Modern People Skills: Great Tips for Social Media Communication
Social media presents many challenges in communication. Perhaps the greatest challenge is that we are communicating with millions of people who don’t know us.
As we express our opinion to strangers we run head on into the challenge of first — and lasting — impressions. A negative tweet never really disappears from people’s view of us. The good news is that modern people skills can easily handle these challenges.
Modern People Skills Reminders for Social Media Greatness
Modern people skills apply the value of traditional civility to modern day communication challenges.
Create and preserve a positive authentic image!
- If it sounds like an order, it can turn people off. When we add the word please, it becomes a request.
- If a connection’s general behavior is a bother, we have the choice to unfollow/unfriend them. This may be a better choice than issuing them an order that everyone sees. One Twitter connection tweeted at me, stop tweeting quotes about …! Everyone could see his command. What impression of him does it create and leave with all those who read it?
- Many people see sarcasm as a form of anger. The less they know us, the greater the chance they see it this way when it’s directed at them. This traditional belief applies to modern people skills: If we can’t say something in a civil way, don’t say it now.
- Questioning people’s motives — even with formality — can sound accusatory. “May I inquire as to why you are doing this?” sets a condescending tone requesting justification. A more relaxed question can get the same information while projecting a positive image, “I’d like to understand this better. Can we chat or email about it?” Easy does it! Modern people skills honor everyone’s need for care and consideration.
- Stating opinion as fact can leave a negative impression; stating opinion as opinion can invite a healthy positive exchange of opinions! Mutual respect is still a key part of modern people skills.
- We leave a positive impression by owning our own feelings instead of assigning them to others. Statements like, “You are trying to discredit my opinion” can come across as insecure and childish. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If people are discussing and debating your opinion, engage in the discussion by creatively restating it and positively conversing with others.
- People see listening and discussing as a positive sign of strength and openness. Arguing, bashing, and condemning can leave scars on those bashed — and on our image — for a very long time.
- Take extra care in the early days of building relationships. Don’t assume that strangers will see complete frankness in a good light. It is actually a privilege others give us as we earn their trust.
Relationships and the trust they build give interpersonal context to what is said. Without those preexisting relationships, raw authenticity can come across as rude, self-absorbed, boorish, rigid, disagreeable, and even bullying.
- Many would like to believe that authenticity — at any length — wins the day. Some go even further and claim that civility and authenticity are at odds. They aren’t. Modern people skills reminder: We can be authentic and civil at the same time!.
Civility provides a cushion of respect that enables listening and acceptance of an authentic honest message. Bluntness provides no cushion and our image can come crashing down! Modern people skills reminder: Words can woo or wound; create bonds, not scars.
©2012-2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email email@example.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!