Silence is a very funny thing. There’s a proverb that teaches silence is also a speech… and I agree with that. What that speech communicates depends on the context of the situation, of course. One of my favorite words of wisdom by Emerson is actually on the subject of silence, “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of the gods.” I’ve always thought it paired well with Mother Theresa’s instruction:
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…. We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Silence is a friend in matters requiring reflection. In those respects, we can use silence as an armament unto ourselves. Sometimes, it takes an enormous amount of mental strength to hold back from communication with others in a situation. This is where “discretion is the better part of valor” or as Richard Stoddard penned it, where “silence is the speech of love.” How many times have we over-complicated a situation with words? In those situations our silence can communicate respect, I think, in an effort to not rush to judgement or further complicate an emotional situation. This is an area where I have to work very deliberately to succeed at. I ‘live out loud’ and like to “talk through things” rather than let things fester. Sometimes that’s good.. others? Some ‘communicated silence’ would serve me well; so I’ve developed a sort of roadmap I use:
My first and last checkpoints are the same and follow the edict of “First do no harm.” I try to take time to understand if my bad mood, or my emotions are creating a situation that may not really be there. The more upset I am, the more I have to focus – and will take time to do that – before I communicate my opinions on subjects of heavy weight. But before I do that, I try to be mindful of how the silence of that time will be received by my audience – the other person or people involved. Will it hurt them? What will that likely communicate about me or my character to them?
That’s important to me in a world where silence is also used as a weapon, a sword that speaks more soundly than words could hope to… communicating judgement, disapproval, or worse yet? Apathy. There is a belief that it takes an effort to expend words on or about someone else. I don’t know that I wholly agree with that. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people I’ve trusted, respected, care for offer promises or words of reassurance that were obliterated with seeming ease soon after. Words are just words (1)… until there aren’t any. When there are no words, you have to look to actions. When there aren’t any? That’s an incredibly cutting form of silence… one so loud it’s almost impossible to ignore. And that, to me, is a failure that lies at the feet of the vanities.
Character and integrity require action. Maybe we’re done with a situation, or a person – and that’s okay – as long as there’s been resolution. If someone was worth forming a relationship with to begin with – be that personal or professional – then we need to be mindful of their needs, sometimes even before our own desire to enjoy the silence when we end it. Because it’s the right thing to do and our actions speak to our character far more than our words about who we are ever really could. At the end of it all, our integrity – our character – is what we’re defined by… what we’re remembered by.
But if we do not act, if we chose to remain silent? Then we risk losing the ability to “come home” to influence the situation and, as was so aptly said in Underworld, silence becomes “the condition [we] accept as the judgment on [our] crimes.” (2) In other words, silence – for whatever reason you choose to keep it – doesn’t still others. They’ll form their own opinions, in the absence of guidance from us, and act in their own accordance. Maybe that’s okay – but maybe not and that’s a risk that must be assessed before ‘going dark.’ Coming back later claiming ”hear no evil, see no evil” won’t likely be received as a valid defense for a lack of communication… I think that only works with the three monkeys.
(1) Please read this linked post “Words are for Suckers” by William Tincup. Totally relevant, and brilliant.
(2) real or imagined – by the way, that’s the best line in Underworld, in my opinion.
I enjoy watching television with my daughters. Correction: I enjoy spending time with my daughters and use the TV as a tool to talk about the world around them. They happen to like Hayden Panettiere – she was “the bomb” to them when she was on Heroes. So, when I heard she was going to be doing a new show on ABC, Nashville, I added it to my “preview’ list in the hopes that it could maybe replace “Pretty Little Liars” which I don’t so much like (2). Anyway, the music on the show for some reason got me thinking about the emotions we deal with and issues we face in various stages of our careers – or maybe it’s the fact that is what’s happening to several members of the cast on the show: they’re dealing with the various stages in their careers… from on-boarding into their industry, shifting as leaders, and learning to deal with the fall from the zenith of their careers as Country Music professionals.
While I doubt I’m anywhere near my zenith, it certainly has been awhile since I entered my profession, and that ‘first on-boarding’ has long since come and gone. The first time I gave into the siren song of ‘new & improved possibilities’ and was recruited away to another company was well over a decade ago, too. I’ve gained experience, learned to maneuver around office politics, gained stature to some extent, and most recently as it was pointed out? I’ve gained some level of mastery over reinvention: my career has evolved into something that, in a lot of ways, is very different from when I started on my professional journey.
