Communication Weapon of Choice

The right to bear arms and exploring new territories seem to have a long history of courtship together. It must be basic human nature to fear what is unknown and prepare for conflict.  I see and experience this fear over and over again in social media as this formula seems to be prevalent:

Computer keyboard- face to face communication + social media =weapons of mass destructive words

Maybe social media feels like a wilderness of the unknown, yet I assure it is not. It is about basic communication; communication and interaction with REAL people. What we say here should be in consideration to real people and communicated in the SAME way as if the person we are interacting with is right in front of us.

It is both comical and sad what people will say to each other with no regards to how it coming across. This pattern is prevalent in emails, texts, social media networks and review sites like yelp.

Last week, after I posted  a discussion topic similar to this post in a LinkedIn group the moderator sent me a message telling me the post did not meet their guidelines; that message I understood and respected yet he went on to say, “You do not need to send me a message saying OK or sorry and you definitely do not need to send me a message debating the deletion.” Wow!  I have to wonder, why is this person a moderator for a “communications forum” when he appears to lean towards monolog instead of dialog? Maybe he is overworked? Maybe there are lot abusers in the group? Who knows? All I can do is not take it personal.  How can I? This person doesn’t know me.  If I wanted to engage him further my best defense would be asking him questions to better understand the situation before I “assume” where he is coming from. (You know what the say about assuming – makes an ass out of you and me)

Here some things to consider when communicating online:

2. Assume Nothing.
3. Ask Questions.
4. Think in Terms of Solution and Collaboration.
5. Time is Precious – be productive with yours and honor the value of other people’s time.
6. Marketing is Monolog. – There is nothing social or interactive about pushing an agenda or using marketing message in social network forums.
7. Dialog is Desirable. – Successful people are measured by their ability to create and maintain relationships, understanding how to engage people in conversation is the foundation to that success.
8. Take it Offline. – Don’t make someone else responsible for not understanding your intention and/or message. Maybe you need to communicate in a different way. Don’t forget the importance of face to face interaction.
9. Be Prepared to Keep Moving. –  Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you are not getting what you want out of your interaction online, find another place to play. There are thousands of social networks to choose from, seek out ones that seem to attract your target demographic.
10. Take the Time to Choose Your Words Wisely. – It is worth the extra time to start off on the right foot with someone, first impressions can never be reversed.