Anesthesiologist Provides Lesson in Watching What You Say

Posted by: Kaitor K | Posted on: July 1st, 2015 | 0 Comments

“Think before you speak.”

“Be careful what you say.”

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Wisdom that anesthesiologist Tiffany M. Ingham probably should have taken to heart before mocking her patient while he was under. The episode, which is costing her and her practice $500,000, should be a reminder to all those whose businesses could suffer if the wrong words come out of their mouth, put on social media, or sent in an email. She’s the latest example of how we all need to remember to watch what we say about clients or we could wind up being the next headline. Keep reading for the details.


A Virginia man listened to his doctor’s post-procedure instructions on his smart phone on his way home from a colonoscopy procedure in April 2013. To his dismay, he heard Ingham mocking him while he was unconscious from anesthesia. The list of insults from her is lengthy: saying she wanted to punch him in the face, teasing his fear of needles and even making fun of a rash on his genitals with references to syphilis and tuberculosis. The most alarming, however, was saying she should falsely note on his chart that he had hemorrhoids, which she actually did. The patient sued for defamation and medical malpractice and last week, won the case.

The hospital released an apology, adding that Ingham is no longer working for them. Some reflections that businesses can take out of this situation:

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

Clients are a business’ source of income. If you get caught saying something bad about your client, it is very possible they may take their business elsewhere. You’re also putting your reputation at risk. An offended client could spread the news to other current or even potential clients and hurt business. In the age of the internet, burned clients could post about the incident online, where the potential to damage your reputation is even more far-reaching. Just imagine them posting about it to social media where anything can go viral. A note should be made here to never post negatively on social media about your client or make negative commentary in an email. That could only make your comments more visible and permanent than if just done verbally.

Avoid creating an unnecessary crisis

Among the many expectations a client has when they hire you is professionalism. They don’t want to work with a company they consider petty, unkind, or arrogant. A snide comment could just spin things out of control. Offended clients could sue, leaving you with fines, lawsuits, and crises. 

Encourage a positive culture

Negativity can spread like a virus. If one person in the office (especially a leader) begins badmouthing a client, then others may find it acceptable and be tempted to do it as well. This sort of behavior can accrue into a negative work culture. Side effects of a negative culture include attrition, lower productivity, bad morale, stress, disloyalty, disagreements and even fear.

What to do if you find your organization in this situation

The best policy is to own up to the situation and apologize to the affected individual or company. Meet with the client in person, make sure a senior member is in attendance to show the seriousness of your apology, and be ready to move on – whether for better or worse. If the situation escalates onto social media or in the news, it may be necessary to issue a public apology.

Teach your employees by example. Instead of talking down on your clients, brainstorm ways to solve whatever it is about them that’s irking you. Think of ways to talk to your client about the issue without being negative. A positive culture goes a long way towards a more positive client and more positive sales.

Finally, learn from the mistake. Better yet, next time you consider saying something negative about a colleague, remember Ingham’s story. Then you won’t have to experience the consequences yourself. To be on the safe side, never speak badly about a client – current, former or potential.

What are your thoughts on the Ingham story? Do you know of any interesting stories of business’ talking badly about a client? Share below.

(photo credit: <a href=”″>stethoscope</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>)

5 Summer Reading Ideas for Communicators

Posted by: Kaitor K | Posted on: June 23rd, 2015 | 0 Comments

The summer solstice has arrived and it’s officially summer! Amongst the common pastimes for the season is summer reading. But what should you read this year? The Marketing Works leadership team is here to help you by recommending some of their favorite books. So, find a nice park or hop onto your favorite couch and dive into these great reads!

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

“The New York Times bestseller encourages readers to live a lifestyle that fiercely seeks out ways of showing love. All the profits from ‘Love Does’ go to Restore International and The Mentoring Project, organizations seeking to put love into action for those who need it most.”

“It’s a very humorous, quick-read and is an outstanding reminder of how we can all ‘show love’ in our everyday lives.” – Brenda Stier-Anstine, CEO




Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

“It combines the best of Jim Collins, Patrick Lencione and Vern Harnish into a simple, systematic process by which to run a business.  It has made a huge difference in our productivity, meetings, goal setting, and especially discovering our ‘why’ and defining our core values.” – Sandy Fekete, President





The Five Dysfunctions of a TeamThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

“Great book on how to build a cohesive and high-performing team. It provided great lessons on how to:

  • Tap into one another’s skills and experiences
  • Avoid wasting time talking about the wrong issues and revisiting the same topics over and over again because of lack of buy-in
  • Make higher quality decisions and accomplish more in less time and fewer resources
  • Put critical topics on the table and have lively meetings
  • Align the team around common objectives
  • Retain star employees” – Bill Kiefaber, Senior Vice President


How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“My book recommendation is a timeless classic. It offers a great perspective on how to engage clients, prospects and colleagues by listening, learning what they care about professionally and personally and then using that insight to connect with them.” – Stacy Wood, Vice President

Getting NakedGetting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni

“It’s a quick read that says it’s OK to be human in a business setting… In fact, it can work in your favor. Being vulnerable can help build trust when serving your clients and team.” – Lauren Hartman, Director of Account Management

Which recommendations will you take on? Let us know any great titles we should check out this summer.

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