March 18, 2019

Leadership Coaching: Be a More Effective Coach By Letting Your Voice Be Heard on 5 Hot Topics on Twitter

"twitter bird"

Let Your Voice Be Heard By Speaking Up On Twitter

I have always been somewhat cause driven, and in the leadership coaching industry, we are often encouraged to keep our opinions about public events at bay. I feel this is a serious mistake.

We have a large number of issues going on in our world as I write this post, and I know from talking privately to leadership coaches, they are quite concerned about these topics. And, from talking with my executive clients, they are also losing sleep on some very large issues that, if not addressed, are going to seriously affect our country and world.

Many people shy away from using Twitter. They say the really don’t want to hear what Mary is eating for breakfast or that Bill is walking his dog on a sunny Saturday morning…they say the just “don’t get it”. But if you look more closely and listen more deeply, you will find that Twitter is now being used to discuss some very big local, national and global issues. I have found that by getting involved in these conversations in a bold but professional way, my leadership coaching can become more bold…more effective. I also believe it is important when coaching a client, if a personal bias of yours about a current issue comes into the conversation, it is critical to let your client know that you have a bias in a certain direction so that you are being clean and upfront.

When I go out to http://search.twitter.com to find the big trending topics for the day, it is not uncommon for me to see names like Lindsay Loahah, Paris Hilton or another “celebrity gone bad” trending topic (gives me insight into our pop culture world and where our minds are, which might be a big blog post for me). But, I have nothing to say about these two women who are being focused on in the media for their woes. I wish them the best and hope that they get their lives on track.

It is 10:45, and I just did a search, and here are the trending topics for today.

Trending topics for October 1 at 10:45 a.m. : Awareness Month , #octoberwish , #usmile , #marina43 , Bin Laden , Paranormal Activity , Google Street , Ryder Cup , Pioneer , Nigeria

In scanning this list, I don’t see any that I feel a burning desire to tweet about, but I might go out and just tickle people’s minds as a reminder that this is Breast Cancer Awareness month and to encourage women to make sure to gete an annual check up and mammogram. I love golf, but I don’t want to weigh in on how nasty the weather is, etc.

So, if these topics are not good ones to get involved in, here are 5 hot topics swirling around in the USA this week that can also apply to international leadership coaching.

5 Hot Topics to Inspire Your Leadership Coaching

Education: With the opening of the documentary Waiting for Sumperman and the announcement last Friday that Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg is donating over $100,000,000.00 to the education reform program in Newark, NJ, the media and the public have done a great job of bringing the topic of education to the forefront. This is a topic where we can all contribute. This initiative will die if we don’t talk about it, and our future as a nation WILL be determined by how strong our education system is. To get involved and learn more, visit http://twitter.com/educationnation. Every time you tweet about education, donate $1.00 or volunteer to get involved, it helps!

The Election: We have a BIG election season this fall. I am just really amazed at both the great candidates and the questionable candidates who will be on ballots around the country. But, at the end of the day, we have a big privelege and I believe an obligation…to vote! By getting involved in a few conversations on Twitter about senatorial candidates or gubernatorial candidates, you can learn more about who to vote for. A great place to start is by going to http://twitter.com/RockTheVote to see what the big conversations are all about.

Bullying and Cyberbullying: I won’t go into the numerous cases during the past year around bullying and cyberbullying which have led to horrible endings, but I will say this: Bullying and cyberbullying are not harassment acts which occur in the K-12 environments. It is also occurring at the corporate and community level with adults slammingeach other online or spreading rumors that are simply not true. The internet is a wonderful convenience, and it is now being used as a weapon….a weapon that is leading to a rise in teen suicide and an increase in employee resignations. To get involved and follow the discusssion, go to http://twitter.com/StopBullyingNow.

Internet Privacy: There is freedom of speech and press in America, and now we have the freedom to share anything we want about ourselves or others on the internet. The majority of people now have the ability to snap a pic with a phone or open a phone video camera to catch the action…the next thing you know, it’s on the internet. Big Brother has arrived! We are now past the age of being able to do anything we want, thinking no one is looking. So, as my grandmother always said…do the right thing…even when no one is looking. Start weighing in on the conversation by going to http://twitter.com/EPICprivacy.