In each step along the way, I had to deal with the temptation to stray from the course I originally wanted to take by shiny new roles, technologies, fast money, or the warm blanket of [perceived] “safety” that came with fading into certain roles within assorted companies… Roles that allowed for ‘comfortable’ instead of the greatness and adrenaline that we can feel with challenge and growth. I learned to temper my confidence to keep from overextending myself and subsequently the companies I represented, dealt with the doubt that came with stretch roles and the whispers of those trying to undermine my abilities in order to… what? Strengthen the light of their own stars by dulling the light of mine?
When my mentor congratulated me on successfully reinventing myself over the last few years not too long ago, it threw me. Had I reinvented myself? It wasn’t out of necessity I “reinvented” myself – more like I evolved since I’m doing what I had been working towards for years. In thinking on that, for a flicker of a moment, I was struck with this odd mix of confident pride in what I had achieved & doubt in the direction I was going all at once. Let me tell you, that’s an odd mix of feelings. Of course, confidence, doubt and temptation rarely come one at a time… rather they often come crashing in waves, one on the other, overlapping. Perhaps even at times they present because of each other… And it never goes away, really unless we stagnate in our careers. We’re not alone in our moments of doubt – nearly 1/3rd of male managers & 1/2 of women in management report feeling moments of self-doubt. (3) Harnessed and correctly handled, that doubt can give way to increased confidence and new opportunity that allows us to ‘know better’ ourselves and our capabilities… bolsters the confidence that others have bestowed in us and what we should have within ourselves.
As I watched this mini-marathon of bubble gum country music and big hair, I realized that lately I’d been feeling some of those same feelings.. waves upon waves of confidence in what I knew I could do, doubt about turns I’d taken – and others I hadn’t – in my professional road and the temptation to just do things that I could ‘control,’ that felt familiar in the face of fear in the others that it seemed I could barely even influence. Then I read my boss and friend, Jason Seiden’s, blog about fear and remembered that I wasn’t alone… and decided maybe I should talk about it.
So, I’m going to. We’ll look at having the confidence in ourselves and in our teams to tell our stories; the doubt that comes with rejection and leadership issues that can undermine both our individual and collective success… set to the music that inspired it. If I didn’t know better, I’d make excuses for the music – knowing some of my readers and friends don’t take to it quite as much as some of the others… but dammit, I do [so I won't].
Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts through the series – the next installment is on Thursday – I’d like to hear from you.
(1) I happen to really love The Civil Wars version of this song but it feels less country, and that’s this series.
(2) but they, much to my chagrin, do. It’s WHOLLY inappropriate for ABC Family.
(3) According to the European Institute for Leadership and Management, as reported in this 2012 Forbes article on Conquering Self-Doubt
In the last few months, I’ve been a little blown away at the shift from ‘follower’ to ‘leader(ish).’ I giggle when I show up on any list because there’s a total cool factor to it; (1) and I still do a little bit of a double-take when mentioned by my peers. It’s not that I don’t think I know what I’m doing – I totally know I do… I’m just not used to the perception shift from anyone outside of my client base. Does that make sense?
That said, I want to make sure I don’t come off wrong on two counts:
- It was an intentional shift that I spent a lot of time planning & executing. Most of it has more to do with where I fall in the message amplification life-cycle than true “let me be your leader” stuff, at any rate.
- I say “Ish” because I know there’s still so much more to learn & still a ton of people who I follow – probably more than I’d ever possibly ‘lead’. Plus, I’m not too worried about being a “leader” – for me, it’s more about being part of the community.
Being cynical as a shtick is cool; being truly cynical(3) towards anything beyond the status quo of how things are done is not. To be any kind of leader, I think you have to remember that people have to want to follow you; meaning the people who raised you up can drop you on your fanny, too. It’s important to be just as interested in your ‘followers’ and fellow community members as you are in your own self-interests; & help develop them along their path. The “Army of One” only works as a marketing campaign; it’s actually kind of sad in execution.
Besides, isn’t life more pleasant overall when you’re nice to others instead of trying to remind someone of who they really are (or aren’t, in this case) in relation to you?
