What would it be like if you went out for coffee with someone, tried to carry on a conversation with them (respond to what they are saying, ask questions, etc.) and they never stopped talking the entire time? What if you asked them a question clarifying what they were talking about and they didn’t take the time to answer? What would you do? I know that I would get up and leave….and try to stick them with the bill….
So, if we don’t want to be treated like this….or we don’t want to hang around people like this….why are we doing this online? Below is something that I’m constantly seeing.
Now, this picture only gives you a taste, and I must say, I really actually do like this person. He has great writing and from what I know of him he is a stand-up guy, but if you go to his twitter stream you can scroll down and all you see is broadcasting. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying there is anything wrong with promoting yours or others stuff, but I am saying that if people are trying to talk to you and your just putting out your message…you’re missing a huge opportunity. Broadcasting is great if you have a massive ego, or you love to talk about yourself constantly, or if you generally think/feel/behave as if the rest of the population can’t stand up to your awesomeness….but the rest of us just think your a _______________ (enter expletive here). You are showing that people don’t matter and if your customer base is humans….that has a lot of potential problems for you.
If you continue to broadcast you are missing a huge opportunity because anyone with common sense (which isn’t so common anymore) is going to walk away from the coffee date. They are going to get tired of hearing your voice and you not listening to your side of the conversations. They are going to get tired of trying to engage you and you slapping them in the face. So what are they going to do? They are just going to stand up and leave…and if they figure out how to leave you the bill…I’m sure they will…I know I would.
The following is a guest post from a fellow Canadian Ben Ziegler. He’s a mediator and a collaborative consultant, but here’s what you really need to know about him; He’s awesome…don’t believe me? Read on
Mediators know how to help others find their balance. Keeping oneself in balance? That often seems a trickier thing to do.
Chi and balance
When it comes to “balance”, the Orient has a long track record. Chinese thought has it that chi is the vital energy that animates every body. Chi is maintained by removing obstructions to chi flow and balancing chi’s positive and negative forms in the body.
For most of us keeping our chi nicely flowing and balanced is difficult. The usual suspects; continual change, complex social problems, future uncertainty, personal dilemmas… pose a stressor on the system, and it doesn’t take much for our chi to get out of whack.
Blame it on social media
Social media is a paradox. On the one hand, it gives us a whole bunch of wonderful ways to connect with others. On the other hand, exuberant acceptance and use of social media can be at the expense of deeper, richer relationships, and our internal life.
Social media is here to stay. Regardless of its form tomorrow, it will be a presence. We have to get along with social media, or at least get along with “just enough” of it.
Calling all mediators
For mediator types, cozying up to the positive aspects of social media is a smart thing to do. Here’s why…
Richard Susskind, in his book The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services, offers a cautious heads-up for lawyers, either align your business with emerging trends or be left behind. Susskind says “the future belongs to creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers”, to people who are “artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers.”
I am very comfortable with reframing and paraphrasing the above to say “mediators (and kindred spirits) are the way forward and social media is our vehicle”.
Mediator chi and social media
Healthy chi means we’re operating at a high level. That’s good for us and those we serve. To keep our chi vital, we need to welcome opportunities for renewal and adaptation (always a decent business/survival strategy). One such opportunity is social media.
For mediators, social media is an opportunity to:
- show they care; being part of the new conversation “town squares”
- reconcile with new expectations; technology use (at all ages), 2-way conversations, “prosumer” (both creator and consumer), sharing one’s gifts, meetings anywhere…
- build “social capital”/trust; blogs, tweets, podcasts, videos…
- develop new services and products; new markets, virtual dispute resolution, e-training, e-applications…
The best place to be when it comes to using social media? Author Daniel Pink says “according to a theory called ‘the edge of chaos,’ the most dynamic spot to be is the place between order and the edge, where things are evolving, changing, and new.” Can you and I handle that?
Now I hear you saying, that’s all fine and dandy Ben, but I don’t have time for that social media chaos stuff. Yes you can, by focusing on social media usability instead of just its capability, by being selective, by learning new habits for the digital age… It’s a journey for sure, yet there is no shortage of resources available to assist you and me in leading a balanced life that includes social media.
So keep yourself vital. Energize your chi. Find that balance… with social media.
How about you? How are you maintaining your chi?
There are many myths around social media. This one is no exception: “I have nothing to say.”
I get this a lot. I’m on Facebook, I’m on Twitter, but I have nothing to say. I have nothing original to say, who could possibly be interested in what I have to say? I want to seem interesting, I want people to like me, I want this or that, but I don’t have anything of value to say.
