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There is more and more information on the Internet … every day the number of users increases and the data created each day is currently measured in quintillions of bytes.

What that doesn’t mean is that all of that data is factual; nor does it mean that with more users the data generally becomes more truthful. In fact, here in 2019 the amount of misinformation seems to be greater than ever before.

We previously wrote about information versus affirmation which is basically the difference between seeking facts and seeking to confirm your prior belief: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/auctioneers-information-versus-affirmation/.

If you are a business owner, it would seem to me that being honest and having integrity would be foremost goals. If your customers and clients can’t depend on (or believe) you, we couldn’t blame them for seeking another service provider.

Some have taken the fake-news — conspiracy theory — it’s my way of thinking or you’re wrong — to an extreme. Many would conclude Alex Jones is one such practitioner who has been called by some as “the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America.”

You might be old enough to remember another such extremist Joseph McCarthy who accused many of being communist with little or no evidence. It would seem to me (and many others) that such behavior is aberrant and certainly not prudent.

Is there any middle-ground? Can an auctioneer (or anyone) have strongly held beliefs — true or not? They can and do, but for anyone to suggest that everyone else who behaves in a certain fashion (votes a certain way, supports a certain candidate, drinks a certain brand coffee) thinks/believes/supports erroneously — is maybe the worst type of conclusion — and is patently false.

We note here that the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The lesson here might be that just because you can, should you? In many of my auctioneering (bid calling) and speaking engagements around the country, I sign a contract stipulating that I won’t express certain opinions nor discriminate — for instance I have to be, “sensitive to differences in gender, race, religion, politics, and disabilities” at a minimum.

What’s being sensitive you might ask? In this regard, it’s held such behavior is delicately appreciative of others’ feelings. For auctioneers, is not our prime objective to solve clients’ problems? If we don’t appreciate any other point of view but our own, how do we do that? The likely answer is, “We don’t.”

Interestingly, I secured a job from another auctioneer/client relationship with the principal telling me later that, “He was making inappropriate comments during his bid calling as well as in his off-time with staff …” We’ve had this gig about seven years now.

Let me end with this — these are my thoughts and results from such. Your experiences are certainly different from mine and your results may vary. However let me assure those just entering or new to the auction industry — what you post, say, suggest and imply publicly matters, so be careful.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.