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48 minutes | 7 hours ago
#71 PERSONAL BRANDING, AUTHENTICITY & TMI with Tom Megginson
How can we be authentic without sharing TMI (too much information)? How can we be transparent, bring our “whole selves” to work, without appearing unprofessional? Copywriter and messaging strategist Tom Megginson encourages us to be authentic, but focus on our audience. Code-switching and filtering are two ways to maintain authenticity without compromising professionalism. PRINTABLE SHOWNOTES CONTENTS Summary Resources Andrea’s Introduction Interview Transcript Andrea’s Conclusion SUMMARY: PERSONAL BRANDING, Authenticity & TMI Relevance to product branding & advertising KEY TAKEAWAY: Consider your audience. As someone who’s been in advertising and copywriting for 30 years, Tom shared how he’s always thinking about his audience or his target market. This is a core principle of advertising and product branding. When communicating our personal brand, we need to do exactly the same thing; consider our audience. Tension can be a good thing. Advertisers sometimes try to make people feel somewhat uncomfortable, to get consumers out of their comfort zone, and maybe to try something new. Similarly for personal brands, highlighting something that is unexpected and unique can make a person more memorable. Take the irreverent personas of some social media influencers. Consider the focus group analogy. When the brand managers and ad agency folks are listening from behind the one-way glass, the deep, most valid insights are what’s said when the moderator leaves the room, and the focus group participants are brutally honest. Similarly, our authentic personal brand is what people say about us when we’re not in the room. Product branding and personal branding have come full circle. Marketers personify their brands with human values and traits, and they encourage consumers to adopt relationships with brands. Meanwhile, here we are, as HUMANS, now adopting brand management and product brand practices to help us craft our personal brands. We’ve come full circle. Code-Switching & Authenticity We code-switch when we consider various audience “codes.” This is automatic. We are still being authentic. In a professional context, we talk with our boss differently than we might talk with a client. Personally, we talk with our parents differently than we talk with our kids. Code-switching means considering the topics we discuss, the formality of our communication, and even the medium. We code-switch across generations. Based on demographic and psychographic research, there are stereotypes associated with the various generational cohorts: the formal Silent Generation the cooler but conformist Baby Boomers the cynical Gen X’rs the protected Millennials the inspiration- and validation-seeking Gen Zs. There’s no right or wrong culture. In fact, the younger generations are affecting us in positive ways, like encouraging us to talk openly about some critical, previously taboo topics, such as mental health. We code-switch across media. Older folks may prefer the phone or face to face. Younger folks might prefer some media that some of us haven’t even heard of! We code switch depending on which social media platform we’re on. We share different things on LinkedIn versus what we share on TikTok. (Of course!) Filtering & Authenticity We filter what parts of our authentic self we choose to share in various contexts and for various audiences. We don’t change who we are. We’re filtering what part of us we’re sharing with different audiences. TMI, or TOO MUCH Information, is a misnomer. It’s not about quantity, it’s about the substance or the content of the information. And we filter out what is appropriate for the context, for the audience. Tom reminds us that we can mend our filter. When we speak out of turn, when we realize we said something we shouldn’t have, we can mend that filter. As Tom said, “Of course, the thing is, every time you do it, you learn.” RESOURCES TOM MEGGINSON LinkedIn profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tommegginson/ That’s a Good Story – thatsagoodstory.com PERSONAL BRANDING & AUTHENTICITY 1997 FastCompany article by Tom Peters Podcast – How to Communicate your Personal Brand Online Podcast – Optimizing your LinkedIn Profile Podcast – Choosing the Ideal Media Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast – https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION: PERSONAL BRANDING, AUTHENTICITY & TMI Well hello, and welcome to Talk About Talk. I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!). Are you an ambitious manager, looking to catapult your careers by improving your communication skills? Or maybe you simply have a strong growth mindset – you’re always looking to improve your communication skills, or perhaps both? Well, you’re in the right place. At Talk About Talk, we focus on communication-skills-topics like networking, communicating with confidence and personal branding. You can access Talk About Talk across a variety of media or resources. There’s online corporate training, 1-on-1 coaching with me, online courses, the free weekly communication-skills newsletter, and, of course, this bi-weekly podcast. You can choose what works for you! And by-the-way, I encourage you to subscribe to the free weekly communication skills newsletter if you’re not signed up already. It’s free, and it’s like getting free communication skills in your inbox once a week. You can sign up on the Talk About Talk website. OK – Welcome to Talk About Talk episode number 71! Today we’re going to focus on a specific element of our personal brand – and that is – how much to share. Let me quickly back up. What is personal branding? You can think of personal branding very simply as identity management or reputation management. But here’s the definition of personal branding that seems to resonate with people. PB is what people think and say about you when you’re not in the room. We all have a personal brand. The Q is – how actively and strategically are you managing your personal brand? In this episode, we’re talking about navigating the tension between transparency and TMI. Transparency as in authenticity and as in bringing your whole self to work…. And then how to balance that with TMI or too much information. As in the risk of being perceived as unprofessional. Let me ask you this: do you have rules about what to talk about or not talk about at work? What about what you talk about online? Do you have rules about what not to post on LinkedIn? Or IG? Or on TikTok? Do you talk about your family when you’re at work? Do you talk about your dating status? Why or why not? Hmm. These are important Qs. As you might know, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading and coaching about personal branding lately. SO these kinds of questions are top of mind. Recently I attended a Harvard Women in Leadership conference and one of the amazing speakers made an off-handed comment. She said: “Being open and transparent can be your distinct competitive advantage.“ OOO. Of course, I stopped dead in my tracks. “Being open and transparent can be your distinct competitive advantage.“ That’s worth thinking about isn’t it? Then less than a week later I posted something on LinkedIn about personal branding. A gentleman named Tom Megginson, whom you’ll meet in a moment, responded with a comment that once again, stopped me dead in my tracks. Clearly, Tom has thought about this Q of transparency versus TMI. I immediately connected with Tom and invited him to be a guest on Talk About Talk. So here we are. I promise you’ll learn something here. I know I did! So I’m going to introduce Tom right now and get right into the interview. Then. I’ll summarize at the end. This is what Talk About Talk listeners tell me they like, so that’s what you get. You don’t need to take notes, because I did that for you. So keep doing whatever you’re doing – driving or walking or housework, whatever. I’ll summarize for you at the end, and you can always access the episode shownotes on the talkabouttalk.com website. OK – let me introduce Tom Megginson: As I said, Tom’s comment on one of my LinkedIn personal branding posts is what made me consider asking him to be a guest for this episode. But when I went to his LinkedIn profile, that’s what really nailed it for me! Tom calls himself a “Creative Director, messaging strategist, and seasoned storyteller.” WOW. That is exactly the guy we need to talk too, right? And if you listened to the Talk About Talk episode about OPTIMIZING YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE with Andrew Jenkins you’ll remember there are 3 main things that you need to get right: Your headshot, our title and your background image. If you go to LinkedIn and check out Tom Megginson, you’ll see his headshot is a unique black & white (or maybe sepia) photo that shows him with a pensive look on his face. His title is what I just told you – “Creative Director, messaging strategist, and seasoned storyteller. And his background image is a corner of an ad he created for the Jane Goodall Institute, with the caption, “Cousin we need to talk.” And it’s autographed by Jane with, “Dear Tom, Thank you.” I was intrigued. So I’m sharing this with you as an example of where your LinkedIn profile can open up opportunities. Specifically, those 3 elements (headshot, title and background image) can make a huge difference. It shifted me from considering Tom as a guest to asking him! And I’m so grateful he said yes. Tom Megginson is a strategic messaging consultant at That’s a Good Story. As in thatsagoodstory.com. Cool name, right? Tom’s has been a professional copywriter for more than 30 years, 25 of them as a Creative Director in Canadian agencies. Tom is often called upon as a subject matter expert on a variety of topics including branding, social marketing, and public affairs advertising. INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: Personal Branding, Authenticity & TMI with Tom Megginson Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you so much, Tom for joining us to talk about personal branding, authenticity and TMI. Tom Megginson: Thank you very much, Andrea. AW: As I was explaining to the listeners, we recently met on LinkedIn, and you responded to a post that I created about how to communicate your personal brand online. And you actually took the time to write a comment that ended up leading to this interview. I’m just going to read the comment here quickly. So you said: “my personal brand is just the professional face that I’ve always shown to the world, now a bit more worn and wise than when I began my career in the 90s. Deciding what to show of myself is easy. What’s important, in my opinion, is to always ask oneself, is this TMI? And is this relevant to my audience? So we’ve all seen or heard TMI, and we know it when we see it? But what is TMI? TM: Well, it’s an interesting one, I’d said two things. There’s TMI, and there’s is this relevant to my audience?. And I think the latter one is probably more specific. Too much information means different things to different people. But what I’d like to start out with is to say – “is this relevant to my audience?“ is probably the number one thing that people should keep in mind. It’s really easy for us as human beings, when we’re in a one to one communication, even on a video screen here, as we’re having this interview. And to take the cues from the people, even when you’re doing public speaking, you see the people you’re talking to, you can tell if they’re bored, you can tell if they’re hanging on your every word. On social media you don’t see the people you’re talking to. And it’s very similar to me, to the way that we approach advertising. So I’ve been in advertising and copywriting for 30 years now. And in doing that, you’re always thinking about an audience, you can’t see. Because you are speaking on behalf of a brand, you’re speaking on behalf of a company as CEO, that kind of thing. And not being able to see the audience, you have to visualize the audience. And this is something that’s second nature to those of us who do this for a living, but it’s not necessarily second nature to everyone else. And so if there’s one thing I wanted to get across, it’s the idea of your audience and knowing your audience, knowing what their prejudices are, is going to be key to you getting what you want from them. AW: I love your answer. First of all, the TMI that too much, maybe a bit of a misnomer, right? Because it’s not about quantity, it’s about the substance or the content of the information. So that’s a great point. And also your point, which I’ve been saying in a slightly different context, when we’re thinking about our personal brand, we can take a lot of learnings about product branding. And you’re saying, here’s an example of that. Actually, when we’re managing a product brand, we’re always thinking about the audience and presenting ourselves for the audience, the consumer, the customer, whereas for ourselves, we’re not always doing that. So I think that’s an excellent point. And we should be doing that. So is TMI, always a bad thing, though. And speaking for myself, but most of us have been situation where we’ve said something and then gone. Oops, I think that may have been TMI it can we turn it into something good. TM: I think it depends once again, on the audience’s definition of TMI. So there are times when it’s a good idea to make an audience uncomfortable, and get them out of their comfort zone. An excellent example is talking about mental wellness, and people saying they need help. Maybe their only network is an online network, including even LinkedIn. So and ask for help on LinkedIn, there might be some who consider that TMI, I don’t, I consider it very relevant. Other things when people talk about racism, experiencing racism, ableism, sexism, homophobia, you know, we’re trying to have a civilization here. And we’re trying to stamp these things out. So personally, on my personal brand, I don’t mind making people uncomfortable about that. But there are other things that do make people uncomfortable. One of the big ones for me is about how a person shows themselves online, both in words and images. Generally, I find it has to do with the person’s age, although not always, people seem to blur the lines between the different social media. You know, if you go back to some of the earlier blogs, those were about confessional, you knew that your audience was your peers, we were psychographically aligned. You could be a little more unguarded. Also, I mean, things like Instagram, they’re fairly private, you know, you can control who sees what you do, right? When you get into LinkedIn, which is where we met, and which is what I’m mostly thinking about here. It’s very hard to control the sharing of your voice and image on LinkedIn. You can control who you’re connected with. But if the people you’re connected with comment on your post, like it, engage with it in any way, it often shows up in the most unlikely places. Those are the times when I think that as you are dealing with an intergenerational audience, you have to be or you don’t have to be, you might want to consider being cautious about playing into their prejudices about generational stereotypes. For example, I’ve seen some really great thoughts put out there by young entrepreneurs on LinkedIn, but they usually include