Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The social network is undeniably becoming our way of life, both professional and personal. At the rate that technological advances and the features of the social network are occurring, it is difficult to hazard the impact that this change may have in the medium and long term. It makes sense to think that the way we manage our professional development today will be one of the aspects which will be most affected.
At the same time, the importance of managing conversations through the social network is becoming increasingly fashionable. The relevance we now give to the idea of conversing is interesting; it’s as if, until now, we had never conversed n our organizational environments. I have never imagined social-economic activity without conversation, perhaps because in my innate condition as a Social-networker, conversation has always had a vital role in my own self-development and learning and that of others.
This post aims to combine the relevance of conversation with the significance of the evolution of the Social Network for establishing connections and relationships.
Therefore, importance must be given to the idea of conversing, because through conversation we can learn and capitalize this learning to enrich our own value and to increase our employability; doing this on a social network allows our conversations to increase exponentially. The 2.0 environment opens the door to a world without barriers and limits for establishing connections and building relationships.
However, we shouldn’t idealize and convert the social network-conversation association into the panacea of professional growth. Furthermore, if we don’t correctly manage this combination we could fall victim to an alarming lack of productivity. Of all the risks to avoid, it is worth mentioning infoxication, in other words, the information overload that we can easily succumb to as a result of the enormous volume of data, images, and ideas to which we are exposed; we could simply collapse or get indigestion from this overexposure. Another risk to avoid would be a disorder we could describe as “acute hyper-connectivity” or the severe inflammation of our relational system, which could occur due to establishing and trying to manage more relationships than our space-time allows us to administer.
I won’t spend more time here on describing the disorders caused by an improper or irrational use of the conversation-social network binomial, quite the opposite, I will define five key aspects we should consider in order to make the most of and optimize the conversations we could have using the 2.0 ecosystem.
1.- Carefully define the objectives for which you are present on the social network. Before immersion 2.0 it is worth reviewing what you want to offer and what you expect to receive in return, this being the correct sequence.
2.- Conceptualize your conversational level; which issues, disciplines are you qualified and willing to converse about. It is worth keeping in mind that a conversation is always (at least) two-way. Interacting only to listen is not establishing conversations, in either version 2.0 or 1.0.
3.- Be selective when choosing the networks, virtual forums, groups and communities you want to belong to. The social network is a universe full of spectacular galaxies crammed with information, but there are also black holes that can absorb you in an unproductive way.
4.- Dedicate time to correctly identifying your virtual contacts. Your virtual community should grow in a rational way, in line with your objectives and your conversational level. The suitability with which your virtual community grows fully impacts the optimization of conversations you establish on the social network.
5.- Use your conversations on the social network as a starting point for establishing connections in 1.0 mode. Despite professional enrichment through conversations on virtual communities being a reality, interaction in real life should be the underlying objective of our conversation and connection in mode 2.0.
The optimization of our learning in virtual (and real) networks and the investment on our social capital are two essential aspects in our plan for enrichment as professionals in the 21st century. Trivializing the importance of the social network and the idea of conversing on it, is a mistake we shouldn’t make under any circumstances.
Andrés Ortega is an expert in People Management. He is currently the HR Director for Spain and responsible for Engagement in Europe at DAMCO, which is part of the Dutch group AP Moller Maersk. We at Zyncro strongly recommend you read his personal Blog.