It’s great to be nominated for an award. In itself it’s often a great achievement, let alone actually winning one. Once nominated though, it’s often the case that people like you & me get a chance to vote for that winner.
All fair enough but what if you’ve never seen a nominees work or performance?
Could you vote for a stranger?
I was recently approached on Twitter by someone I vaguely know. They are a coach and I have no reason to believe that they don’t work to the set of coaching ethics that I do. We’ve met once, briefly at a conference in a group exercise. We follow each other on Twitter but we’ve not connected elsewhere and have never picked up the phone to each other.
They wanted me to vote for them for a coaching award they had been nominated for & to retweet the fact that they’ve been nominated.
I could have ignored their direct request to me but that didn’t feel like the right thing to do. I have respect for them based on what I know of them and that respect encouraged me to respond with my dilemma... I explained my feelings and asked them on what basis do I vote for them in particular over the other candidates?
My gut feel for the situation was rewarded with the sense of having done the right thing and with a prompt and reasonable reply. Their suggestion was that I could look at all the nominees videos and decide based on what I feel is in line with my values and integrity. A fair & respectful response I think.
That feeling of being Chugged...
I’ll do nothing about the voting – the videos say what you’d expect the nominees to say. Perhaps more importantly, in my heart I feel that you can only genuinely vote for someone when you have an appreciation of their abilities & how they perform.
But here’s the thing. The experience felt a bit like when you are approached by a “Chugger” on the street. They may be nice people. Their cause may be worthy. But their manner of approach and apparent motivation feels wrong...
Unfortunately, this experience has made me question this persons judgement. I’m wondering if really they are just trying to win the nomination not on merit but by mobilising their Twitter followers to vote for them. I wonder if this approach risks making the award a hollow popularity contest...
Do I know you well enough?
So I look at Twitter and the people I follow and wonder who do I know well enough to vote for them if they were nominated for an award in their area of expertise. There’s plenty of folk I like, respect & want to support but sometimes that isn’t enough. I have great friends on Twitter who I trust but I’ve rarely seen them at work.
So I look at myself on Twitter and wonder who knows my work well enough to vote for me in the work that I do? Of my 900 followers who would I genuinely approach?
I’m not chasing awards but the answer makes me realise that what I’m doing on Twitter is not enough. For all the great learning, sharing, support, debate and friendships I have thanks to Twitter there’s very few people in a position to endorse my work in this way. That’s something I’m going to change.
In the meantime, I have a couple of questions for you...
How would you have responded to the ethical situation I described above? I’d like to learn from others' perspectives on this example.
Looking at your Twitter interactions, do you also find few people know your work well enough to vote for you? Perhaps I’m in the minority!