a beauty shot of themselves. Sometimes the guys are flexing, the women are pouting, it’s appropriate for their generation, right? I’m absolutely not saying this is inappropriate. What I’m saying is, once again, know your audience know that if you’re totally comfortable with that being the brand that is seen by your potential employers by your mother, you forgot that was linked to you go for it, you know, fill your boots, as they say, in the Maritimes . But at the same time understanding your audience’s biases, you can make sure that the message that you’re presenting that you have control over that message, AW: which might not be possible to your previous point, right. Okay, there’s so much to unpack there. Let’s talk about the age thing across generations. So I had this experience actually just a couple weeks ago, where a friend, actually a professional colleague of mine, was posting photos of herself wearing a bikini. And another one of my friends who’s a little bit older said, Wow, that is just shocking that she would do that. And I, I said, You know what, you’re not her target market. Like, this is this is her talking to her people. And she’s a very healthy person, and she was showing her beautifully healthy body. So why do you think it is that Gen Y and Gen Z are so much more open and prone to what we Gen Xers you and I might say qualifies as TMI? Why is that? TM: Well, it’s interesting. I mean, working with market research, I realized that demographics are necessarily stereotypes. And stereotypes are both bad and good stereotypes allow us to code switch and be able to speak to people in their language, in a way that, like I said, is relevant to them. I just wanted to preface that once again, saying I’m not shaming or blaming anyone for their age or definitely not for their cohort. But there are clear demographic stereotypes that we see. They don’t apply to everyone, but they’re generalizations and I’m 50 years old. I’ve been actually writing professionally for 30 years now. I have worked with five generations. So the silent generation, my mom’s generation, the boomers, Generation X, which is mine was born right in the middle of that cohort, millennials. And now Gen Zed, whatever you want to call them. My son’s one, I have a teenage son in that generation. There are stereotypes that don’t apply to everyone, but which are studied by marketers. So if you look at the oldest, the silent generation, they are very formal. My former boss was one of them. They’re very formal, their suit and tie. They’re very guarded, extremely guarded. Their professional face is very much contrived. It’s conformist when that was reinforced. AW: Right, if they didn’t do that you would be penalized somehow. TM: Yeah, absolutely. We’re talking about the 50s and 60s here, then the baby boomers get to be more laid back you have Richard Branson cutting people’s ties off, because he didn’t think it was appropriate to have a tie. And there are a lot of stereotypes about being cool. You know, um, you know, riding a motorcycle, wearing jeans to work in this kind of thing. But my own experience with people born in the post war era, and you know, up till Beatlemania is that they are still very guarded. Some of the generational research I did for a client once they were talking about how, if you’re a baby boomer in office, you should be the first one there in the morning. And the last one who leaves how that is translated to what I’ve seen in my own career, is people are very shy about being vulnerable, or called out about saying the wrong thing about saying anything vaguely political. And this is the irony, right? Because we’re talking about the generation who were hippies or the me generation of the 70s. Anything that causes you to stand out is to be avoided. You know, it’s that that thing of the nail that sticks up? AW: Yep. Or the tall poppy syndrome, if you stand up, you’re gonna get chopped down, right? TM: Yeah, that’s it, tall poppy. Yeah. So fast forward, people born in the late 60s and 70s, even up to 1980. Then Generation X the stereotype of our generation is cynicism. The stereotype of our generation is a certain anti authoritarianism, I would say. So we’re kind of in between course, every generation thinks it’s all about them. But to me, we’re the ones who really needed to learn what I mentioned earlier, which is code switching you In the boss’s office, you sit up straight, you speak formally to them. You are in a the office of a fellow Gen Xer, you got your feet on the desk, you’re slouching in the chair, you’re you know, whatever. And then the next generations come along. It’s not that they’re fundamentally different people, it’s that their cultural experience of growing up has been very different. So when you get into the Millennial generation, they grew up in a different environment, their parents were boomers, their parents were very old Gen Xers early Gen Xers. AW: Yeah. TM: The thing is, they grew up in a very different era, culturally, there’s this idea of protecting children of encouraging children, which is great, but the negative stereotypes people make jokes about participation, medals, right? jokes about not keeping score, and soccer games, the stereotype says that people have been told you are awesome, nothing that you do is wrong. So while our generation was busy trying to be cool to the millennials and be formal to, to the boomers, we had folks coming in, who immediately expected to have things be about them, which is great. I mean, I’m not gonna say anything bad about that. But at the same time, I did find that people were, in general, less able to take criticism. And that, to me is a red flag. Because what that red flag says is that it’s going to be harder to learn how to adapt, how to fit in, not to conform, but how to adapt to different people. Anyway, so here we are today, you know, the new generation coming up, you know, the oldest of them are in their 20s now, but there are things that I don’t really have a problem with, but don’t speak to me, like inspiration posts, validation. And by validation. I don’t mean, you know, you’re validated because you’re a woman or because you have a disability. I mean, just, I’m not feeling great today. Can you tell me how great I am. And I see that more on Twitter, but it bleeds over into LinkedIn. AW: I’m just gonna say I’ve seen that on Instagram. It’s an interesting phenomenon. TM: Yeah. Well, it’s a culture and there’s no right or wrong culture. But this is where we get back to the audience. For example, I am a guest lecturer at colleges sometimes, and I will say to the students, hey, you know, you want to get networking, send me a connection, I’ll connect with you, you know, because I can give you start. And so as soon as they’re connected to me, they’re also connected with those five generations. They are connected to people all the way up into their 70s. It’s not, I’m not saying to them, stop being yourself. I’m just saying be aware of that. I was talking to someone the other day, and it occurred to me, I don’t think that personal branding is a construct, I don’t think we construct our personal brand. What we do is we filter it. That’s a really important differentiation for me, you know, I try to be authentic all the time. I filter myself, I’m different on Twitter than I am on LinkedIn, I have filters, I have a client filter, I have a talking to students filter, I even have a filter for talking to people of different ages, because I have to be aware of a 50 year old white man, you know, I reek of privilege, I want to filter that with at least some kind of acknowledgment of self awareness. So filter sounds funny now thinking about like Instagram and tik tok and that kind of stuff. Talking