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This is a re-print from the original post by Jason O'Donnell on www.waywardcelt.com which ran on August 20th:
The number one barrier that prevents people from engaging in social business is their fear of saying the wrong thing.
Addressing that issue has proven difficult as it involves so many variables and is deeply rooted in the individual’s own psychology. It is a myriad of obstacles that get in the way of engagement here, any one of which can be the one issue that prevents someone from playing in social media, or it could be a complex web of issues woven to prevent adoption. For me, the solution was two-fold:
Luckily, I have a wonderful tool to help guide me in the social media world as I interact and engage in valuable conversation. The IBM Social computing guidelines give me the framework to avoid saying the wrong things on-line and provides you with the same benefit:
Quoted below from the IBM Social Computing Guidelines with my own bold highlights for emphasis:
Take a moment and also real the Detailed Discussion section of the IBM Social Computing Guidelines here, as it will explain some of the above in better and clearer terms than I am capable.
Once you have a handle on the social computing guidelines, life becomes so much easier... but even then, you or your employees may still be hesitant to start sharing, or think they don’t have anything to say... that’s okay. After creating your account, go find a few people to follow then start listening to how they are interacting. Take the next step by highlighting some of the ideas or information you find that you agree with and reshare those. After a while you’ll start to really get a feel for what you want to be saying and how to say it effectively as well.
Lastly, and this may seem overly simplistic though it is true: don’t worry about making a mistake. If you are playing in the social spaces you will make a mistake; but that’s okay too. Acknowledge when it happens and make your correction as soon as you can. In this way you can own your words and your mistake. This behaviour makes all the difference between a big or small mistake; between something that blows up or blows past.
Remember that social business is no different from any other interaction in the core values. If you pick up a phone or respond to emails in a professional capacity you can engage in social business as well. You have the trust of your company behind you, all you need now is the same trust in yourself and your success will be imminent! Just remember to follow the social computing guidelines, especially so if you share something you disagree with...
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When we think of the phrase "Social Support" one of the common images is likely of "@comcastcares" and their breakthrough efforts at turning client perception from heavily negative to the positive through their twitter account and addressing client complaints. Other more broad views may simply be of companies engaging with clients in spaces like Facebook or Twitter... but that view, dear friends, misses a huge area of social support which has existed long before these new social media channels: Forums. Without losing site of the work we do in the newer social channels, we also want to ensure you don't forget about some of the most effective community based channels out there surrounding Rational products and topics. Finding answers from previous questions, or even direct community based help with your own specific question can be a great way to leverage the collective wisdom, but even better is when you can join in the conversations and share your own expertise to help others. Lastly, one more call to action on this think Friday: take some time to think about not only how you get answers to questions currently, but how you'd like to find answers in the future... direct interaction? Self help? Community driven conversation? Something else? As you think about this I promise we, in Rational Support, will be doing the same thing and working to further enhance our own support delivery as well.
Without losing site of the work we do in the newer social channels, we also want to ensure you don't forget about some of the most effective community based channels out there surrounding Rational products and topics. Finding answers from previous questions, or even direct community based help with your own specific question can be a great way to leverage the collective wisdom, but even better is when you can join in the conversations and share your own expertise to help others.
Lastly, one more call to action on this think Friday: take some time to think about not only how you get answers to questions currently, but how you'd like to find answers in the future... direct interaction? Self help? Community driven conversation? Something else? As you think about this I promise we, in Rational Support, will be doing the same thing and working to further enhance our own support delivery as well.
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Over on my personal blog, I posted last week about Building a better business: Hiring ducks and eagles for the right jobs.
In that post, I explored the personal experience and positive results of team hiring practices that focused on finding the right person for the right job. The net conclusion of that post being: "Hire to your needs, but also to the candidate’s strengths and abilities. It isn’t easy, but the rewards and your future success depend upon it."
But, I'd like to take that conclusion a step further now, since "future success" is a bit too nebulous for my taste.
From the social business perspective, hiring the ducks and eagles is a critical portion of our success, as people in the right job tend to be more motivated and passionate about what they do. It is this increased level of passion that is such an important building block of success in social business. Without passion, social business just becomes activities that fall flat, and your audiences will pick up on that immediately.
Social businesses with passionate employees, however, are thriving and forging new paths in the world around us. It is that passion which drive employees, either on their own or with slight urging, to get out in the social spaces and share their knowledge and excitement with others. While the passion IS infectious, it also needs to be cultivated.
That passion is either fostered or stifled long before the employee ever has opportunity to play in the social spaces. It begins during the hiring process: identifying and hiring to both your needs and the candidate's abilities right from the get-go builds that foundation to grow your company into the motivated and passionate social business you need. Hire a duck for an eagle's job (or vice versa) and you will stifle that passion. Likewise, put the duck in the right pond and enable the eagle to soar, and that same stifled passion now becomes a raging fire driving both to spread the excitement.
Your audiences can tell the difference between mere activity and authentic excitement, and they will treat your social business accordingly... Can you really afford to not hire the ducks and eagles?
I'll leave you with the video that inspired both post titles and over-arching topics: You Can’t Send A Duck To Eagle School:
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Yup, we're still "working outside the inbox" here.
Along with Luis Suarez Kelly Smith and I continue driving and evangelizing the idea in hopes it will take hold and help create a new business culture of open, transparent, and collaborative work. To that end, I recently built a presentation now hosted on Slideshare to help illustrate our efforts as we documented them here in our Notes from Rational Support "WOTI" blog series. We've tried to distill the core concepts, ideals, and recommendations down to their essence and provide an easy to consume presentation. I hope you not only enjoy the presentation deck, but also find it helpful in your own quest to reduce email and increase your effectiveness.
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (2005)
With Kelly moving on to her new role, we (she and I) thought this would make a perfect time to set another milestone on our Working Outside the Inbox (WOTI) series with some lessons learned, some failures, and some successes as well. Make no mistake though, just because we are recapping our blog series does not mean we are abandoning the WOTI ideas and principles. Far from it, in fact. As you'll find below, from our experiences with the initiative we are more dedicated than ever to using the right tools for open and transparent collaboration.
First up, where did we see our failures?
But let us not despair, for these failures didn't diminish our successes! Surprisingly, even without dedicated focus or and organized official initiative in place, all of us participating here found some level of reduction in frivolous email.
And lastly, what WERE our lessons learned from all this?
Did you miss any of this blog series? Fret not, faithful readers, here is the complete topic list which you can also find via the woti tag: