Social Media Can Be A Mine Field

Social media is a great tool for marketing and staying in touch with people in far away places. Just remember that it can be fraught with danger!

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE A MINE FIELD

One of the challenges with social media is that people can’t usually see our faces and body language. That means they only get about 40% of the message. Is that enough to ensure you aren’t misunderstood?

Mom&BrettI’ll use a personal example. I wrote a blog in January of 2012 about how great a year 2011 had been and posted it to my Facebook news feed. My reason for 2011 being so great was that in 2010, we almost lost our house, my mother died, my father had a stroke and my son died. In 2011, I had been in a new job for a year, we had managed to save our home with the help of friends and family, my other kids appeared to be getting their lives back on track after losing their brother the year before. When you compare the two, 2011 was a great year.

What I forgot about was that my nephew had died that year.

I received a call from my brother-in-law. He was furious. “How could you say that!”. My wife asked me to take down that blog because of the pain it was causing my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Although not sorry for what I said, I was sorry for how it made them feel and took the blog down.

If you are going to be active in social media, be prepared to eat some crow once in a while. I’m not saying not to be honest and say what you feel. Just be prepared that not everyone will agree with you and you might bruise some toes once in a while and have to explain yourself.

Social Media and Business

When it comes to business, the challenges are even greater. My brother-in-law might not be happy with what a I said a few years ago but he has forgiven and moved on. We are friends again. That took a couple of years!

criticismIn the case of business, prospects and clients aren’t necessarily so forgiving. I’m still married to my brother-in-law’s sister so he was forced to be near me and that gave us a chance to “kiss and make up”. Your followers and customers don’t have to. With a click of a mouse, you are unfollowed. If you are lucky, that’s all. With the power of social media, your followers, prospects and customers have a voice.

Look at Air Canada for example. There was an incident in February of 2017 where a plane had been grounded due to weather. It was midnight and passengers were told there was no food available as everything was closed. A West Jet pilot was in the same airport. He took the initiative to order pizza and came to the Air Canada passengers saying that “‘Hey … I am from WestJet and we do things differently. Who wants pizza?”. Facebook postings went nuts! Lucky for Air Canada, most of the commentary was positive for the West Jet pilot as opposed to directly negative for Air Canada.

Air Canada, to their credit, was quick to apologize and recognize the West Jet pilot for his efforts. Silence could have been deadly. Social media is a mine field. Tread carefully.

Have A Voice But Remember Words Matter

Question?By all means, have a voice. Just remember that words matter. Your readers may not have your language as their first language and are interpreting into their context. For example, “I’m going to the park” may translate to “I’m making a trip to the park” in a Latin language. If you’re lucky, your comments translate that well but not always. What if it’s something like “I beat my wife at a game of chess” and it translated to “I played a game of chess with my wife and I beat her”. If English isn’t my first language, I might be concerned you were beating your wife!

Words mean different things to different people. I highly recommend reading The Secret Language of Leadership by Steve Denning. Choose your words carefully but just as important, try to understand how your readers will interpret them.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for social media. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for opportunity. What are you thankful for today?

Communication. Are you getting your message across?

Communication isn’t just words.  Sometimes the message is lost in the translation.  Just because you say it doesn’t make it so.  And, saying it louder doesn’t make it more so!  What can I do to help you understand what I’m trying to say?

 

LANGUAGE

Words:

criticismLanguage is more than English versus French or Chinese.  We communicate in far more ways than just the words we use.  Tone changes everything.  Do you remember your parents ever saying “Don’t you use that tone with me young lady!”?

 

How does it make you feel when someone is talking to you in a derogatory or belittling tone?  The resonance of their voice has increased and the tone is deeper.  It’s almost as if they grew twice as big and are towering over you.

 

You might consider reading Stephen Denning’s book The Secret Language of Leadership for some great advice on how to choose words that are more inviting and in a manner that is less confusing.

 

Body:

man-with-thumb-downWhat about your body position?  Have you ever heard someone say “Get out of my face!”?

 

Where and how you are standing, literally, can change the whole meaning of the message you are trying to deliver.  Fight or flight is a natural instinct.  Are you threatening me?

 

Imagine that you are standing talking with someone and all of a sudden you reach a sensitive point in a contentious discussion.  They cross their arms, lean toward you and the muscles in their jaw tighten.  Are you focused on the message or are you now trying to figure out what they are going to do next?

 

Mark Bowden has written a great book called Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals.  He has some amazing advice on how to be aware of how you are being perceived through your body language.

 

WHY?

3D-Women-Question-02Having a good handle on why you do what you do can lead to much greater trust on the part of the people you are trying to communicate with.

 

Take some time to understand yourself and what drives you.  Why does your message matter and who does it matter to?  When your message comes from the heart, it’s more likely to be heard.  Be careful not to become so passionate that you overwhelm the people you are talking to!

 

I highly recommend reading the book by Simon Sinek, “Start With Why”.  The video below reflects the concepts from his book and Simon discusses why it’s important to understand people.  Especially in business.

 

Simon Sinek: If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business from 99U on Vimeo.

 

Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Take the time to:

  • Understand yourself.
  • Clarify your goals and objectives.
  • Identify your audience.
  • Learn the audience’s language, verbal and non-verbal.

Now you should be able to effectively communicate your message and get it across.  Get out there and say what you mean.  Make sure you mean what you say.

 

Make it a great day!

 

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for beautiful spring sunshine.  I’m thankful for people who take the time to listen regardless of whether or not they agree me.  I’m thankful for differences.

 

What are you thankful for today?

Ten Mistakes Transformational Leaders Make

SteveDenning

 

The Ten Mistakes Transformational Leaders Make is from Stephen Denning’s “The Secret Language of Leadership”.  He uses Al Gore’s experience to demonstrate.  I highly recommend getting this book if you ever hope to influence people.

 

 

The Ten Mistakes Transformational Leaders Make are:

  1. Having unclear and uninspiring goals.
  2. Lacking total commitment for change.
  3. Incongruent body language.
  4. Misreading your audience.
  5. Lacking narrative intelligence.
  6. Not telling the truth.
  7. Misdirecting attention.
  8. Inability to elicit desire for change.
  9. Not having the right reasons.
  10. Not encouraging and maintaining conversation.

If you are not clear on your own goals, how can I make a decision to follow you.  I have no idea where to expect to end up.  When you keep throwing different ideas out there, you keep leading me in different directions and I just get lost.  Now I don’t understand what message you are trying to deliver, what you believe in or what you are asking of me.

The majority of us make decisions based on “gut instinct” or “feelings.  You can try to feed me all the reasons you want but if you want my help, touch my heart and get my attention first.

Man-Explain-With-Friends-03Once you have my attention, it’s important to make sure I feel heard and that my opinion is valued.  Don’t kiss and run, I want to cuddle for a while.  Talk to me and let me know you are listening.  That’s the most important component in a conversation.  Reflective listening.

I hate to use the old cliche stuff but once again, it’s like dating.  Let me get to know, like and trust you.  Then, and only then, I may be willing to consider adopting your ideas.

 

Now that we have built a relationship, don’t EVER lie to me.  There is an old saying that there is honour among thieves.  That’s very true but thieves won’t trust a liar.

Take the time to learn how to communicate in ways that will allow people to hear your message.  I highly recommend The Secret Language of Leadership.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for authors like Stephen Denning.  I’m thankful for powerful speakers like Simon Sinek.  I’m thankful opportunities for people to change my mind!

What are you thankful for today?

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