to judges like a cat. But you know, but I mean a literal filter, I mean, not showing 100% of yourself to everyone, because you can’t do that. Anyway, we do it in real life. We do it when we’re visiting our parents, of course. And being with familiar coworkers is not the same as we’d be at a professional mixer, which is what LinkedIn is. So that’s what’s really important to me, it’s just get the filter, right, figure out who your audience is. AW: That reminds me, I have to tell you this quick story. I was on LinkedIn, I think it was about three years ago, at the time. And still now I’m also a painter. And so a lot of my connections on LinkedIn are also our artists, and many of them are marketers. And I remember this experience I had where one of the marketing professors that I follow posted a really cool video, it was like a visual puzzle. It’s hard to describe it. But the video ended up showing something that wasn’t what you thought it was. He had like 2000 likes on it or whatever. And I thought that’s beautiful and insightful. And it’s creative, and all these things. So I reposted it, and I got some likes and some positive comments. And then this guy lambasted me who I used to work with, like 15 years ago, and he said in the comments publicly to me, he said, shame on you, Andrea, you should know, this is not Facebook. This is not Instagram. This is not where you post your pretty pictures. And so I immediately went into messaging privately and said, great to hear from you. Thank you so much for your comments. By the way, I’m an artist and I’m still a marketer, and as far as I was concerned this is relevant to both of those audiences. And by the way, I don’t know if you noticed this, but it was originally posted by a professor and liked by 1000s. And I don’t understand what the issue is. But I respect whatever. And then he lambasted me again. So I blocked him. TM: Well, at that point, I mean, at the end of the day, you can scroll on. You can move on. I think there’s starting to be a change of conversation on social media about this saying, you know what, just because someone’s wrong in your mind, you don’t have to engage them. I would say the example you’re giving that’s out of line. Once again, I mean, do what you want to do have the brand that you want. I have friends who, their business is fitness, their product is their body, I get it. Or other, you know, artists, absolutely. They want to show their art photographers, sometimes the photography is a little saucy. Okay, that’s okay. That’s their bread and butter. Right? That’s their brand. If they’re showing a bunch of saucy photos, they’re probably not looking to photograph a stodgy CEO. AW: I love your comment, I have to say you’re going to be quoted on this the filtering, filtering like I am, who I am, I am authentic. This is 100%. me, but I am filtering. I think that’s really an empowering perspective, right? Because it’s not changing who you are. But it is filtering what part of who you are, you’re sharing with the different audiences. And I also love your comment about code switching across generations. And I’ve, I did some previous podcasts and newsletters on choosing which media is appropriate. And then I got all sorts of emails from listeners and telling me stories about you know, like, an older gentleman sent me an email, and he told me the story about how he had a big contract to award and he told the sales guy like three or four times, Call me, call me and the guy kept emailing him back and emailing him, what else do you need to know? What else do you need to know? And he’s like, this is the last time I’m saying this, pick up the phone and call me. And the guy never did. And he just he awarded the contract to someone else. So part of it is you know, your personal brand and what you’re sharing about yourself, but then this code switching between the generations even not just what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it across what medium, right? TM: That’s exactly it. I mean, we all make mistakes, right? We feel strongly about something and we make the comment, we probably shouldn’t. And that’s where the filter breaks. Oh, geez, I just put that on LinkedIn. AW: I was just gonna ask, do you have any stories? TM: My mistakes are usually about expressing an opinion without thinking of the audience that are receiving the opinion and how they form ideas about me, I live in a world of NDAs, non disclosure agreements. So I’m used to being under a regime of having to watch what I say. But at the same time, I mean, sometimes we just get mad. And I would say, that’s where I need to, you know, mend the filter is sometimes I you know, might speak out of turn or that kind of thing. Of course, the thing is, every time you do it, you learn. And you know, the best thing your friends can do for you is give you feedback privately. AW: Yeah, feedback is such a gift, isn’t it? TM: It is and especially through your peers telling you and being more open to vulnerabilities, you also adapt, and everyone adapts. Like 10 years ago, I can’t imagine somebody talking about their struggles with depression. And now you can talk about something like that. And people are like, you’re so great. Good for you. Yeah, I’ve struggled with that as well. AW: I’m nodding my head. Sorry, I just had to jump in and say …. I interviewed Nicole German who founded the Maddy project, and it’s #shinebright. And her daughter died of suicide. And she’s all about talking about it talking about mental health and, and you know, inviting the kid who lives three doors down who always seems to be alone over for dinner and talking about mental health openly within your house and with your friends. And it’s amazing. It’s that’s an interesting point. It’s not just generally that we are becoming more transparent, maybe the filter is widening for the younger generations, right? But also there are topics specific topics that we are much more open about than we used to be TM: It’s great, isn’t it? Like they’re affecting us all. They’re moving it, they’re moving it up the generations. And so there’s the positive effect of people being more open and more vulnerable. I mean, that’s, that’s wonderful. It is. AW: So I attended an online Women in Leadership Conference recently, and at the beginning of the conference was a keynote speech by this amazing woman who I believe is in her 60s. And she’s, you know, at the pinnacle of her career of anyone’s career, this woman is absolutely phenomenal. And she made a comment that really stuck with me. Someone asked her a question that’s similar to the topic that we’re talking about right now, about authenticity and bringing your whole self to work. And her response was, I encourage you to use authenticity as your superpower. Yeah, and she’s she Like, you know, in her 60s, like I said, What do you think of that – making your transparency part of your brand? TM: And that’s fantastic. I mean, that’s, you know, we’re talking so much now about empathy. You know, empathy at one point would have been seen as weakness. And now empathy is seen as strength. Empathy is seen as a superpower. Empathy is something that brands which living things desperately wish they could convey. AW: That’s a great point, you’re reminding me of Brené Brown and all the vulnerability stuff, right? And she said that when she talks to some people on the airplane about what she does, then she would say, Well, I’m a researcher, and I study vulnerability. And depending on the person, and whether they’re familiar with her, and with the construct, they either think that vulnerability is this negative thing to be avoided? Right, or it’s a strength, and because her whole thing is about it takes courage to be vulnerable, and