Maybe it’s not the ‘leader’ status that causes this behavior; maybe those specific people would be that way, regardless. Or maybe, we all could benefit from a gentle reminder now & again of who we really are – past & present… so we can be better as leaders & community members in the future.
(1) and anyone who doesn’t admit they get a small kick out of it/slightly flattered is either extremely jaded or likely full of it. It’s human nature to appreciate being appreciated.
(2) again, largely because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or something like that :p
(3) defined: disparaging of others, bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
Today I had the distinct privilege of being a guest on DriveThruHR (1) and we talked about Talent Marketing/Recruitment & the Candidate Experience. As I expected, the discussion was thought-provoking and fun.. even for me (especially for me?); and I chose the topic! Ha! The show is based around the premise, “What in HR keeps you up at night?” For 30 minutes, the guest chew the fat on the answer to that question with Bryan & William. For us, it really revolved around a few key points, I think – all with an underlying theme of engaged, personalized experiences:
1) We do what is a priority for us. This is a universal truth, I truly believe. We all share the same 24 hours a day in which to get things done and I believe that, more or less, we all desire the same basic consideration. Treat us humanely, demonstrate compassion/empathy, be fair, and don’t keep us in the dark unnecessarily. Don’t feed people excuses if you choose not to do something – whether that’s sectioning time in your day to create/maintain a social presence or providing feedback/communicating with candidates… own your choices. Be authentic with who you are and what you choose to do – people respect that, I think.
The social site I mentioned, by the way, is magnt – mine is theonecrystal.info READ NOEXCUSESHR for more on this (per Bryan – and me!)!!
2) Candidate Feedback – This is worth making a priority. William posed the question, “If you had to choose between giving every candidate surface level, generic feedback that’s less actionable; or 100 candidates really thorough feedback… which would you choose?” If that were the only two choices; I’d likely choose the latter. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the only choice. Simply by switching when you do your applicant behavioral-based testing, for example if you use PeopleClues; (1) every candidate will be provided personable, actionable items in a feedback report they can utilize to aid them in their job search. Talk about a score… that takes no additional time from the Recruiting/HR professional.
3) It isn’t ALL or NOTHING when it comes to creating personalized, engaging candidate experiences. START SOMEWHERE. While you should define a strategy – no one likes a hodge-podged campaign & very little else spells disengagement louder than a ‘willy-nilly’ candidate experience (2) - don’t wait for the golden goose to start hunting. Starting small is absolutely okay. And one of the best places I can recommend any group start is with their job description. This is likely the first piece of marketing collateral that your candidate will “touch.” And yes, it IS marketing collateral when you’re doing it right. Three actionable items to look at when redesigning your job description:
- Remember the “Rule of 3″ in Talent/Recruitment Marketing: 1) What 3 Things are cool about your Company, Job, Location/Department/Team. This is your SELL. Take advantage of it & ask yourself before posting: ”Would I buy this product if I were the target candidate?” If no? You’re not done yet.
- Are there 7- to 9- sentences that would make someone want to apply to your job?
- Is the job description visually appealing, flows well verbally, and not redundant? Skills & Requirements sections, for example, should not be mirror images of each other. Remember to think about soft skills, don’t add items just to add them. Whatever you say should aid in building an overall picture that leads candidates to understand clearly what you want & lead to a call-to-action.
4) As you move on down along the road of Talent Marketing, here’s some different tools and tricks to consider using:
- Trumpia - really good experience w/ this program. It can grow with you, best utilized w/ small- to mid-sized businesses or Recruiting groups just getting into very targeted Talent Marketing. Bonus! They offer a Free Trial for the first 30-days that includes 100 contacts, 1000 monthly emails, 50 monthly IMs, 25 mobile text credits, and one mobile keyword… so, try it out on that very specialized, hard-to-fill search and see what you think!