The Economy: It seems to me that everyone is mouthing off about the economy and the lack of jobs but that does not seem to be stopping a large population of people from spending beyond their means, applying for more credit cards and using those cards because they are depressed or bored. I believe that we can all do something to help with our economic crisis by beginning in our own homes and local communities. I have friends and family members who don’t really care for the advice dished out by people like Clark Howard or Suze Orman, but in my opinion, they give great tips and direction on how to start taking small (and big) steps to help our financial information. So, to get started on Twitter, check out http://twitter.com/CLARKHOWARDSHOW and http://twitter.com/suzeormanshow. These two are probably not going to “follow you back” but you can certainly follow their tweets to see what topics you may want to blog or tweet about.

By getting involved in conversations on Twitter, you will find that in the leadership coaching you offer your clients, you will:

  • Ask more provocative questions
  • Listen more closely to feedback
  • Engage more in open dialogue
  • Be able to spot repeating patterns more quickly
  • Challenge your clients more
  • Be bolder in stating your perspective

So, if you want your leadership coaching to get bolder and more challenging for your clients, try speaking up and speaking out on Twitter! You never know who is listening.

How to Get People to Know, Like and Trust You: Part 1: 10 Strategies for Becoming Well Known

If you haven’t received the memo…the way to both get business and to be a great leader is to take on actions and develop behaviors that will get people to know, like and trust you.  In the world of business, people buy from people they know, like and trust.  In the career world, people hire candidates they know, like and trust.  When it comes to promotions, acquiring a seat on a board of directors or being nominated for an award…same.  At the end of the day, if people have no idea who you are OR if they hate you OR if they find you are not worthy of trust…just do what you can tp shift.  Start today to change the way you interact with others.

Today’s blog will be on the “Getting to Know You”  piece of the puzzle.

So, here we go.

The “Do” List:

1.  Get out in your local and greater public and extend your hand for an introduction and a handshake.  This could be at a local business event, at the gym, at a party, during a hobby class or through taking continuing education programs.  I introduce myself to the person who is waiting in front of me at the grocery store often.  So, any time you are around people…introduce yourself.

2.  When you meet someone, ask about their interests.  Your curiosity will “break the ice” enough for you and the other person to see if you both want to get to know you better.

3.  Be transparent.  Be yourself and don’t hold back on your opinions.  If you are hard to read, people will tell others they don’t really know you.

4.  Be the same person at both home and at work.

5.  Have a strong online social networking presence.  Blog (make sure to blog as if you were having a conversation), tweet and do the Facebook thing.  Reach out to people and ask for a conversation by phone just to introduce yourself to take the relationship from just being on the web to an actual conversation.  When you travel, invite one of your online friends to coffee.  Do your best to extend the relationship to a face to face.

6.  Once you meet someone, give them your business card, and ask them to meet you for coffee.  Have your calendar ready to schedule the date.

7.  Go out during prime time hours…7-9 are prime time, and you will bump into all sorts of people who can get to know you.  Pick a favorite “locals” restaurant, and go there at least two times on a Friday night, and you will keep bumping into the active locals in your town.  Our locals spot is Vito’s.  When we go on a Friday night, we know about 75% of the people in the room…the more you show up repeatedly in one hot spot location, the more familiar you will become.

8.  Get to know your neighbors.  Go on walks, and strike up a conversation with other people who are out walking.  If you have a dog, walk your dog.  This is always a great conversation catalyst.

9.  Write a book or an e-book.  People will immediately want to know you if you are an author.  Anyone and everyone can write a book these days, and I am finding that some of the best books are self published.  If you have information that is valuable, and it is sitting in your brain, why not write a book?  It is a lot easier than you think.

10.  Take a series of continuing education classes in a field of interest.  If you take at least 4, you will bump into some of the same people, and they will get to know you and you will get to know them.

The “Don’t List (These things will probably keep you completely unknown!)

1.  Never leave your office or home.  Just go ahead and sit behind your computer or in front of a television in a dark room.  You can pretend that your online friends are your friends and that they know you, but they really don’t…some do, but most don’t.  They’re out there getting to know thousands of people while you sit in your dark room.

2.  When you go out to shop or dine, go late at night and sit alone in the corner.  This is the best time to “not bump into people” that MAY know you.

3.  Just don’t ever go to any functions…don’t go to any parties, events or community service functions.

4.  Don’t ever, ever get involved in your local community.

5.  Just skip the whole web presence thing…if you are someone who does not want to be known, just don’t open a blog, join Twitter or Facebook.  If you don’t want to be known, you will probably keep your blog, Facebook and Twitter pages private…so don’t bother.

