7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

Following attending a multitude of social media events recently I thought I would try to put some business perspective onto how to integrate a social strategy into your business.

To this end I have borrowed the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ from Stephen Covey and put a light-hearted social slant on them to give us the ‘7 habits of highly social media.’

Habit 1. Be Proactive
Habit 2. Begin with a blog behind.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Listen, Then to Be Heard
Habit 6: Synergize (Engage with your audience)
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Reference and inspiration from
Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®
Graham Jones at JCI UK Inspiration Day

Google analytics – Web analytics
Bitly – url shortener with analytics
Harry from Minimoko (at Tea and the Zen of Social Media )
Kathryn McMann (at Tea and the Zen of Social Media )
Sinead Mac Manus from 8fold (at Tea and the Zen of Social Media )
Lee Smallwood from digicoms


Habit 3: Put First Things First

Making the most of technology

I have known Positive computing for several years now and have always turned to them as a source of advice and equipment. So was really pleased to see that Julian Lewis has started a regular newsletter to inform people about changes in technology. I strongly recommend you sign up to the Positive Newsletter to enable you to keep  up to date.

In this issue Julian covers a variety of issues, a couple of which I can give testimonials for his advice

Dropbox, an excellent solution for keeping multiple pc’s/laptops in sync, while providing you a remote repository that is effectively an offsite backup.

Having been introduced to Dropbox by Positive around 12 months ago I now use it as my primary document location. This allows me to switch between a powerful desktop replacement laptop and a Dell netbook depending on where I am going and what resources I need on at the time, safe in the knowledge that I always have the documents I need.

Social Media, a great recommendation for Hootsuite, and advice on finding the right media strategy, ties in nicely with a couple of blog articles I have written recently about ensuring you have the correct message for your business. As Julian says in his newsletter there are plenty of Social Media Experts out there so talk to them about the how to do it. I would also add make sure you know your own message that you can then publicise about through the social media.

There is much more in the newsletter so go check it out.

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 2: Begin with a blog behind.

A slight adaptation of the familiar ‘Begin with the end in mind’ the often quoted 2nd habit from Stephen Covey, and I feel a valuable one.

We hear so many Social Media experts telling us how good all of the different social media channels are and that they can drive traffic to your site, but how or why?
Tweet this, Youtube that, Liking it on Facebook, or simply Linking it In,  just have a quick look at how much work you are doing, I have mentioned four and there are many more, are you quadrupling your workload by putting information on them all?

This week is Social Media Week, a series of workshops and presentations being held locally and globally, I have been to 4 so far in London, (http://socialmediaweek.org/london/ ) there are many more around the world, and you could pick up so fantastic information. I know I have. It has built on information that I have received from various events recently including JCI Inspiration Day www.jcireading.co.uk/id2011

Before I go much further I am advocating formulating a strategy, there are plenty of social media experts our there to advise you about each channel, my role here is to help you to create an effective and productive strategy from which you will profit for many years.

The main point of this article is to get you thinking. Why use social media in your business? Simple answer is usually ‘to get people to………’ to do what? Call you? Buy from you? Look at your website?

The overriding theme that is coming through is actually none of the above:
It is actually ‘engage people’
Once you engage them, you can interact, inform, influence and help them. All of these activities can be done by providing information via a blog which drives people to your website. This information is a central repository that all of the channels guide people too, once there they can read, comment, discuss all of which brings them one step closer to wanting your product or service.

So in short, ‘Begin with a blog behind’ save time by putting everything in one place (your blog) then promote it via the channels (that you feel suit your business) this focuses both you and your audience to one place. Be consistent about making updates so that there is regular new content that people will want to come back to.

>>related article: The Social for Business Revolution, How to effectively write for social media.
References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

of the familiar

The Social for Business Revolution, How to effectively write for social media.

Having just spent the weekend at the JCI UK Inspiration day hosted by JCI Reading (www.jcireading.co.uk/ID2011) focusing on Social Media and obtaining the best from it alongside what JCI means to some of its members, I thought a short article on Social for Business may be of use to some people.

