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Posts Tagged ‘credibility’

If you haven’t heard the news yet, it appears that NY Democratic representative Anthony Weiner is caught up in a social media scandal that has caused great controversy.  In the beginning he said, that risque photos posted in the public time-line of his Twitter account was the work of a hacker. However, it has since been disclosed by Anthony Weiner that the photos were of himself and that he posted them to women that he “met” in his online relationships.

He’s stated that he has not met them in real life.  His credibility is being called into question because of the lies he initially told regarding the scandal.  His judgment is part of that controversy in regards to his career. Many people are wondering whether someone who would lie to his constituents, his family, his friends, and the media could do his job with honesty and integrity. To keep reading: Write Where You Are Blog

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       On Friday, O.J. Simpson was declared guilty in a court room in Las Vegas, Nevada, of all 12 counts that he was charged with that were associated with armed robbery.  This morning, O.J. is sharing breakfast with other inhabitants of the local jail.  This case had centered on an armed robbery of sports memorabilia related to O.J. Simpson’s career in football.  The case made headlines around the world because of the cast of characters involved in the robbery.  During the trial it was a he said/he said situation.  Some of those involved on both sides of the accusations have had their credibility questioned due to previous run-ins with the law.  There were recordings that appeared to shed light on the actual drama behind the scenes.  Of course, this case could have long lasting implications…O.J. and C.J. Stewart, his co-defendent were both found guilty and could spend the remainder of their lives in jail.  They will be formally sentenced in December for their involvement in this case.

      Of course, we all know of the infamous case against O.J. Simpson back in 1994 when he was accused of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, her friend and a waiter, from a local restaurant she had visited earlier in the evening.  O.J. was declared not guilty of those murders in the criminal sense…but, many people never believed in his innocence.  He was found to be liable for their deaths in a civil suit. 

        O.J. has made headlines in the news since he began his football career at USC in the 60’s.  He has had a varied career since he retired from football.  He was an actor, a football commentator, a business owner and an author.  He wrote a very controversial book called If , I did it.  This was supposedly a book of fiction surrounding the murders; and, how he would have murdered them, if he did it.  There was a very intense public outcry towards the publisher of the book and the television network that were going to give it attention on their media network.  In a series of events, the publisher lost out big time.  Then Ron Goldman’s family sued the publisher for the rights to help satisfy O.J’s debt in the civil suit that was brought against him for being liable for the deaths of Ron and Nicole.  They were able to win the rights to the book and retitle it, If, I Did It: Confessions of the Killer; and add commentary to the book. 

        In a life of such highs and lows…this latest development could appear to be the final chapter; however, when a person who is used to such intense attention and focus, it begins to feed a core need in that person.  Even if O.J. is sentenced to life behind bars…this will not be the last you hear from him.  I am sure that there will be interviews, blogs, and possibly more books all expressing his views and need to be heard and seen.  Still, you can’t help but feel for those most closely aligned with Mr. Simpson…his children, his siblings and anyone who has been most closely and directly involved in his life.  This is another painful chapter for them to endure. 

           Those who thought, that when O.J. was incarcerated, that it would bring them some closure will probably be disallusioned.  He has had many issues with the law.  There have been domestic police calls(regarding spouses, girlfriends & children), murder trials, fender benders and robbery.  Each of those situations have had people impacted by O.J.’s choices and actions.  I am sure in this situation, there will be a period of satisfaction for some, that they will feel vindicated that he is getting his due.  But, i have to wonder if that part of them that feels he has “gotten away with so much”, will eventually feel empty when their opponent is no longer free to do battle with them anymore.  After all, he isn’t being punnished for the issues that they feel he should have been punnished for. 

           Just because he is being put away in jail/prison…doesn’t mean that he is going to go away.  He is a big personality.  He will find a way to still get the attention that he feels bound to command.  There will be interviewers who will feel duty bound to get the interview and record it for posterity.  He will be incarcerated and be getting 3 meals a day, housing and medical care, all at the tax payer’s expense.  Yes, he will have lost his freedom, but, he will still not give them what they want and need, total satisfaction that he is getting everything that he deserves.