- Mojo Marketing – Video Marketing Program for social/mobile/email/etc… while designed originally for “traditional” (4) Marketing departments; it works beautifully for Talent Marketing/Recruiting Campaigns. Love the ease of putting together/executing viral video campaigns. Check out this fun, informative video on how you can use the Mojo Matrix. What I like about Mojo, specifically, is that it levels the playing field. You don’t have to know how to code; you CAN do some fun, gritty iPhone/guerrilla-feeling video campaigns that include various sections of your Employee-Base & keep up with the campaigns via their reporting features. It’s not just one look or feel as it can be with some Video Marketing programs; but whatever you create it to be. They can also host your video. One thing I don’t really recommend? Their “video training classes.” Seriously, just google some of the stuff put out by Michael Marlett, TalentMinded, Chris Hoyt, Joel Cheesman, Kane Cochran, Michael Long, or some of the other Digital Strategists & Talent Marketing/Mobile Marketing pros.. See what they’ve been doing or ask us! Pretty sure we’ll help you out with how tips on how to get started.
- JSTN – Another Video Marketing Company that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention. They can create branded campaigns & they’ve got an interesting platform for it that looks like a newsroom video. While I initially had my concerns with buy-in from candidates; their stats spoke for themselves. There’s a nice example on the TalentNetLive page from our Chicago conference held at their site last month. Check it out - #TNL Chicago 2011 tab!
- Layar - There is little doubt that AR is the “next level” to the fun that was started w/ the QR code. If QR code made a ‘dual dimension’ for Recruitment Campaigns by taking things ‘Social’ & connecting web2mobile; Augmented Reality has the ability to take Candidate experience to 3-Dimensional. LOVE Layar’s ability to .. well.. ‘layer’ the candidate experience. Imagine this: You’re holding interviews and you have the candidates check in & scan your logo. When they do, they receive preset information about the Company, Department, or Employees… like your stellar tenure rates, internal mobility stats, or how your Employee Group works w/ the homeless, Habitat for Humanity and have a 100% participation in your Green Program. Whatever you’re wanting to showcase? Have another check-in at the conference room or take them by their new workspace & let them check-in to learn about departmental goals, that 1st project they’re going to dive into, the team they’d be joining, etc… You get the point… Layar can do this and SO much more when it comes to personalizing the candidate experience.
Another thing I really like is that I don’t have to figure out who already knows how to develop in it. Find Resources Here.
- Scvngr – One of the things I love about this is that it’s FUNDAMENTALLY FUN. Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about fun candidate experiences. They’re memorable. That’s good. Another thing I love is that you can do small things on a FREE level. That’s also good. What is it?? Scvngr is an event-based app. You can create “challenges” for your users to complete that will allow them to learn about your business. I think this is phenomenal engagement tool for open-houses, recruiting fairs, and onboarding programs. It’s easy to use, it will definitely set you apart from your competition & again… it’s fun!
- FourSquare – not quite ready to throw out challenges but want to do something a little different?? Okay, I’ve got a tool for you that you likely already know. FOURSQUARE. It’s a smart-phone based app & you can create “locations” at your company for use in onboarding or at your booth in recruitment fairs/events. Completely free; this is a) a different way of getting info to your new hires/candidates and b) something they can go back and reference again (nice for when they lose the code to the copier; you can point them to where you have it written down, for example!). Word of caution: it IS a publicly accessible. Whatever info you put into that location can be accessed by others – so, keep that in mind.
- There’s so much more when it comes to platforms, technology, and cool tools for Talent Marketing. But, there’s a start.
5) This doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s there in Talent Marketing, Tools, creating cool experiences for candidates & I’m way over the 1000 character “limit” they share in blogging best practices. So, quickly, here are some other groups/places you can check out to find ‘like-minded’ professionals:
- #TNL – Talent Net Live Social Recruiting Community. Twitter | Facebook | The Original Social Recruiting & Talent Twitter Chat is Now a Weekly Twitter/Focus-Powered Radio Show – and we’re talking Talent Marketing 12/21 at 7:15-8:15pm CT with Jessica Miller-Merrell of Blogging4Jobs.com & Carrie Corbin of AT&T! #TNL is all about Talent Marketing, Social Recruiting, Social Media, HR Technology, and Social HR. It’s who we are, what we do, and I think it’s done very well. We also have several live events throughout the year, across the United States.
- #TChat - Twitter Community w/ weekly chat (I hear they’re joining us & moving to a weekly Focus-Powered radio show in 2012 rather than 2 Twitter Chats & Two Focus-Powered Radio Shows/Twitter Chats! Fun!! Love that crew & hearing their voices weekly will be a blast!). They talk about a wide variety”World of Work” issues… including Social, Talent & Talent Communities.