We regularly hear that social media is taking over in terms of lead generation and that we should all be blogging twice a day and tweeting, facebooking, LinkinIning (think I just made that one up) about our informative blogs.

The reaction I see from most people when there here this is either;

I don’t have enough time to do that, I have actual work to do
or
What the hell am I going to write about without giving away all the knowledge I have spent years learning.

So let’s address these two point. So in reverse order, What and How:

What do you write about?
Whatever you write about it must be done with some enthusiasm, something that draws people into what you are discussing and shows that you are keen and able to help. One easy what to identify these is to know both your company and personal values. Once you know what you care about (and why) make sure you supply a consistent message to your readers. It also allows you to release responsibility to others to write some of the articles as you know everyone is ‘on message’.

How do you write without giving away all your knowledge?
By picking subjects that show you have knowledge you can are actually giving yourself ‘status’ showing that you are an expert in your field. A vast majority of what you know you discount as being valuable because you have already moved on to the next concept, idea or speciality. Therefore spending time working on what you do know that you can tell people ie Identifying your Resources, will be time well spent.

Moving onto having the time.

One of the main reasons most people feel they do not have the time is that they do not know the What and How, therefore they are constantly questioning themselves and what they are writing about. As soon as you know what is ‘on message’ and that you can quickly check that you are encouraging interest rather than giving away secrets you instantly cut out most of the time taken to write articles.

Therefore whenever you have an idea about what you want to write about you will be able to effectively write a short article that you can share on your blog.

Happy writing.

>> Related article ‘Begin with a blog behind

Email communication – Help yourself by helping the recipient.

Do you use email effectively?

(Answer – Some of the time!)

Are you getting your message across? Do you get the responses you expect?

I started writing this a month or two ago, but managed to speak to most the people that needed it so stopped writing. However I have noticed various other groups with similar email issues so thought I would get it all down on paper. Also I received a copy of the ‘Jelly Effect – How to make your communication stick’, and wanted to write MY version of communication to see how it would change whist reading the book.

Every day we receive emails, some good, some bad. We reply to those that are easy to reply to and spend hours hunting for that one snippet that we know is there somewhere, or worse still forget,  ignore them.

Golden Rule: Where possible try to keep your emails to single topics (note I say topic rather than ‘Subject’ we will get to that later.)

Things to consider:

1.       Subject line
2.       Content – relevant to subject line, ie stick to the topic.
3.       All relevant details
4.       Direction to Action.
5.       Who to send to. To, CC, BCC.
6.       Use the Reply to button or create new email.

1. Subject lines.
Emails have a subject line so that the recipient can tell what the email is about, it also acts to assist in filing / finding the email at a later date. Therefore make your Subject line relevant and specific. The analogy that is often used is that of a newspaper headline. A paper would never be published without a catchy headline and once reading it you would have content that matched the teaser. Well with most papers anyway ;o) Bad Subject – ‘This Thursday’ Good Subject – ‘JCI – Board Meeting – Thurs 3rd June 2010’ This could even have – ’18:30’ or ‘Minutes’ or ‘Action Points for SW’ to help distinguish it further. Stick to the facts, make it easy to identify and people will reply quickly. By having a specific subject you also focus yourself on the content ( point 2 and 3) of your email and also the expected response (point 4)

2. Content. Make sure your content is relevant to your topic.
If your subject is ‘JCI – Board Meeting – Thurs 4th November 2010’ Then that is what you should  write about. This prevents information getting lost and ensures you have a focused email that is easy for someone to respond to. Avoid talking about other projects, or potential meetings, as this information will be hard to find later.

