“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”— Winston Churchill
What are you going to do when:
- emails pop up about your presentation,
- comments appear at the end of your blog post,
- notecards arrive in your mailbox about your art show,
- mothers stop by your class about your creative teaching,
- people greet you backstage, or
- colleagues flock around you after the meeting?
Remembering the following tips, you can reply to fans, followers, and admirers with a P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E generosity of spirit that will make them glad they took their time to respond to your creative efforts.
Tips for P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E Replies
P-leasant: No matter what our fans say or how they say it, they own their response to us about our work. We own our reply. If they encourage us, returning a pleasant reply is easy.
If they come across as vindictive, will we change how they feel if we reply with equal fire? We don’t have the full picture of what’s going on in their lives. But we might surprise them if we respond with kindness. If you can’t return kindness, then no reply is best.
Trust Proverbs 25:21-22. If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. (NIV)
O-pen-minded: Often fans aren’t being negative but have a different opinion than ours. We can wrench open the door to our minds and try to understand what they’re saying. We may find we can agree with them to an extent and can affirm that to them. If we still disagree, we can acknowledge they have a viewpoint different from ours.
S-imple: To avoid putting our fans off with a treatise of our opinion or to further educate them, we can keep our response simple. The more we say the more likely we’ll push wrong buttons. Plus, our work excited or touched them enough to respond to us, so we should avoid boring them and lessening their enthusiasm.
I-nterested: Often fans will share an experience similar to ours or add ideas to what we’ve presented. No doubt we’re busy people. But instead of replying with two-second responses, we can give them the respect of two-minutes of our attention. Hopefully they’ll feel encouraged that we’re interested in their thoughts.
T-rue: Yes, we must avoid lies, but I’m speaking more of genuineness. If we try to impress our fans by morphing into someone we’re not, we risk sounding phony. Fans are smart.
I-mmediate: To have the greatest impact on our fan’s enthusiasm, it’s important we reply as quickly as we can. We want to affirm our fans while they’re still excited about our work. This is another reason to keep our replies simple.
V-alid: Respond to what fans say. If we ignore a point they’re making and reply with self-promotion or something off point, we diminish them. When they solely express their excitement for our work, sticking to appreciating their enthusiasm is probably best.
E-dited: If our response to fans and followers is written, we can take 10 seconds to reread our simple reply. Most of us enjoy responses to our work that come across better than a text message full of abbreviations and typos and no caps. (Unless it is a text message.) If our response is verbal, we can take a second to think before we speak.
If we stay P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E we’ll keep our fans coming back for more of our creative works. For me, like an electric fan, I wave praises to God the Creator. God always replies with mercy and kindness. I keep returning to Him.
What works well in responding to your fans?
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