- LinkedIn – Talent, Brand & Communications. 273 members, Global & only 12% are in a Sales capacity.
- DriveThruHR – #DTHR
- HRevolution - some exciting news will be shared in January 2012 about this event & I’m excited!
- ERE – google “Talent Marketing” and/or “Talent Management” & ERE. They’ve got some great content surrounding this topic.. one of which was done earlier this year & has a fab example of personalized Talent marketing done by a University that I think has some cool, specialized applications to targeted Recruiting searches.
(1) If you listen closely, you can hear me kinda, half-way singing in the intro & maybe exit music!! LOL
(2) Which I highly recommend after utilizing several applicant testing services with both my own hiring needs and for candidates
(3) yes, I’m being slightly tongue-in-cheek & no “Willy Nilly” is NOT a technical term… but the point is candidates can see straight through a poorly organized, orchestrated campaign & that does not speak well for your brand/company.
(4) TRADITIONAL was the word I was wanting to say when I kept saying “True” on the radio show today. This is reason #1,548,000 why I will never be a professional broadcaster. :)
- #TNL - TalentNetLive – The ORIGINAL hashtag & twitter chat for Social HR & Recruiting – As part of the #TNL Crew & Co-Host of the weekly Twitter Radio Chat w/ Craig Fisher, Marianthe Verver, & Matt Charney. We’re powered by MonsterThinking w/ our Preview Posts & Focus Radio w/ Caty Kobe provides the audio platform w/ Twitter integration for our chats.
You can join in our tweet stream 24/7 for fun random conversation, great info articles/content & of course, there’s our weekly chats. Our next chat is 12/21 at 7 – 8pm CST | 5 -6pm PST and we’re talking about the burst of popularity in HRTechnology & the HRMarketplace: We see it sizzle; but why’s it so hot???
- #TChat - Many on twitter know me as the Social Community Maven for TalentCulture‘s Twitter stream, #TChat. While I am still currently a member of their blogging community; I’ve since “passed the #Social #Community torch” as I made the move over to #TNL to the beyond fabulous @SocialMediaSean & @MarenHogan (both of whom I adore beyond words!) who join co-founders @MeghanMBiro & @KevinWGrossman in running a weekly chat discussing various topics that make up “The World of Work.” Their chats are Wednesdays 6-7pm CST on Twitter & they use the Focus radio platform once or twice a month, as well!
- #DTHR - @DriveThruHR is the #1 HR Radio show on the internet – and they do daily “bite-sized” internet radio discussions w/ practicing HR professionals discussing 1 subject w/ a moving target: ”What keeps [their guest of the day] up at night?” in a 30-minute conversation. I.LOVE.This.Show!!! You can join Hosts @BryanWempen & @WilliamTincup every day… by the way, I recently filled in as a guest-host (1st time, was fun!) for Bryan Wempen w/ Tincup & guest Elizabeth Lalli-Reese & I”ll be joining them as a guest on 12/19/2011!
- #USGuys - While there is much debate on who “USGuys” actually are (answer here); I hang-out with these fine folk on Twitter because I think they’re smart, fun & enjoy the banter. Not everything in life has to have a business purpose or a chat – though, certainly I learn a lot from them, too!
- #PRPBC & #PRSCamp - What drew me into Twitter beyond “work.” These are the hashtags associated with one of my favorite Twitter Tweeps – @LuckyPenny - of People Report Black Book Intelligence & their two annual conferences held in Dallas, Tx: #PRPBC (held in the fall) & #PRSCamp (held in June each year – BIG FUN!). I also learned of #TR30Days (a Personal Revolution hashtag created by Amanda Hite, aka @SexyThinker, of @TalentRevolution) – and it’s my personal belief everyone should check that out.
- #HRevolution - Big Time #HR & #Talent Thought Leadership. LOVE the tweets I read from there – no chat that I’m aware of, anyway!. This hashtag was borne from their associated live events; put on by @TrishMcFarlane, @BenEubanks, @SteveBoese, and @CrystalPeterson. Trish told us last night at #HRHappyHour that there’s BIG news coming up in January 2012 about their event… so keep an eye out! Speaking of…
- #HRHappyHour - This is not only a “Fun” chat channel & twitter stream for a lot of the #HR industry leaders – but @SteveBoese hosts the “HR Happy Hour” Thursdays at 8pm EST… TOTALLY worth joining in on the fun (and semi-controlled chaos!). Check it out.