there are so many benefits to it. So it depends on a variety of factors, right? It depends on your personality. depends on your profession. And to your point from the very beginning, it depends on your audience. TM: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s funny too, because I mean, every time I don’t know, when I first heard the term personal branding, I think it was probably 15 years ago, or something like that,.. AW: I can tell you what it was. 1997, front cover of Fast Company magazine, the “Brand You” article by Tom Peters, I can guarantee you that. TM: I remember that. AW: So do I! TM: Wow. So you know, the idea of what a corporate or product brand is, has changed a lot over the years, where we got to, I think, which was a good place, which is a brand is like a person, that the term I’m going to use is really nerdy. But in evolutionary biology, they talk about exaptation. So an adaptation is when evolutionarily, you know you have opposable thumbs. And exaptation is when something that you developed for a different purpose is repurposed. AW: Okay, love that word. So exaptation, it’s outside, right? TM: So an exaptation, what branding does is we have this built in software that lets you read other people. So you and I are talking to each other, and we’re giving each other visual cues. And there are books about how to read body language, but the fact is that it’s our operating system. Yep. So what a brand wants to do, is a brand wants to appear to your social instincts, as if it’s a person, as much as a big brand, like Coca Cola can say, you know, oh, we tastes really good. No, it’s, it’s the brand, it’s an old friend. So the exaptation, what brands are doing is they’re tricking our brains into thinking that they are people. What we do when we create a brand, is we’re actually creating an artificial personality. And so that’s why I find it kind of ironic, where we’ve gone full circle to saying personal branding. As I said to you on LinkedIn, I’m just myself, this is me, um, you know, I’m getting older, and I’m getting wiser, I hope. But you know, I’m also limited by being older, you know, my son cringes if I try to use his slang and stuff, but the brand just happens, the personal brand just happens. The question is, Are you the same when you’re talking to one on one to a friendly person or group of people? Or are you talking to a group who you don’t know? And you don’t see? And how do you brand towards them? And that’s bringing it full circle to that’s what advertising does, right? That’s what branding does. You but it’s like doubly blind, because you’re creating an artificial personality to appeal to a bunch of people you can’t see, you know, unless you have research on them. But anyway, I’m getting a little esoteric here. But it’s very relevant to me. I mean, the bottom line is, you have this in you to refine your personal brand, to alter your personal brand to make your personal brand work for you. A lot of it is just gaining the confidence to understand not only who you are, but how other people see you. So I mean, it, maybe it just seems too easy to me, because this is what I’ve done for a living. But I also think that people can learn this, I think that people can learn these insights and take them away. And you know, those of us in advertising, it’s a lot easier because we’re used to seeing this, we’re used to doing this, but anyone can benefit from it. think in terms of the audience, always the audience. AW: So I have to say, again, I think that that general message is so inspiring. I know from talking to some clients, particularly younger clients, I would say who feel overwhelmed about establishing their personal brand. And you need to think about filtering what you’re communicating based on your audience, and particularly pay attention to code switching across the generations. And when you were talking about stereotypes, and you know, there’s pros and cons and I was thinking I say this all the time to my kids like you wouldn’t survive if you didn’t stereotype to some extent. So stereotyping is not really a bad thing. It’s helping you judge the situation and how you should act and what you should do. Discrimination is bad. That’s different, right? I think that that’s really empowering. I wanted to ask you about my working definition that I have for personal branding. So if I’m starting off a workshop, I say, so what is personal branding? You can think of it very simply as identity management or reputation management. But it’s really what people think and say about you when you’re not in the room. TM: 100%. AW: So how does that relate then to product brands? Is it the same thing, what people think and say about the brand, when? Well, the brand could be in the room or not? Actually, right? TM: Well, let me let me put it this way. I’ve been in a lot of focus groups. If anyone’s ever attended, or on either side of the philosophy, focus group, people sit in a room with one wing mirror, they can’t see the people watching them, the client, the agency, you know, the market research firm, are in a darkened room, watching the focus group, the focus group know they’re being watched. And there’s a moderator who goes in and ask them the question. So we people seen this on TV, even people not in advertising can visualize this. What they don’t know is that when the moderator leaves the room, the agency especially get right up close, so they can hear what people say when the moderator is not a room. Yeah, we get our best insights. And it might sound creepy, but we live in a world of social listening. And when the moderator is not in the room is when people speak the truth. Ah, that’s an overstatement. But you know what I mean, people speak in an unperformed way, at least they’re not performing for the moderator. And it’s really interesting, because sometimes they realize the agency’s on the other side of the glass, but they forget where they’re so when the moderator is not in the room, they don’t realize we’re listening. And that’s when they start to say, Oh, boy, is that ever terrible? Like what? Yeah, what were they thinking? Yeah, and there’s good stuff to hear, right? You’re saying, yeah, this is this is the best feedback. AW: I actually remember that happening, being you know, what, the dark room on the other side of the one-way glass and looking in, and, you know, you can almost like snap your fingers and say, Oh, they forgot, we’re here, listen to what they’re saying. TM: They totally forget you’re there. I mean, it’s just like in psychology, right? You don’t want to, you know, you’re trying not to affect the subjects. But so you can make that a metaphor and say that your personal brand is what they say when the moderator is not in the room. AW: Oh, I love that. I love that. That’s, I’m gonna use that. These are great quotes here. So I have one more question to ask you before we get into the five rapid fire questions. TM: Okay. AW: You may have heard me say this, or you may have seen that I wrote this, that it occurred to me when I was thinking and writing about personal branding, that personal branding is very similar to actually your credit rating? TM: Yes, I heard you say that? Yeah, AW: yeah. So because of the fact that it exists, whether you manage it proactively or not, that people have access to it, they have access to your personal brand, obviously, they have access to your or institutions have access to your credit rating, and that you can choose to strategically manage it or not. What do you think about that metaphor? I guess it’s not a metaphor. It’s an analogy. TM: It’s an analogy. And I can give you I can give you a marketing equivalent, because you know, you were there to I was there, we got to