3. Content. Is it detailed and to the point?
How many face to face conversations have you had where the other person assumes you know what they are talking about? ‘oh that meeting last week’ hmm I had 3 meetings with you last week, ‘Which one, what was it about?’ when you are there you ask. In an email you don’t get that instant feedback therefore you need to pre-empt the questions to ensure your point and expected response is 100% clear. Otherwise you end up with a protracted email thread with information scattered across several emails. (This is a great tip for general communication anyway, actually tell people what you want them to know, not what you think they need to know based on your version of their existing knowledge) Bad Content – ‘Just checking you are ok with the meeting next week’ Good content – ‘To confirm we have arranged a meeting at 10am on Thursday 21st October 2010 at the Regus Business Lounge (Davidson house, xxxxxxxx) Where we will be discussing strategies to improve communication within the organisation. The meeting is scheduled to last no more than 1 hour with 3 attendees, CG, SW and LH’

4. Call to Action
Great, you have sent an email with a great subject line that contains the relevant and detailed content. So, Who read it? Have they done what you were expecting? Hmm so maybe we need a little more. Lets add a Call to Action. So what do you need to know? ‘Please read and confirm you accept the actions assigned to you’, ‘Please confirm by return that you are able to supply xxxx by Monday 21st at 13:00’ When using this be detailed, everyone has a different take on ‘by’ Monday. Is that the end of Monday, do you need it for a meeting on Monday morning, are you going to be reading your emails over the weekend, if not then do you mean by 4pm on Friday so you have a chance to read it before you leave? In the example I have also given an immediate action, ‘confirm by return’ I will therefore receive an email today and know that the task is in hand rather than receiving nothing at 13:00 on Monday.

5. Who to Send to. To, CC and BCC
To: This person needs to read the email and expected to reply
CC: This person needs the information but is not expected to reply (but may have valuable feedback) – potential grey area here, with large recipient list people tend to split it between To and CC
BCC: Blind Carbon Copy, This person receives a copy of the email without the others knowledge.

Does your email have lists of points for different people, Do you have 6-10 people to send it to?
Well ask yourself if the content is specific enough. It could well be, it could be an attachment that is the minutes of a meeting, so everyone does need it.  But if it is in the body of the email maybe you need to revise the content and send several specific emails to individuals. Even with minutes of meetings I would be happier to receive 2 emails, 1 with the attachment of the minutes (sent to everyone) and another with ‘Action points for SW’ (This is without doubt me being lazy, but if I have an easy to find list, there is less time wasted hunting for minutes, opening the doc reading everything to check if I need to do any of it etc) CCing This detailed ‘Action points for SW’ email would also be a great benefit to the Chairman of the meeting so CC them in. They can and will ignore it. Marking them all as read in one hit. Safe in the knowledge they when they next speak to XX they can quickly find that persons action list and check on progress.

6. Use the REPLY Button
Does everyone need to see you say ‘Thanks’ – Simple answer No.

Does everyone need to see you say ‘ Yes i will complete that by xxx, here are the questions I have at this stage…’ – No.

Reply to the sender to say ‘ Yes I will complete that by xxx, I will be emailing separate questions to those concerned.’ Then create new specific emails, following the rules, as needed.

One thing I personally hate is getting emails that drift off the subject, that have nothing to do with me, or that are relevant to me but the question to me is lost in the noise.

In Summary

Help yourself by helping others, give them all and only, the information they need so that they can respond to you as you expect. Once you start doing this, they will pick up the same habit, as they will already see the benefits of what you are doing.

Feel free to include this link  ‘Better email tips’ in your email signature.

Comment on what you have read, and I can update the post. It’s all simple stuff and we must remember to use it.

Email communication – Help yourself by helping the recipient.

How can you the employer get better results from your employees?

Today I was sent a link by a very good friend of mine in Canada.

Jillian Walker has entered a video in the KPMG sponsored “Canada’s Top Employers for Young People 2010” competition.  She along with lots of other young people have created videos, explaining what motivates them, what they want out of the deal, Is it money? Is it holiday/vacation time? Is it? Is it?

Well there is no one answer, Sorry about that, John wants one thing, Sally another, Steve wants something different to  Jillian.

Have a look at Jillian’s Competition Entry and if you appreciate her views please vote, you need to register (it only takes a second) and you can vote once a day using the small ‘vote’ button top right on the video.

I think this competition is a great idea and am off to find out if there is anything similar in the UK.

If you would like to discuss how to get the best results from your employees, please feel free to contact me

Leadership can be for everyone

There are several version of this video on youtube. I was first sent it as an example of persistence, being convinced about what you want to do, knowing that you were right and that you already had a few people agreeing with you. With time (and numbers) your message would get out there, people would listen, and people would buy into it.