- For job seekers? I recommend you plug into 2 communities to start: #HFChat & Jessica Miller-Merrell‘s #JobHuntChat. Both have weekly chats IFriday morning & Monday night, respectively) that are aimed for the job seeker but have #HR and #Recruiting professionals present to offer advice & chime in to help, as well. LOVE THAT! I’m guest-hosting #HFChat the first week of March 2012 & try to make #JobHuntChat on Monday nights a couple of times a month. Great communities!
It’s probably safe to say that I’m not one of those people that are easily impressed. I don’t write glowing letters of recommendation for every person I’ve ever worked with or for; and I’m not going to recommend everything I ever come into contact with. So, when something hits my radar screen and stays there? Safe bet it’s probably something pretty special; something you probably don’t want to miss.
Enter Talent Net Live Social Recruitment Conference…. or #TNL for short. (1)
TNL first hit my radar in June while at People Report’s Summer Camp (#PRSCamp). The first thing that I look at when I’m considering a conference is to see what kind of buzz is it pulling? Is it a flash in the pan or does it pull real interest? So, I did my homework; googled, asked around, checked the ‘who’s who’ of who’d publicly committed to attending. I was impressed; some big names were going to be there… people who had garnered my professional respect: Jason Seiden of Ajax Social Media, Bryan Wympen of DriveThru HR, former SHRM COO China Gorman, Maren Hogan of BraveNewTalent, (2) the brain behind the #tru brand, Bill Boorman, Matt Charney w/ MonsterThinking that I’d come to appreciate in #TChat, Marianthe Verver whom I had come to respect in her NeoSpire days; Michael Long aka TheRedRecruiter and, of course, Craig Fisher. Craig had been speaking for the past couple of years at #PRSCamp; passing along some great tips on Social & Mobile recruitment. Everyone I had talked to knew of TalentNetLive & had pretty good things to say about it. So.. good buzz? Check.
The next things I’ll check is cost and venue. What can I say? I want to make sure that I’m getting a good deal for what I’m being asked to pay & I’m not going to be miserable while I’m there. Personally, I love when conferences are hosted at businesses as opposed to hotels or conference halls – obviously, the size of the conference is going to really play into the feasibility of that. (2) You get a peek into their environment & culture; which, as a HR chick? Is a big deal to me. So, when I found out that TNL was being held at Culture-Creation giant, Rackspace?? To say I was ‘stoked’ was an understatement. The conference ticket was under $100; which is a steal regardless of where they were to hold it. This time, #TNL is being held at Fortune “Best Companies to Work for” lister PepsiCo in Dallas… another #win in my book! An ICON Brand, beautiful campus, fun & vibrant environment; great background for the TNL Conference; & the cost to go? Still under $100 if you’re local to Dallas/Fort Worth.
Finally, I try to check content, it possible. A lot of conferences will either link you to the upcoming agenda or show you an agenda from the past. It’s important to discern whether the “Conference” you’re going to is really more of a networking event or if you’re actually going to get usable info out of it. Things that you can implement & it will be capable of improving your business results. A really great learning conference will have you leaving feeling energized, brimming with great ideas and new perspectives. So, for anyone still considering whether or not they should attend #TNL Dallas? Let me assure you, #TNL San Antonio absolutely did that for me. It’s been less than a month and my influence levels have notably increased with some of the subtle shifts offered up by Bryan Wympen and the mobile recruitment techniques & social recruitment ‘cool tools’ I improved upon while there helped provide enough differentiation from my ‘competition’ that I picked up a new client. My brain actually HURT at the end of the day from all the content that was crammed in there! Oh, and did I mention the beyond fantastic networking?? Because #TNL had that, too! The lineup for this week’s conference is shaping up to be every bit as stimulating & I’ll confess, I’m excited. (4)
So, I’m sold… #TNL Dallas is officially on my radar. I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be on yours if you’re in Recruitment, Social Media Marketing, HR, or anything that deals with Talent; but if you still need a little push? Check out our recaps from #TNL San Antonio below & I hope to see you there!
Crystal’s Goofy Post Conference Update:
Bryan’s “Why You Should Be @ #TNL Dallas:
(1) Incidentally, that’s the hash-tag for the Talent Net Live Twitter Channel.