Update:  On Friday, October 19, 2008 The lawyers for O.J. Simpson filed a motion for a new trial because they believe that they did not get a fair trial.  It was an all white jury except for one hispanic juror; that, plus two African-Americans were dismissed from the possible pool of jurors.  We will see where this goes.  I know that O.J.’s co-defendent wanted to have a seperate trial from O.J. because he felt that he would be lumped together with the prosecution of O.J. and that he would suffer the consequences of people who wanted to pay him back for the idea of  “getting away with murder” years before.

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        Have you ever been in a situation where you were won over to another person’s opinion…allowing them to convince you to their way of thinking?  Maybe your original opinion was wrong in the first place; but if not, how were they able to change your mind; have you ever wondered?

         Of course, most of us have an opinion about the things that go  on around us.  Have you ever found yourself in the position of having catapulted over to another person’s way of doing things; when you really wanted to do them differently in the first place?  Why did you allow their will to trump your own?  Was their way of doing things better…or were they just more persuasive?

          It is an interesting thing to think about.  Did you give more value to their opinion than your own?  What convinced you that they were right, and your thoughts or opinions were less right?  Often it is persistent persuasion, combined with perceived superior credibility.  You know your own faults and mistakes…but, you do not know those of the other person quite as readily; giving them the advantage of a certain level of confidence, that you do not automatically give your own opinion. 

          If you are a person that often feels resentment because others seem to get their way; and, your way is often not the chosen path; you need to think about why that happens.  Do you express yourself well?  Do you listen to all of the facts respectfully and then verbalize your opinion in a fair way, with a pleasant tone of voice?  Are you easily led by the firm voice of others, into doubting your own opinion?  These are issues that are important to the daily bump and grind in life, business, families and organizations. 

         If you tend to err on the side of giving more weight to the opinions of others, you need to evaluate where that comes from.   Knowing what you think and believe; and understanding why you hold those opinions, is key.  If you firmly believe that you are in the right, your opinion can be backed up with facts or figures; and, you learn how to present your voice in a confident and respectful way…others will listen.  Present the large and small picture, put things in perspective, use examples that re-inforce your beliefs, validate your opinion with evidence or a precedence that will apply to the situation.

         Sometimes it is important to find common ground where both sides of a discussion or issue can be met.  From that point on, listening is very important.  Listen to the other side of the issue or discussion before stating your opinion.   When you do express yourself, do it in a manner that is open to some give and take; or, compromise.  People who become entrenched in getting their own way, simply for the sake of getting their own way…often don’t. 

         If common ground can be achieved and there are degrees to which an issue can be decided…you have a better chance of convincing others to agree to your way of thinking.  If you can convince one or two other people to agree with you…often, you will start to see a shift in the direction of a group.  Persuading another person or two, begins to show validity to your way of thinking.  Some people may still personally hold a different opinion privately; but, what starts to happen is, that they are persuaded to hold an opinion that is influenced by the majority opinion.  This is effective impact.

         Often, you will see an organization or business use a celebrity or a powerful person who already has credibility in a certain area to give a testimony.  This is also called social proof…that is, harnessing that person’s value as a spokesperson because their opinion has valuable impact that can influence others.  If a group, business, or organization gets a famous person who shares their passionate message to endorse them…they are more likely to persade others or inspire them to their believe their message. 

         That is powerful, and that is why you see advertisers using the most famous powerful person that they can get on their public relations team; you even see it in politics.  Think about recent developments with Sen. Barack Obama…whether you believe in his ability to lead or not…you certainly have seen the star power that has been attached to his campaign.  There have been many celebrities who have given their “testimony” about their belief that he should be President…in fact, media analysts have given mention in the news to the Oprah factor regarding his campaign.  Oprah’s opinions carry alot of weight with some voters…she brings alot of persuasion to the table.

         Influencing a group in this way, needs to be done in a way that is ethical and honest.  Forcing others to your way of thinking can backfire and cause great harm if you are malicious minded.  Think of those who use gossip or rumor to negatively affect persons, or groups of people.  No one wins in that situation and bad feelings are created; leaving everyone involved with a negative impression.

