Twitter: What’s The Point? – Part 1

19 08 2009

This is a series for the twitter alien or newbie who either has yet to embark upon a twitter user account or is just getting started. This is not a how-to guide for the most part, because frankly, most of my real world friends can’t get past the “what’s the point” question when it comes to twitter. It’s the question I had to answer for myself before jumping in too and it’s the question still wrangling around in some of your minds as your twitter account remains dormant waiting for you, hence the title.

Got Something To Say?

Have you ever wanted to tell the world something but felt like nobody wanted to listen? You ever had the answer but no audience to hear you out? Ever been frustrated with the pundits that always seem to have the mic, but never telling the whole story?  If you’ve ever experienced these feelings then there is a way for you to set things right, to tell it like it is. Set the whole world straight 140 characters at a time. Sure, you are forced to make it short and sweet, but in today’s world that’s how we like it anyway.

You’ve Got The Power

Remember that words contain power and guess what, tweets are what…yep, you guessed it, WORDS. So, when you tweet, you’ve got the power.

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Twitter is your platform to the world, your own soapbox where you can be heard as oft as you like, with no boundaries of time or space. Become a national or international voice, or a local voice if that’s all you want. Say something from your computer or smartphone and immediately impact and influence a life in India or other parts of the world.  Many, many tweeple converse and communicate on twitter every second of the day  and you can find and connect with people of like mind with a little effort.

Twitter is just like the real world in that to get more out of it, you must first contribute more to it.  On that  note, the more you tweet, the more tweets come back to you. So, take control and enlighten the world on how it really is. Use Twitter as your platform, soapbox, microphone, etc. It is useful, influential, entertaining, empowering, and waiting for you. You can always find me at http://twitter.com/dfresh411. Where are you?

tweety

RETWEET THIS

RETWEET THIS

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Are You Listening?

7 08 2009

Listening is a vital discipline for any manager or leader. This is especially true for influence leaders.  In the beginning of a thing, whether it be a project, a social event or something else, leaders who weave active listening into their repetoire will always get a better result and come much closer in the end to what the customer, bride, manager is asking for.  And all involved with a team where the lead is a good listener will have a better disposition.  Team morale will  be higher because the influence leader knows how to consult and take the information and transform it into something tangible that will have meaniful and measureable impacts.  For instance, over my 13 years as a  lead/program manager there have been times when I’ve had to listen to team member issues “off the record” in confidence.  That meant that I  could not use the information in a way that would reveal who told me because I agreed to listen in confidence, I had to honor the request  to maintain or build further trust from that team member.  This is a very important concept because without trust you have nothing.   Revealing that team members name sometimes is tempting because it seems like the easiest way to get the job done, but it would a mistake. It violates the principle of active listening because I would only be choosing to hear what I want to hear and ignoring the fact that I was asked to keep it in confidence.  I’m not talking about anything illegal or immoral here, since of course that would be a different situation and would need to be handled differently.  I was able to take the information and influence managers to make adjustments that resulted in more efficient processes which saved time and money without ever naming anyone.  That is what influence leaders do, we actively listen, which builds a bridge of trust, which opens the lines of communication, which equips us to make positive and impactful change.





You Don’t Need a Title to Have Influence

2 08 2009

We can make a difference in this world, changing it for the better without any delegated authority whatsoever.    I want to show you that people with titles are not the only ones that can get things done.  Actually, there are folks behind the scenes with no titles at all making the world go ’round.  These are the folks who are unafraid to challenge the status quo despite their rank and file.  For these folks attitude is everything.  Take for example, President Obama when he was a community organizer on the street.  “Community Organizer”…that’s not a title, that’s a description.  He wasn’t a boss, or manager, but a leader, an “influence leader”.  He used his art of persuasion to work with the city and the people to improve the conditions.  He couldn’t call for the money needed for improvement  just by demanding that it happen as one with delegated authority, but he had to facilitate town meetings, understand motivations, fears and craft persuasive arguments to affect change a little at a time.  That type of leadership reveals a quality in influence leaders that is paramount and that is patience.

Patience is a big virtue in influence leaders because influence leaders have to first negotiate with all parties involved to bring them to the same page without the safety net of making an autocratic call.  Negotiating requires time, give and take, back and forth.   Without the patience to work through negotiations, the leader will become frustrated, annoyed, disconnected and either give up or deliver a lose/lose or win/lose resolution instead of the win/win outcome that everyone desires.  Once  a leader is in that state of mind, he is no longer an effective influence leader which brings me to another important quality found in influence leaders, listening.

Listening is a common quality among influence leaders.  People want to work with other people who will listen to them.  They want folks in their lives who will hear their side of the story.  I’m a husband and father and I understand very well how important it is to just sit and listen.  I’ve dealt with many situations at home just by hearing it out.  I didn’t have to provide a particular solution or share my brilliant insight, I just had to listen.  That is all that was required.   It is no different outside the home, because when people know that they can trust you with what they say they will tell you things that they will not tell others.   It is a safe place for them and people would rather be safe than vulnerable.  This gives the influence leader inside knowledge to make better decisions to impact the change necessary be successful.

Leaders who pratice patience and good listening skills will find themselves ahead of the game with co-workers, managers, friends, family and others.  Leaders that practice these will find that they have what is needed to influence, changing hearts and minds,  without  the traditional authoritative role.