actually shepherd clients onto social media. And there was a real reluctance to go on social media, because the culture is that any criticism is bad. So what we always said to them, they’re already talking about you. Don’t you want to be there? So that’s like the credit score. It’s like, yeah, reputation exists. People have opinions of you the most, you know, the the quiet person who doesn’t talk to anyone, their neighbors still talk about them. AW: Yeah, that’s true. Oh, my gosh, I love all these points. And you also reminded me of googling yourself and how particularly older, again, back to your code switching across the generations, older people, oh, I would never Google myself. That’s what narcissists do. And I’m like, other people are googling you. As you know, in a professional context. I know that when I meet people, they’re googling me. Right? So you got to manage your digital footprint, even social media. TM: Oh, yeah, I have a I’ve had a Google News alert set for myself for over 10 years. AW: Good for you. TM: Oh, yeah, well, but you know, shout out to Tom Megginson of Yorkshire, I get all of his stuff. AW: Okay, we’re gonna move on now to the five rapid fire questions. Are you ready? TM: Yes. AW: First question. What are your pet peeves? TM: I’m a creative person. My pet peeve is really bad writing. And I don’t mean spelling mistakes. I mean, poor communication online when people aren’t expressing themselves. Well, I wish I could help them. AW: Okay, question number two, what type of learner are you? TM: I’m self taught. I actually dropped out of university, taught myself to do what I do. I learned by reading and I learned by listening and I especially learned by conversation. AW: Wow, that’s impressive. Question number three. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? TM: This is a really funny one. So a few years ago, I was having a catch-up coffee with a very good friend of mine who told me she was very introvert and I said, you’re introverted? We’ve always been really open with each other. And she said, Well, my husband says, you’re an introvert, if your idea of relaxing is to be by yourself, if your idea of relaxing is to be with other people, you’re an extrovert. And I said, Oh, geez, because I’m really comfortable around people around strangers, whatever. But I need my me time. So maybe I’m both. AW: So here’s the question. Where do you get your energy from? Or maybe an easier question to answer is, do you feel more drained when you spend the day alone? Or do you feel more drained after you come back from, you know, a big dinner party or something? TM: Oh, definitely the latter. I mean, it takes a lot of psychic energy to be on, especially most of my socializing has a business aspect to it. So we were talking about those filters. They’re exhausting. AW: Okay, so I’m gonna diagnose you as a social introvert, you are introverted, because you get your energy from being alone in your thoughts, right. But you do enjoy the company of people and you’re not shy. TM: Yeah, that totally works. I mean, just think about how many actors and stand up comedians are incredibly insecure. I don’t consider myself insecure, but I do need my alone time. AW: Oh, interesting. Okay, question number four communication preference for personal conversations? TM: Well, I would say that I always prefer face to face. I’m most comfortable with face to face for all the reasons I told you about, you know, just being able to really connect with the person. However, I’ve gotten very used to text. I think I like either texting personal message. I like writing. I like communicating with people in writing. I don’t spend a lot of time on the phone anymore. I talk to my mom on the phone. AW: Last question. Is there a podcast, a blog or an email newsletter that you find yourself recommending the most lately? TM: It’s really hard to say … I’m not a follower. I don’t subscribe to any blogs or newsletters. I’ve written blogs. I’ve written for podcasts. I’ve done all this stuff. But I don’t actually subscribe to anyone. I allow my network to curate it for me. So you know, people will say Did you hear this podcast? This one’s really good. So I’ll listen to that one. The nice thing about that is I don’t get locked in. AW: Yeah, that’s true. TM: That’s true. But I will subscribe to yours. AW: Oh my gosh, that question is not meant to be fishing for subscriptions. Honestly, I’m just I’m just… Okay. Is there anything else you want to add? About TMI or anything? TM: Not really. I mean, I think we’ve covered a lot of stuff. I just really, really enjoyed talking to you here today. I mean, you know, you talk about conversation and learning and this is exactly the thing I like to do. So thank you very much for your time and for putting me on your on your podcast. AW: Okay. I was supposed to thank you first! But Tom, the feeling’s mutual. I love this conversation because I learned, I did learn a lot and a new perspective on TMI and authenticity, and it was great and I hope we can stay connected. TM: Fantastic. Me too. Transcribed by https://otter.ai ANDREA’s CONCLUSION: PERSONAL BRANDING, AUTHENTICITY & TMI What an amazing conversation, am I right? You could probably tell I enjoyed that interview. Thanks again to Tom. And thanks to Tom, I have a new word. EXAPTATION. As in an adaptation with a new purpose. Exaptation is a trait or feature of an organism or a taxonomy that takes on a new purpose. An example that comes up frequently to illustrate exaptation is bird feathers, which were originally evolved for temperature regulation and then enabled flight. Whoa. How did we end up in an evolutionary biology lesson? Well, Tom introduced us to the idea of product and personal branding coming full circle. Marketers were using human traits to personify brands. And now we humans are adopting brand marketing frameworks to develop our personal brand. Yes, we’ve definitely come full circle. Now, let me summarize this episode with 3 key insights for us to consider: Code switching Filtering the Relevance to product branding The meta theme, the one key takeaway here, is to consider your audience. When you’re consciously communicating your personal brand, for example when you’re in an important meeting or when your boss’s boss asks you how everything’s going, consider your audience. Then code-switch and filter as appropriate. So the first key insight is 1.Code Switching We do this automatically all the time anyway… In a professional context we talk with our boss differently that we might talk with a client. And personally we talk with our parents differently that we talk with our kids. I loved Tom’s point about on code switching across generations. He highlighted that based on demographic and psychographic research, there are stereotypes associated with the various generational cohorts, from the formal silent generation, to the cooler but conformist baby boomers, to the cynical Gen X’r, to the protected Millennials, to the inspiration and validation-seeking Gen Zs. Tom highlighted that there’s no right or wrong culture, and in fact the younger generations are affecting us in positive ways, like encouraging us to talk openly about some critical, previously taboo topics, such as mental health. So depending on which generational cohort you’re communicating with, you might want to code switch. This cod switching might include the topics you discuss. The formality of your communication, and even the medium. Older folks may prefer the phone or face to face. Younger folks might prefer some media that I haven’t even heard of! And that reminds me, we code switch, we share different parts of our personal brand, depending on which social media platform we’re on, right? We share different things on LinkedIn versus what we share on TikTok. Of course. But it’s all true to us. It’s authentic. That’s where the second key insight comes in: filtering. 