(2) AWESOME Company, btw- you should check out their Social Recruitment Services
(3) Would never expect to see the SHRM conference on the Verizon Campus (in the RJR building on Hidden Ridge; fab campus) in Las Colinas, for example.
(4) Check out the agenda & don’t forget to ‘like’ the Talent Net Live FB Page to stay in on the fun!
Somewhere around 7 or 8 years ago, I joined in on the Social Network Revolution. While I came in a little later in the game on Facebook; for most sites I joined when they were still in their ‘early adopter’ phases… I cruised around, figured out where I fit and went.to.town. And I definitely wasn’t alone. Facebook on it’s own boasts 153 MILLION unique visitors and as of January of this year? Is still growing at a rate of a million more every month. That’s a LOT of potential ‘friends.’ On average, my fellow Facebook friends, we spend around 6.5 hours a month updating our pals on our comings, goings, & innermost thoughts/feelings… and begging for farmville crops, of course (1). To put some perspective on this number? According to Neilson, that’s over 3 times the amount of time Americans cruise around on YAHOO. For me specifically? I was pretty sure 6.5 hours would be a LOW estimate.
I kept track of the amount of time I was actively on FB for the last 60 days and tried hard not to modify it since I knew I was tracking it… I logged about 18 hours engaged. No wonder I’m tired.
You see, I’m what’s “affectionately” (2) known as a “Super-User.” My friends say I “Live Out Loud” and that’s definitely true. I’ve always been one to say what’s on my mind and had very little concern for whether or not it’d end up being embarrassing (3). The way I’ve seen it is that we all have our less-than-stellar moments; so, laughingly ‘fessing up to mine might make it easier for someone else to laugh through theirs. Furthermore, people relate to people who are real. And in my line of business? That’s a good thing. I’ll tell you a lot of my posts are done to build relationships – frequent touches build recognition, which leads to interaction, which leads to network equity. That’s priceless for me. Plus, I happen to actually LIKE my friends – every one of them, personal & professional… I can tell you how I know them, why we connected, what they do and something I like about them. So, all that about relationship-building is true… but, it’s also because I get a kick out of sharing my thoughts and happenings.
Lately though, I’ve been feeling over connected. It’s probably why I started keeping track of my FB time to begin with. While I was able to maintain and build on ‘relationships’ with people I wouldn’t honestly have time to spend much/if any time with outside of the Internet; I was losing valuable interaction with those closest to me in my life. Because, what’s the point of talking about that which I read about 30 minutes ago? I started noticing this about six months’ ago when I realized about every 3rd or 4th conversation my boyfriend and I had revolved around something someone had posted on Facebook or something he or I had noted on our own pages. Since we were connected to a decent number of mutual friends; quite often we had both already read it prior it coming up. Out of politeness, we’d listen to one another rehash it; but I’d be kidding us all if I didn’t admit it made for trite conversation 9 times out of 10. Because really, how deep and interesting could ‘Guys shouldn’t wear skinny jeans’ be, anyway? (4) Bottom line, Facebook made it unnecessary to pick up the phone or go over and see our friends ‘Offline.’
And that’s where our problems began, my FB friends – our relationships were taken to the ‘online’ level.
While it was a great day when I connected to some of my favorite people from when I was eight (Suzanne, Susan, Genelle, among others); and I was downright GRATEFUL for FB the day I was able to read about my Maid-of-Honor’s major car accident so I could pray for her … I was also annoyed. It bugged me when someone would tell me they didn’t have time to call or spend quality time with me but had answered endless quizzes, commented on 50 different items on their newsfeed, and uploaded more photos of their car/kid/whatever in a day than I had over the last month. Hypocritical? Slightly. I recognized it; but it didn’t change the way I felt. And then there was the narcissistic issue: we all have the friends who either have absolutely NOTHING to say but they can’t just say that so they do the “I ate a lollipop” or “‘sup?” status update; or found their own status so immensely entertaining that THAT is when they call you?! To tell you to go look at their FB page to check out the brilliant beyond brilliant thing they just wrote. I seriously knew someone who would go back and read their statuses over and over again like they had penned something at the same level as the witticisms of Mark Twain or Walt Whitman. Every.Day.