6.  If you do have to go out, wear dark sunglasses and a huge hat like the stars do.  Of course, this attire will probably draw attention, so maybe small sunglasses and a baseball cap will draw less attention.

7.  When you go to events, just pretend you are someone else…take on a fake name and play the role of someone else.

8.  Wear very basic clothes…like jeans and a t-shirt everywhere you go.  If you dress up or wear anything wild or colorful…eeek…you might get noticed.

9.  Join a teleclass and just “lurk” in the background.  Do not unmute your phone.

10.  Just don’t make any friends.  You can’t be in a friendship if people can’t really get to know you.  Just stay at home at eat bon bons.

I know this “don’t” list sounds sarcastic, but it’s true.  I “know” people just like this, but I may be the only one who knows about them.  They stay isolated and then wonder why they aren’t getting hired, why their co-workers leave them out of functions and why their families don’t want them around…they are just too boring.

So, look at the above list and ask yourself…Do you fit into the “do” category or the “don’t” category.

H Stands for How To…

As 2010 approaches, many leaders are asking new questions.  Faced with a slumped economy, less manpower and growing concerns about what the next year will hold, the questions are becoming more complex and more fear-filled.

So, today, I want to just share with you 3 very simple “How To’s” to consider for 2010…just take a step back and consider a few of the basics.

lightbulb1.  HOW TO INNOVATE: Innovation is such a big buzzword today, so when something is a big buzzword, it means that it is important to the business landscape.  Many people believe that people are just born as innovators.  This may be somewhat true, but real innovation takes place through learning.  If I have any advice on this topic it would be this:

  1. Get out there and talk to the 3 most innovative companies you know to find out how they come up with bright ideas that actually make it to the market and thrive in the marketplace.
  2. Study and read everything you can about an innovator you admire (Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs would be two I would start with).
  3. Talk to at least 12 people from different industries about one idea you are rolling around in your head (talk to an artist, scientist, physician, dancer, gardener, plumber, attorney , financial planner, nanny, stay at home mom…innovation does not happen in a vacuum, and it is critical to get out there and talk to a variety of people about your ideas to get your finger on the pulse of what is really bugging people/keeping them awake at night not having drain cleaning services columbus oh to clean their pipes).
  4. Take a trip to a place like the Sharper Image or even Best Buy to test out the most current technology in their stores.  Ask yourself “Why this?”  and “Why didn’t they do this?”
  5. Spend time in an area/field that you know nothing about. Take up a new hobby like fishing, quilting, kickboxing, painting…anything that is new…new hobbies stimulate thinking and creativity.

Business confrontation.2. HOW TO PICK YOUR BATTLES. Many people just don’t like conflict, and for some reason, they think that debate causes problems.  Yet the leaders who really know how to use debate to their advantage are some of the most innovative, successful leaders in our world.  The key is this…knowing what to fight for.

I would love to just tell you what is in this article, but rather than spell out the details, I would like to encourage everyone reading this post to buy a copy of the article How to Pick a Good Fight by HBR.   I will just give you two suggestions from the article.

1.  If the idea will save your company 15% or more of your resources over one year, the battle is worth fighting.

2.  If the idea will grow your sales or acquire new customers faster than the market, the battle is worth fighting.

Believe me…this article is worth purchasing for anyone!  The article includes another 20 ideas and an assessment for your company.