2.Filtering Again, this point relates to understanding who your audience. Let’s back up. We are complicated beings. We have many many interests, hobbies, circles of friends, personality traits, and so on. By leveraging this concept of filtering our personal brand, we can be authentic. We don’t change who we are. We’re filtering what part of us we’re sharing with different audiences. When Tom made this point about filtering, I realized that TMI, the TOO MUCH information, might a bit of a misnomer, right? Because it’s not about quantity, it’s about the substance or the content of the information. And we filter out what is appropriate for the context, for the audience. Tom says that the number one thing Q to in mind is, “is this relevant to my audience?“ He also reminded us that we can mend our filter. When we speak out of turn, when we realize we said something we shouldn’t have, when we receive feedback, we can mend that filter. Adjust it. As Tom said, “Of course, the thing is, every time you do it, you learn.” The last point here is how we can leverage insights and frameworks from product branding to personal branding. Of course, I knew this, as someone who worked in Brand Management and who has conducted research in consumer psychology, but Tom added some intriguing new insights. 3.Relevance to product branding & advertising To start with, an important distinction between product and personal brands, Product brands are constructed. Obviously, right? Well, some would say that brands are co-crated. But I digress. The point here is that when it comes to personal brands, here’s what Tom said: “ I don’t think we construct our personal brand. What we do is we filter it. That’s a really important differentiation for me, you know, I try to be authentic all the time. But I filter myself.” This might be one of the most important points from this episode. If you’re thinking about your personal brand, seeking authenticity, considering whether something is appropriate to share, think of filtering which elements of your authentic self you want to share. And there’s more in terms of the relevance of product branding: As someone who’s been in advertising and copywriting for 30 years, Tom shared how he’s always thinking about his audience, and specifically an audience you can’t see. Because in advertising, you’re speaking on behalf of a brand, you’re speaking on behalf of a company. And you’re always thinking about your target market. These are the core principles of product branding. Tom also brought this up how advertisers sometimes try to make people feel somewhat uncomfortable. They seek to get consumers out of their comfort zone, and maybe to try something new. In personal branding, I’ve heard this articulated in terms of creating a tension. Highlighting something that is unexpected, unique and certainly memorable. Take the irreverent personas of some social media influencers. Great point. Also from the world of product branding. I loved Tom’s point about focus groups, when the brand managers and ad agency folks are listening from behind the on-way glass. The deep, valid insights are what’s said when the moderator leaves the room, and the focus group participants are brutally honest. So our truly authentic personal brands are what people say when the moderator’s not in the room. At a broader level, Tom also mentioned how it’s all come full circle. As the word of brand management has become more sophisticated, marketers treat their brands like people, personifying them with values and traits and encouraging consumers to adopt RELATIONSHIPS with brands, similar to how they have relationships with people. Meanwhile, here we are, as HUMANS, now adopting brand management and product brand practices to help us craft our personal brands. We’ve come full circle. Let me finish with this quote from Tom, that sums up much of our conversation. He said: “You have this in you to refine your personal brand, to alter your personal brand to make your personal brand work for you. A lot of it is just gaining the confidence to understand not only who you are, but how other people see you. So I mean, it, maybe it just seems too easy to me, because this is what I’ve done for a living. But I also think that people can learn this… you know, those of us in advertising, it’s a lot easier because we’re used to doing this. But anyone can benefit from it. Think in terms of the audience, always the audience.” Well, said, Tom. These are the words of a wise messaging strategist. That’s it! I hope these personal branding insights were helpful. Please let me know. And if you think listening to this episode might help your friends or colleagues, I hope you’ll forward it to them. There’s a lot to remember, but you can access the summary easily if you go to TalkAboutTalk.com and click on PODCASTS. There’s a printable summary for you there, plus the transcript. While you’re there, I really hope you’ll sign up for the Talk About Talk newsletter, if you’re not already! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than once per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. THANKS for listening – and Talk soon! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #71 PERSONAL BRANDING, AUTHENTICITY & TMI with Tom Megginson appeared first on Talk About Talk.
21 minutes | 14 days ago
#70 ONLINE MEETINGS 2: Engagement & Leading
Leading online meetings (virtual meetings) is a challenge. Staying focused and encouraging others to participate is a huge challenge! Learn 4 tactics to encourage engagement in others, plus tips on what we ourselves should be doing during virtual meetings. Link to Printable Shownotes HERE: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS Summary: PARTICIPATING: What to do during online meetings LEADING: 4 ways to get people engaged Resources Transcript SUMMARY: PARTICIPATING IN & LEADING ONLINE MEETINGS PARTICIPATING: What to do DURING online meetings AUDIO Check your settings. Don’t be the “you’re on mute!” guy. Avoid distracting loud noises. Turn off loud fans and notifications. EYE CONTACT Always look at the camera when you’re speaking. Drag and drop the speaker’s box so they’re directly under the camera. If you need a reminder, tape a note next to your camera lens – “look here!” BODY LANGUAGE Start with a big smile. We all crave positive human connection these days. Use proper posture. Sit or stand up straight, feet planted flat on the floor. To demonstrate confidence, take up lots of space. To demonstrate engagement and openness, lean-in and be open. No crossed arms, no hunching over. Signal agreement by nodding and tilting your head. Use intentional and slow hand gestures. Show your palms. No fidgeting. 