Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Happens at the Credit Union, Stays at the Credit Union

It’s been awhile since I last posted on this blog of mine and I can’t say it’s because I have nothing to discuss. For several months now, I’ve been expressing my thoughts and comments through my regularly featured column on CUinsight. The Credit Union Times, too, has been running my op-eds, yet even with both of those superb media channels, I am still finding a need to express my insights and ideas on a more routine basis, particularly when I come across thought-provoking material through my work and travels, including all that I see occurring throughout the credit union system. Laskos On Credit Unions gives me that opportunity and I hope to take more advantage of it in the months to come.

I was at the San Diego Airport last week waiting to board a flight to Albuquerque where I would produce Operation Best Wishes at Kirtland Federal Credit Union for military families associated with the adjacent Air Force base. What caught my eye in the terminal was something I’m sure you have seen somewhere during the course of your travels as well.

This man was marching back and forth talking, or should I say, yelling into his cell phone at such a level that it dominated all conversations in his immediate area. Of course, by the expression on his face and the tone of his voice, he must have been someone very important in the sales chain-of-command where he worked, or at least that’s what he wanted everyone around him to think. If only I had a mirror to show him just how ridiculous he looked! Naturally, I figured his ego had to be more evolved than his brain because had I been a competitor, I would have learned all the major sales strategies, secrets and tactics used by his colleagues and company.

What’s sad is that this experience was not an anomaly. Later that week while at the Oklahoma City airport, I encountered a similar situation. This time a guy, sitting behind me in the terminal, was talking to his boss on the cell phone about one of his direct reports who had been causing him a lot of grief. What he was saying in the public forum was just too much information for anyone outside of his company to hear! Really, what should have been a confidential conversation from a more private corner of the terminal was conducted from a soap box.

Although they may seem to be amusing and entertaining, such annoying scenarios prompt me to ask what it is about airports and the way people talk on their cell phones?

For god’s sake, just because you’re talking in a public place doesn’t mean the conversation must be equally as public! You never know who might be sitting next to you or standing across the concourse taking in the entire discourse.

More important, is it really smart to be discussing sensitive issues or sales strategies in a way that gives everyone around you a privileged insight into your company’s business or your personal life?

Neither of these two men who made sure I heard their conversations worked at a credit union. At least it didn’t appear to be so, but that’s not to imply that all credit union folks are highly evolved, reserved and smart when communicating in a public forum. Yes, we, too, can be found guilty as well.

Just the other day I came across a tweet from someone responsible for managing their credit union’s Twitter account. Now, this was no obscure credit union organization but one having a significant national prominence. The tweet said something like this, “My boss is a total jerk.”

Is that the kind of messaging you would want seen in public that’s associated with your credit union and its sterling brand? As a matter of fact, are you even aware what is being said of your credit union in the social media?

Whether it’s communicating in the social media or having a conversation on your cell phone in an airport terminal, when you’re in a public space always consider yourself on stage. Act in a manner that’s respectable of your organization’s brand and your own personal brand as well. You are an ambassador. Always remember, maintain your etiquette; what happens at the credit union, stays at the credit union.

If you agree, share this post as a reminder with others at your credit union. Save them from becoming a spectacle which others will in time discuss in their blog or Tweet about to their followers on Twitter!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I've been looking at some credit unions in Oklahoma City because I was recommend to by a friend. Are there any prerequisites that I should know of?