rookie3.  HOW TO GET YOUR ROOKIES TO LEAD. Your new employees are shining stars…fresh out of college, ready to set the world on fire, and what do most leaders do?  They throw a big bucket of water on the fire and say “Hey…new kid…here’s how we do things around here!”  Oh…that’s a smart idea (NOT!)  It is time for everyone to understand that leadership development for your new employees is what will differentiate your company from your competitors in 2010.  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Find out what truly motivates your rookies. This is going to be different for each person (time off with family, basketball tickets, public acknowledgement, and so forth).  Your job as a leader is to find out what really motivates your rookies and begin using that to get them on board.
  2. Begin implementing a state of the art leadership development program for your rookies. Many companies shy away from this, because they feel something like this “Why waste my development dollars on someone who is going to leave me in two years?”  The answer:  Because you want your rookies to be the best they can be and to sing your praises as they dance out the door.  Your goal as a leader should be to train your rookies so well that other companies do try to recruit them away…but…if you are smart and you develop a great training and coaching program for them, they will think twice before leaving you.  And…if they do, there is a good chance that once they experience the greener pastures they thought they wanted, they will come back to you in a few years.
  3. Open yourself up to learning AND to actually using the technology that your rookies are using to communicate (including text, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and so forth).  In order to get your rookies to lead others, you have to be willing to communicate with them using the tools they are comfortable with and then pull them into the higher level leadership communication skills (face to face discussions, public presentations and face to face negotiations).
  4. Drop the talk about paying dues and climbing the corporate ladder…is a top turn-off for this rising generation.
  5. Ask your rookies for their ideas…invite them into the private meeting room to get their ideas on the table…this will be music to their ears and will inspire them to lead others in a way that is open and curious.

So, as 2010 rolls around, start looking closely at what you can do for the people of your organization…there is no better time than the present to start developing stronger relationships, better ways of communicating and of course…rock solid approaches to leadership and business development.

Milwaukee Bucks Coach Skiles Reprimands Villanueva for Tweeting From the Locker Room

“Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva got a talking-to from Skiles after the coach learned Villanueva posted a message to his Twitter feed — a “tweet” — from his mobile phone during halftime of Sunday’s home victory over the Boston Celtics.”

You have to read this article. There are two sides to this…a coach who thinks one of his top players is not serious, because he’s on Twitter in the locker room during halftime.  The other side of the story…in his post, Villaneuva (who goes by the screen name CV31) committed publicly to “step it up” in the second half, and he did.

As someone who works every day with leaders on accountability issues, there is something to be said for making a public commitment to thousands of people that you’re going to “step it up” or take on a big action.  You have that built-in accountability that is stronger than most types of “motivation.”  The embarassment factor of not fulfilling the commitment is huge, and I am sure Villaneuva knew that he was going to have to step it up or have major egg on his face from his Twitter followers.

So…if you’re having trouble reaching a goal…try making a public commitment to your Twitter network and see if your results improve..

Are You a Leader? The 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Twitter

It is not uncommon to talk with leaders each day who say they just don’t understand Twitter. They go to the site and see where someone is talking about the coffee they are drinking or their latest trip to the grocery store.

The reality is that this microblogging tool is gaining more and more users, and the momentum is high. CEOs from around the world are now using Twitter as a way to expand their brands and connect to their employees and customers.

If you are a leader of either a small, medium or large enterprise, there are 10 reasons you should use Twitter:

1. To build a sense of community. With our future leaders…Generation Y… a sense of community is critical for their ability to connect with your company and to feel a sense of belonging. And…a sense of community is just great for developing strong teams.

2. To get messages out quickly. As you probably know, your Twitter account can be connected to your cell phone and to the cell phone of your network. No reason to wait on folks getting to their e-mail or to an online forum to find out your news. By integrating your phone to Twitter, your Twitter network can receive a message by text in minutes.

3. To listen. There are multiple conversations happening on Twitter every second of the day. By listening to what people are talking about, you can quickly get your finger on the pulse of the most important topics of the day. As a leader, it is critical to know what the world is talking about. With a tool like Twist, you can follow the top conversations on Twitter and then look closely to see how this trend might be important or relevant to the decisions you make in your company.

4. To create a snowball effect. Twitter can be used to get out a message quickly and to have others spread your news to their networks. It just works!

5. To bring visibility to your blog. If you are a leader of an organization, I highly recommend that you look into blogging. A blog can give you a human touch, and you can then use Twitter to let the Twitter network know about your recent posts. If you host your own blog on your own domain using WordPress, I recommend setting up an account with Ping.fm and then connecting your blog to Ping.fm using the plug-in WPing.fm. This little plug in will feed your blog to over 10 social networks, including Twitter. (If you only want to send your self hosted WordPress blog to Twitter, you can use the Twitter Tools plug-in.)

6. To get customer feedback. Putting out a question about your company on Twitter is a great way to get instant feedback. If you have a product roll-out, if you are brave enough, ask your Twitter network what they think about it and solicit feedback to improve your products and services.

7. To show your human side. As we all know, Twitter is a bit more personal than formal online social networks. Showing a bit of your human side can help you build rapport and fans.