Here’s what I tell these people all the time. If you have nothing to say then start responding to people. If you have no value to start a conversation, jump in on a conversation that is already happening, engage with the people that do have something to say, ask them questions, comment on what they’ve said, engage with them.
When you go out for coffee with someone, visit someone’s house, are sitting around the lunch table with coworkers, what happens? Conversation happens. You start with a topic and people talk about it. They add their opinions in, they ask questions if they don’t understand, they ask questions to further the discussion, they ask questions because they are genuinely curious, they tell stories about their experiences, they tell stories about their friend’s experiences.
I want you to think about that…in your everyday conversations you are generally never at a lack of things to say, and this is the best part: When you do get that awkward moment….there are thousands and millions of conversations happening around you….jump in!
So for all of you who think they have nothing to say, I’m calling you out…because you have lots to say…and if you can’t think of anything then engage someone in conversation.
If you are a conflict resolution professional, then I have 6 words to you: You are ahead of the game.
What? Yes…you are ahead of the game when it comes to social media and marketing. Why? Well let’s look at it this way. You’ve been through trainings, workshops, lectures, role-plays, and even real-plays. You have experience in mediation or coaching or peacemaking or litigation.
So, that means you know what it takes to ask a good question! A good question, not a ‘how you doing?’ kind of question but questions that engage folks, questions that make them think, questions that engage them in conversation. Open ended questions, questions that they can’t simply answer yes or no with.
Here’s what I’m saying. Conflict resolution professionals’ practices are primarily built around word of mouth. Agreed? This word of mouth involves people…right? People like to be engaged and they love to have conversations.
This is where you come in…it doesn’t matter if you are sitting at home on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, or if you are sitting at a networking event or buying groceries. Ask good questions. Engage with people. Find out what makes them get up every morning, and then engage with them around that.
What do you find makes a question engaging?
So here is the key to building connections/clients/marketing/networks/etc…… ask good questions. Both in person and online. Then, be interested…genuinely interested in their response.
Have you ever been to an event that describes itself like this?
Tweeststock is the world’s only Social Media Rock Conference! That’s right, our AMPs go to 11 right across the board and that’s where our Social Media Rock Star Speakers will be taking you and your business when Tweetstock rolls out the red carpet and goes to Hollywood! (Taken from the Tweetstock Website)
There were some great speakers at this event (the website has a list of them!). Many of them touched on things that I have been thinking about lately, but there were three people that made something click for me today. Chris Eh Young, Jeff MacArthur, and Erica Ehm. Three amazing speakers, who all had a great message. One part of that over all message was LISTEN. This is something that I’ve heard a lot lately on Twitter from people. Listen. And these folks did a great job on explaining why we need to be listening online.
It’s important to our customers, clients, community, it’s important for our brand. Listening increases knowledge about our community, helps us to empathize, and gather information. Listening is a key part in communication and we all need to make sure that online and offline that we are listening.
I love listening, it’s a huge part of my job, I’ve talked about Why Listening is Important, Thoughtless Listening, The Art of Shutting Up, I love listening. Here is where I think we have failed when it comes to all this talk about social media and listening. Many of us talk it, but not many people know how to truly listen. So here are 3 steps you can take to get you started with how to listen.
1. Be present: This is waaaaay easier then it sounds. There is so much in this that we can break down here, but the basics are simple. Stay focused on the person speaking, put down your phone, block out what’s happening around you, be present and clear the distractions. Whether that’s in person or online. If you are listening on Twitter…be there. If you are listening over coffee…be there.
2. Dig Deeper: Ask open ended questions to get the person to tell you more about their story. Good questions are key with listening. Do not throw out a question and then not listen for the answer.
3. Genuine Curiosity: It’s as simple as this: Give a shit about the person you are listening to. Be interested in what they say, be curious about their story, want to get to know the person better.
This is a starter…we’ll talk more about what it looks like to listen online, but have you noticed it’s pretty similar to offline relationships? If you still aren’t sure about how to listen online take a look at Chris Eh Young, he knows how to listen…and he shows this every day online. Take a look at Erica Ehm, a self-professed Twitterholic. You know why she’s so good at building her online network? She listens to people and she wants to be listened to. Also, Julia Rosien spoke yesterday, and I won’t go into what she talked about (it was amazing though!) but she is a great example of what it means to listen and how to do it.
Don’t believe me? Go look at those 3 people and see how they are listening to their community and I can guarantee you will learn something new from them.