Thursday, January 12, 2012

Building on Affinities: "Weird done right"

The last blog post reflected on different social skills people have who are all using social media, whether for personal connections or business marketing purposes. Some experts advise "use social media for being social" or "act as if at a cocktail party." When it comes to personal or business matters online or in-person, people tend to gravitate toward individuals (those fronting organizations or not) who are interesting.

So in cultivating affinities, one may find these two blog posts by Jessica Hagy helpful as well as entertaining. How To Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps) includes the tip: "Embrace your innate weirdness," while Why Weird is Wonderful (and Bankable) claims: "Weirdness: it’s great for parties." She writes that "weird done right ... is captivating and attractive" and "weirdness fosters community" as one finds "others who understand, empathize, and share what you thought was an isolating trait."

Hagy's points remind me of Seth Godin's work, described in the blog post Tribes will form around ideas, leaders. If someone will let their inner weirdness out, they may find an existing or forming tribe, making anything possible within their personal or business lives.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Use social media for being social": Why? How?

We all have differing levels and styles when it comes to social skills. Some of us are socially awkward, some avoid social interaction as much as possible, some are social butterflies, some can pull anyone out of their shell, some we avoid at all costs. Yet people with all these types of social skills are involved in social media.

So when some social media experts advise, "treat social media like you're at a cocktail party," what should you do? Many people would ideally like to be the person folks never want to tear themselves away from at a party because of the enlightening and positive interchange. They seldom want to be the person who spouts uncommunicative concepts, monopolizes the conversation, or makes people feel time spent with you is a test of their emergency response systems. So why do so many people sometimes find themselves in those positions?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looking beyond Affinities: "Hire Someone You Hate"

While we often leverage affinities -- areas of common interest and people with whom we share connections -- in some cases it may be advantageous to go outside of our affinities when it comes to recruiting employees or volunteers. A case for this is made in the blog post "Hire Someone You Hate" by The Evil HR Lady.

The main point is that a competitive advantage can exist for those who work with people who see the world differently than they do, offering differing and diverse perspectives. However, when it comes to recruitment and selection, people often look for like-minded individuals. The author cautions that "different doesn't mean disagreeable." Additionally, it is the responsibility of leaders to listen to all the varying perspectives being presented -- by like-minded and different thinkers -- and then use all the information at hand to make their own decisions.

The author warns of negative consequences that come from closing yourself off from folks who have solid skills in the field, yet you can't imagine spending any time with them outside of the office. The author writes: "You need someone who has some different experiences than yours. Someone who can explain to you that not all clients love what you love and brings qualities and perspectives you lack. You need someone who will point out that even though you love baseball games, not everyone else does and therefore your marketing shouldn't be limited to supporting the local teams. This means that they can attract clients you cannot."