I realized I had begun to miss hearing about someone’s day over dinner instead reading it on the FB app of my mobile phone.
That affects your relationship; you can’t help but let it. Right? In many cases, I know I couldn’t. A slow-build resentment would set in – especially after the 100th message I had to send of “seriously, the Farmville posts; could you stop posting those on my wall??” I’d find myself ducking their calls or neglecting to invite them out. Fortunately, this was a very small group of people; but still.. how many does it take for it to be TOO many? And then there was the more… unhealthy? … insecurities Facebook unearths for many. I found I wasn’t immune to those, either. February of last year, I was dating what I thought was a very nice guy. He’d asked for our relationship status to change to be ‘Facebook official’ (5) – to which I declined, laughing as my ‘ultimate’ single/divorced status hadn’t changed and I thought it’d be confusing for my kids. A few weeks later, I noticed he was untagging himself from our photos – I’ve always been big on photo documentation of events – and shortly after that, I realized he’d stopped interacting on my page entirely. Oops. I thought he was crazy at the time; but I have to admit when the shoe was on the other foot? It made me darn near paranoid.. and that was something that was hard to admit to.
Who on earth ties their value to someone else based on FACEBOOK?? Oh, and let me not fail to mention the massive argument that cropped up as a result of the ‘fashion album’ I have on Facebook with my children’s father about whether or not his child support was going to fund my shoe stores. (6)
I didn’t realize I had allowed social networking to actually play a part in causing damage to some of my closest personal relationships; but once I did? It was something I could no longer ignore.
So I did some digging… As it turns out? That’s something else I wasn’t alone on, either. As of January 2011, 40% of Facebook Users have reported that the social networking site had negatively impacted relationships in their life. Their “relationship status updates” seem to be a popular instigator – as FB kindly heralds the news of your changing status as quickly as you click ‘save.’ This wreaked havoc on one couple whose relationship ended on FB due to a glitch of all things. Petty arguments took place over who forgot to take out the trash and well… you get the idea. It’s not been all kittens and roses for the FB community… and I had found myself among the walking wounded. I had to do something… but what? I started by ‘band-aiding’ the situation; I’d hide offenders from my news feeds and gave people freedom to hide mine without restraint nor condemnation. I’ve never been a massive ‘stalker;’ so, that helped. But, that didn’t really fix the problem, did it? The underlying aggravation was still there.
After a little bit of thought and self-realization? The solution was clear… if the damage came from putting the relationship ‘online;’ the healing came from taking it back ‘offline.’ My dating relationship(s) didn’t need to happen online – it’s not like I went on virtual dates… so, why spend my days virtually interacting?? I don’t (7) – and won’t from now on. In the future, it’s quite possible I won’t even BE connected to the guy I share my time with. I didn’t ask for ‘friend approval’ when I decided to go out with someone – so why does my relationship status need to be broadcast, exactly? Because FB says so?? I don’t think so. I really think my original decision to “change my status when I need to explain a new name” was the right one. At least for me. My girl friends and I (For the most part) don’t get together via webcast; so, why not call them instead of posting on their walls? Ladies, start expecting a text or a call. When I want to talk to my Mom, I certainly don’t post “Call Me, Chicka!” So, why do that with candidates, clients, and/or Friends?? So, what does this mean? Am I going to deactivate my profile?? Nope. Does that mean you’ll see a little less of me? Probably. I’m feeling a little socially strangled; and I’m pretty sure that I’ve been strangling others, too. So, I’m opting to add some oxygen back into the room and attend to both my sanity & relationships. In 3-D; where the only smiley-faces? Are attached to people.
(1) I will admit to having kicked this game’s butt when I was highly medicated after surgeries (can’t remember which one). It’s dumb, but darn right – my farm was SO better than yours. Just sayin’
(2) read= lamely The official psychological term, from what I’ve discovered, is ‘HYPER-USER’ and I think that’s probably more accurate.
(3) Once you’ve had to admit that you’ve broken your ankle simply walking down a level driveway, your toe on a laptop, and a Dr’s note to excuse you from dating? Seriously, what’s left to get embarrassed over?
(4) Just kidding, J – I actually liked that status update. :p
(5) Since when did Facebook become the authority on relationships?
(6) Which, of course, it wasn’t. Not even close.
(7) go on virtual dates, that is