10 Desperate Acts to Avoid

10 Desperate Acts to Avoid

By Rajesh Setty on Tue 05 Dec 2006, 12:35 AM – 4 Comments

I am sure you have your own list based on your experiences in the field. These are what I was able to come up with tonight.

1. Automatically subscribing someone to your newsletter

I think Seth’s book “Permission Marketing” should be a required reading for all marketing professionals and CEOs of small companies. Yes, CEOs of small companies usually keep the marketing role for themselves. Every now and then I meet someone in a conference or a party and I don’t hear from them later. However, I will start receiving their company newsletter even when it is irrelevant. Giving my card to someone does not mean I am opting-in to their newsletter. Sorry.

2. Breaking bad news by email

Everyone loves a surprise but only if it is a positive one. Nobody wants a negative surprise. We don’t know where people read their emails and what questions they have when they read that email. There is a bad news already and you can only make it worse by breaking that news by email.

3. Asking for links or proposing link exchanges

People link to you if you write good content and if they feel that the content is relevant to their readers. Nothing else. Rather than asking for links, please work on producing phenomenal content.

4. Promising when you know you can’t deliver

Why would somebody do that? Just to avoid some immediate pain. You may suffer a bigger pain when you don’t deliver but that is later you may think. However, it is clear that when you don’t keep your commitments, there is a loss of trust and many opportunities may get closed for you without your knowledge.

5. Making someone a bad cop without their knowledge

Everyone knows the “good cop bad cop” technique. There are people who are master politicians who can make someone else the bad cop all the time. The sad part is that they do this without the other person’s knowledge. What they don’t understand is that there are other smart people who can see through this very easily.

6. Bad use of technology for communication

Watch your email and you will see examples of bad use of technology for communication. Emails that start with “Dear,” are common. If you don’t know how to use this technology, it is better to get professional help than to goof up and make it worse.

7. Using company resources for personal use

A notepad here, a stapler there and a pencil sharpener sometime – you know everything adds up. I think using company resources for personal can be termed as “insider stealing” and it is just silly to engage in that.

8. Reaching conclusions based on half-baked information

Reaching conclusions without the right set of data and criteria is both easy and stupid. Again, this is easier said than done. The best thing to do when you find yourself in that situation is to genuinely apologize to the person affected because of your conclusions and do something to fix things.

9. Misusing privileged information for personal gain

Someone shared privileged information because they trust you. Using that for your personal gain is the ultimate betrayal there is.

10. Providing wrong information inorder to avoid saying “I don’t know”

This one is silly because – first, it is impossible for you to know everything and second, the other person sooner than later will find out that you provided wrong information. So why not set aside your ego and admit that you don’t know?

Have a great Tuesday!


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4 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on December 5th, 2006

Dear Rajesh, ;-) you leave me somewhat surprised – why is “Dear” a bad start for an email?

English is not my native tongue, so I might miss some subtle particularities in it, but our own corporate design people tell me I should use “Dear”…

Anonymous  on December 5th, 2006

Actually, I’d like to second that. I think it would be a great idea to drop the “Dear”, but no-one else around me does…. what’s your first thought when you see a “Dear” at the start?

Anonymous  on December 5th, 2006

My apologies. I was not clear. I didn’t mean to say “Dear ” was bad. When you goof up with a mail merge program, you will see something like this



We have new program that will change your life….


Please call us at


or you will see a blank mail after just the word “Dear,”

I meant to say if you are using any such technology to automate your communication, please TEST it thoroughly.

Sorry for the confusion.



Anonymous  on December 6th, 2006

I think that as a caveat to ‘Providing wrong information inorder to avoid saying “I don’t know”‘ I would add

‘Providing information that you think your boss wants to hear’. Sometimes its tough to lay out the truth as you see it – but if its done with some tact then you can communicate your situation without needing to placate anyone.

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