         If you use the process of persuasion…and you are doing it in an ethical way…you will start to find that people will gravitate towards supporting your business, issue, or organization.  Being persistent in stating your opinion or issue is important to getting others to support that issue.  The more people who are pursuaded or convinced, the more that word of mouth spreads the opinion, it becomes viral; and, it becomes more credible to those who have not heard it, or been previously convinced. 

          If your goal of persuasion is to get people to take action…then effective persuasion is a must.  Ken McArthur’s Impact Boot Camp Action Team has spent the weekend learning how to use their impact to get people to take action and to be effective in their collective powers of persuasion.  These team members include people like Jeff Wellman who made a splash in the internet marketing world in the last year or so.  They were exposed to experts in many areas of impact such as publishing, media, social networking and so on.  Author Brendon Burchard, who also gives inspiring advice to businesses and non-profit organizations, was present. 

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        Well, the Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has finally picked his running mate…it is Sen. Joe Biden.  As soon as it became apparent that the secret service was on it’s way to Sen. Biden’s home last night…the cat was out of the bag.  Alot of comments that i read regarding the potential of Sen. Biden being the running mate were controversial to say the least.  Many were saying that the choice pretty much guaranteed John McCain’s victory in November.  Others were talking about Sen. Biden’s tendency to put his foot in his mouth in the recent past.

          That is a pretty valid point considering that during the Democratic primary debate last August, Sen. Joe Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that, “I think he can be ready, but right now, I don’t think he is” regarding Sen. Barack Obama.  Well now, a scant few months down the road he is the running mate of choice…however, dont think for a minute that the Republicans are not going to capitalize on the fact that even Senator Barack Obama’s own running mate didn’t think he was ready to be president.  And, if the Obama Presidency depends on Sen. Biden’s experience and foreign relations for credibility it is on shaky ground because of Sen. Biden’s outspoken ways.  Diplomacy requires tact and skill in communication…something that is called into question from comments that Sen. Biden has made in the past during his years in politics.

           This morning, it was officially announced that Obama/Biden was the Democratic ticket for sure.   On Good Morning America today, Senator Obama’s senior advisor, Robert Gibbs said “Look we are pretty good at keeping secrets and we pride our campaign on that”.   I think that is what alot of Americans are afraid of.

          Since most of Obama’s campaign has been about the subject of change…if i were them…i would not advertise how good you are at keeping secrets…that has been a problem with previous administrations in the United States.   It is not a selling point to tell the American public that you are skilled at keeping secrets when the American public is fed up with secrets!!!

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         I don’t know about you…but, i think it was rude of the person who asked Chelsea Clinton whether she felt that the whole issue of Monica Lewinski hurts her mother’s credibility. 

          How many of us are, or would like to be, responsible for publicly critiquing our family member’s choices in life?  We as children, adult or not, are NOT responsible for accounting for our parent’s successes or failures.   It wasn’t a question that was appropriately asked of the right person.  Why not ask it of Bill Clinton or Hillary herself?

          If the person asking the question truly believes that the scandal of years past hurts the credibility of Senator Clinton, then so be it; ask the question of Senator Clinton or her husband.  I believe it crosses the line of appropriate behavior.

           I am not taking sides in the issue of who should; or, who should not be the democratic candidate running for president.  What i am saying is that it wasn’t a valid question for Chelsea to be asked.

            First of all, no matter how Chelsea truly processes that whole painful part of her family history and the history of our country in regards to how she lives her day to day life …i think the fact that she is out there supporting her mother says what she thinks about whether her mother is credible. 

            Say what you will about whether Senator Clinton should or should not drop out of the race…but, i think that Chelsea handled herself gracefully in the way that she responded to the questioner. 

          She took a large uncomfortable pause and then said…”I don’t think that that is any of your business”…and then proceeded to say…”I also don’t think that should be the last question”.  That, is grace under pressure.  I am sure should would have much rather let that person have it verbally…but she rose above it.

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