equally harmful. You can read more here: http://www.dulwich-suzhou.cn/uploaded/DCSZ_meet_the_counselor/Focusing_on_the_Positive.pdf
Heidi Grant Halvorson agrees that avoiding negative feedback is both wrong-headed and dangerous in a piece she did earlier this year for the HBR blog titled “Sometimes Negative Feedback is Best”: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/01/sometimes-negative-feedback-is/
Jean Briattain Leslie & Sylvester Taylor cowrote “The negatives of focusing only on the positive” for the Center for creative
Leadership’s publication Leadership in Action, you can preview that article here: http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1002/lia.1095
SeekSocialMedia.com posted 5 Ways Brands Respond to Negative Social Media Comments: http://www.seeksocialmedia.com/respond-negative-social-media-comments/
The final and only proper response when managing complaints is to offer an apology AND a solution. The Aurora 150
committee’s mouthpiece on twitter provided neither.
Charlie Pownall outlines 12 Principles for Responding to Negative Online Comments in this socicalmediatoday piece here:
The last one is “don’t censor”. Nothing conveys a failure to listen and understand better then censoring or removing criticism from your official online communities or elsewhere. Realize that critical voices are a price of entry to the social web.
A price that some seem unwilling to pay.
Telling the truth is certainly unpopular here in Aurora but this “talk-to-the-hand” attitude flies in the face of inclusivity and community building which the town’s 150 celebrations, as an extension of the town are supposed to embody.
Suggesting certain points of view shouldn’t be shared, or that there isn’t time to hear them does nothing to celebrate Aurora’s past, present or future.
It does suggest that the committee needs to do a complete rethink of how it engages the community through social media, and when it does that it should check its sensitivity at the door.