Watch the first video, (its only about 3 mins long) Make your own mind up about what is happening,

[morfeo_basic 1 /]

Now watch the second video, this has had a narrative added (not by me) based around the rolls of the people within it, who is a leader, who is the first follower that becomes the second leader.

[morfeo_basic 2 /]

So back to my thoughts,
Lead by example with true conviction to your cause.
Engage people that show an interest and keep them engaged.
Show gratitude to those that follow, and they will then be happy to lead for you in the future.

You will not stop using not, you will simply use it more appropriately.

‘Not’ is one of my pet hates. There is lots of information on when NOT to use it which I am about to add to, I also hope to help you when to use it. This applies to the things you say to yourself as well as the things you say out loud to others.

So the Science bit:

You will hear lots of people state ‘You (your unconscious mind) cannot process the negative inversion of the not therefore you have to consciously process the information, rather than just reacting to it’ huh, what?

Let me explain with some examples.

When you hear something you construct your version of it and act on that.

‘Leave Chocolate alone’ What images, sensations have you got going on? Personally I have a picture of a wrapped bar sat on the table. Very little else, sensation and emotions are missing from my picture. I have a very low level of engagement with it.  Do you have a desire for chocolate, probably yes, because the C word has been mentioned. However, you have the instruction to leave it alone so have probably disassociated yourself from chocolate already.

So, ‘Eat Chocolate’. What images, sensations have you got going on this time? Personally I have got a soft melting sensation in my mouth, I can almost taste it, my brain is relaxing waiting for the all the endorphins and loveliness to arrive.

Now, say ‘ Do Not eat chocolate’ – for you to do this you first have to create your earlier image of eating it, with all the sensations and longing and then scrub that out, and consciously delete it. Your mind can to this, it just needs a fraction of time, and while doing it, you have all the sensations which you then miss when you start to delete them.

If your first instruction creates a different positive image, you will hold that quicker and for longer and you know that you can leave chocolate alone.

Think of a summers day.

Some other examples that often get used.

‘Don’t think of a …‘  even before I finish it you probably have an image of a blue or pink elephant (whichever you have previously heard in this context). I have suggested you think of the elephant and you are now trying to think of something else. Have you replaced it with your summers day image? Hold that thought.

Onto the next example, A child runs over to you carrying a drink ‘Be careful with that cup, put it down over here’ positive instruction for a positive result.

Oh no someone beats you to it ‘Don’t DROP THAT’ you hear, what has the child just done in your picture?

Did you catch it in time, did they stumble but keep hold of it, or is there now a spilt drink and a crying child? Out of interest where is this all happening? Are they indoors or out? Why have you chosen that location?  Did you hold the thought of the summers day?

Everyone can process the not, and the next time you use one think about it after, especially if your outcome was different to what you expected. Maybe you could have given a better clearer instruction.

As I said in my title, You will not stop using not, you will simply use it more appropriately.

Take from this what you will untie the nots in what you say and get the results you were looking for.

I would like to give a couple of references:

Remember the Ice – Bob Nicoll

How to be a Complete and Utter Failure in Life, Work, and Everything – Steve McDermott   Book Audio

Personal Productivity

The main question about personal productivity is how do you know when you are doing well in your personal life?

I have for some time been having an internal battle with regards the word Performance, especially in relation to the personal side of life, this stems from a personal want or need to be natural about the things I do.  Performance to me has always had connotations of an Act, ‘to perform’ rather than ‘to be’.

This led me to a recent conversation where I realised that I wanted to help people be more productive, rather than increase their performance. To take the ‘Act’ out of the ‘Performance’ and focus on what and where they wanted to be.

So, have a quick look at yourself, are you a performer  (doing the things you do because they need to be done) or a producer, creating the things you want and striving to get more value out of the time you spend to get them? Once you have asked yourself this question you are on the road to increasing your personal productivity.

Once you have worked out which you are you can make a choice, after that you are responsible, you are in control and you have the power to be more. Now, what are you going to do next?

Feel free to let me know, or if you need some help just ask.