8. To educate the public about your company AND your culture. Allowing people the chance to catch a glimpse inside your company (the more personal/human side) and its culture creates connection with both customers and employees and builds trust over time.

9. To facilitate research and development. The Twitter network offers scores of opportunities for you to get questions answered from people who are eager to jump in and participate. Just try asking one question on Twitter, and sit back and watch as people bring forward their ideas and resources.

10. To learn the about the latest/greatest advancements in technology. Many of the people who use Twitter are not afraid of technology…as a matter of fact, they relish it! If you watch and listen closely enough, you will discover quick insights into the latest/greatest gadgets, software and web collaboration tools. As leaders, we all need to be out there listening and looking for what’s next on the tech edge.

Connect with me on Twitter today: http://twitter.com/beafields

This article was written by Bea Fields. Fields is the President of Bea Fields Companies, Inc. and the co-author of EDGE! A Leadership Story and the co-author of Millennial Leaders: Success Stories From Today’s Most Brilliant Generation Y Leaders. .

Are You Smothering and Shushing Your Talent?

Each day I speak with leaders who are in the quest for finding top talent. And…they usually find a way to woo them into the company.

The challenge is this: Once the talent is in the door, it is not uncommon for the leaders and the culture to smother and “shush” this new talent. They expect the moon from them but don’t give them a voice or the room to spread their wings.

This is a prime opportunity for coaching and mentoring. In the future, it is not going to be enough to rely on your own thoughts and past learning to groom future talent. Smart organizations pair their people with top mentors who can educate them about all the ins and outs of not only the job being done but the ins and outs of growth, diversity and how to develop future leaders.

When it comes to developing out young talent, I recommend you look closely at the following:

1) Competency Models. I am all for having standards of performance and competency models. They give people something to strive for. But, many competency models are outdated and promote “sameness” throughout the organization. With young talent, it is critical to design customized developmental programs which will allow young talent to really spread their wings, try on new things and bring fresh ideas into your company.

2) Internal and External Networks. The future belongs to the companies who can successfully develop peer to peer and mentor to peer networks inside the organization and who can master external networks using technology such as Facebook and Twitter. Many companies are now designing their own “internal” forms of Facebook, but in my opinion, this defeats the purpose. The beauty of tools like Facebook and Twitter is that they can give your opportunity the leg up on being able to reach out to brilliant minds who are outside your company for R and D purposes, to collaborate or to even recruit new minds into your company.

3) The Collaboration Process. Do you really have a collaborative spirit inside your company, or do you simply give lip service? New talent thrives on collaboration. They want to know they are a part of creating something much bigger, and it’s truly up to your company to position collaboration on the center stage of your company. Collaboration is not something that happens during a week-end retreat. It is a mindset and a driver which helps to shape your culture. Look at your process closely, and begin today to open up your process so that it becomes deeply ingrained in your company..

Why Twitter Matters

Great article in Business Week about Twitter.

Some people are not sure if Twitter is the next wave.  I learned about Twitter from DK of MediaSnackers.com over a year ago.  DK taught me that Gen Y loves to “snack” on bits and bites of information.  Because Twitter only allows 140 characters, it is attractive to those of us who are time starved and is great for Gen Y who are multi-tasking masters.

TwitterSync is now available on Facebook, so when I Twitter, it now shows up on my Facebook page...so I get the benefit of two appearances for one quick post.  And…a lot of businesses are now using Twitter, so check it out!..

Gen Y’s Credo: Connectivity

This article on Gen Y connecting on Facebook has sparked quite a bit of chatter about online social networking and its uses and potential misuses.

I believe that this is an opportunity to look at how we can actually leverage Facebook to get to answers more quickly. While I understand the concerns about misusing Facebook to share notes for an exam or to exchange test answers, we have to understand that Gen Y knows how to use these tools when Boomers and even some Gen Xers don’t know the first thing about how to use online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Second Life to improve social capital and as a way to enhance learning and development. My perspective on this is that most Boomers are afraid to use these tools (it is easy to be afraid of something you don’t know how to use).

These tools are SO easy to use, and I believe the benefits far outweigh the risks. We just need to open up the discussion and look at how to use these platforms to our advantage. If Senator Obama (who launched his campaign on You Tube and has a strong presence on Facebook) and IBM (who is using Second Life for training and block parties) can find a way to use these tools in an effective way, why can’t everyone else?

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