4 ways to STRATEGICALLY INTERRUPT: Use body language – physically raise your hand. Virtually raise your hand – use the “raise your hand” tool. Use the chat function. Create a hand-written sign. FOCUS Of course, you need to stay away from email and social media! Before important meetings, remind yourself of two things: What are the main points that’ll be discussed? Is there a framework or a process that’ll be referenced? What points need to be top-of-mind? Who are the key participants in this meeting? (clients, external stakeholders…) Print the agenda and handwrite your meeting notes on that page. LEADING Online Meetings: 4 Ways to Get People ENGAGED (1).PREPARE FOR SUCCESS Be explicit: Highlight the expectation for active engagement in the meeting invitation Be implicit: Refer to meeting invitees as “participants,” not “attendees”! Minimize the number of attendees. Pre-issue an agenda that articulates the meeting objective. When preparing your slide deck, keep it to a minimum. Less is more. (2).MAKE IT EASY FOR PARTICIPANTS TO SPEAK UP Logistics: Check-in on the agenda and technology. Typically cameras should be ON, with audio on mute. Ask everyone to silence their phones and turn calendar notifications off. Assign roles for everyone. There’s the typical leader/facilitator, a timekeeper, a minute-taker,… Assign someone to moderate the chatroom. Other “advocates” (devil’s advocate, customer-advocate, diversity-advocate, etc.) Tell participantshow to interject, for example by physically or virtually raising their hand, using the chat function, or by holding up a hand-written sign! Start off with a bang. Research shows that meeting participants will engage more throughout the meeting when it starts with interaction. Share a story and get interactive. (3).LEVERAGE THE POWER OF NAMES Mention as many people as possible by name during the meeting. Round-table introduction can be complicated online, so be creative! Create a slide to queue introductions. Pre-issue a question (e.g. “What room in your house are you Zooming from?”). Two ideas for larger groups: Ask participants to introduce themselves in the chatroom Split participants into sub-groups of 3-5 to meet separately. Ask participants to change their display names. This can be a fun, interactive exercise in itself! There’s “Andrea – she/her” or “AN-dree-a” or “Big Red”… Be creative! (4).USE INTERACTIVE TOOLS Built-in interactive tools. – Pre-program various polling options with multiple-choice surveys, yes/no questions, etc. Chat function – Assign someone to monitor the chatroom and to get the chat started. Other interactive platforms. Try com or mentimeter.com. Sub-groups.Videoconferencing platforms like Zoom and Teams have a sub-groups feature built-in. Assign a question and ask each subgroup to discuss the question in a given time period. RESOURCES Online Meeting Apps & Websites ONLINE MEETING INTERACTION TOOLS: KAHOOT.com MENTIMETER.com ZOOM website – https://zoom.us/ growth (Bloomberg) – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-22/zoom-daily-users-surge-to-300-million-despite-privacy-woes ROOM RATER website – https://twitter.com/ratemyskyperoom?lang=en article – https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/fun-at-home/a32883540/room-rater-rate-skype-room-zoom-backdrop/ Andrea’s Recommended Equipment for Online Meetings* Corded Earphones with mic – https://amzn.to/3sVpmSq Ring Light – https://amzn.to/3phvVMY (yes this is the one I bought! Love it!) Mobile sitting / standing desk: https://amzn.to/3a7uSsm (game changer!) Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki PODCAST EPISODE #69 ONLINE MEETINGS part 1: Preparation – https://talkabouttalk.com/69-online-meetings-prep BLOG – Zoom Skills – https://talkabouttalk.com/communication-skills-now-more-than-ever-blog/ Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast – https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ * These are affiliate links for products that I personally use and recommend. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. TRANSCRIPT – Participating in and Leading Online Meetings Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. Talk About Talk is where ambitious managers catapult their careers by improving their communication skills. We focus on communication-skills-topics like optimizing your LinkedIn profile, online networking, and communicating with confidence – And you can access Talk About Talk across a variety of media or resources. You can choose what works for you! There’s online corporate training, 1-on-1 coaching with me, online courses, the free weekly communication-skills newsletter, and, of course, this bi-weekly podcast. Welcome to episode number 70! This is the second episode focused on rocking it ONLINE MEETINGS. As in videoconferencing. In episode, #69, I shared a list of suggestions for you can do to PREPARE for these online meetings. I provided suggestions for how to prepare your technology, how to prepare your physical space, and how to prepare your personal appearance. I also shared a checklist that you are welcome to adopt and adapt for your own needs. In this episode, #70, we’re focusing on how to rock it during online meetings, and then also if you’re leading online meetings –how to maximize engagement from other online meeting participants, in other words, how to get people talking in online meetings What to do DURING online meetings I’m going to take you through managing your audio, focusing on body language, strategic interruptions, and how to stay focused during the meeting. Ok first – AUDIO Don’t be that guy who starts talking and needs to be told “you’re on mute!” It happens in most meetings it seems, doesn’t it? It’s become a cliche! And for that matter, don’t be that guy who forgets to mute himself when someone else is talking. Actually, that’s WORSE, isn’t it? Here’s a Tip: Use the space bar when you talk so you don’t need to fumble with the MUTE settings. And also in terms of audio: make sure you turn off loud fans and other sources of loud noises. For me, that means tell my family members to shush! FOCUS ON BODY LANGUAGE It’s not that complicated, but there are a few important things to focus on. TO start, everything we already know about body language in real life also prevails on a video-conference call: First impressions are critical – So start with a BIG SMILE! We all crave positive human connection these days. Second, proper posture. Sit or stand up straight, feet planted flat on the floor. To demonstrate confidence, take up lots of space. Be expansive. To demonstrate engagement and openness, lean-in and be open. No crossed arms, no hunching over. Nodding and tilting your head when someone is speaking also signals engagement. EYE CONTACT This takes practice, but it’s really important. It’s not easy or natural to look at the camera lens rather than at the other person, is it? Well, that’s exactly the point. We are wired to respond favorably to eye contact! So during an online meeting: Don’t worry about looking at the camera 100% of the time! When others are speaking, go back and forth between the camera and looking at others. You should also be watching for non-verbal cues of others, which you might miss if you’re only looking at the camera. But always look at the camera when you’re speaking! You can also configure your view so that the speaker’s square is as close to the camera as possible. Just drag and drop the box on your screen so the person you want to look at is right under the camera on your screen, This way, when you look at the other person, you’re looking closer to the camera. This is a great hack! Another hack that’s a little more old school. But yes I did this for a while until I got into the habit of looking at the camera instead of the screen: Tape a note next to your camera lens (with a STAR or the words “look here!”) to remind yourself to look at the camera! Moving on to what to do with your hands: Home base for your hands when you’re on-stage delivering a presentation might be the steeple or prism position in front of you. But during a Zoom call? Try hands on the table, not crossed and not on your lap. Use hand gestures purposefully. Show your palms when appropriate. Make the gestures intentional and slow. No jerky movements. Of course, you need to consider the camera frame. If your camera is too close, too zoomed in, you’ll look like a talking head and we won’t be able to see any of your hand gestures. If it’s too far we won’t see your facial expressions. Seek a mid-point where we can see your hands and you can effectively use them to communicate within the frame. No fidgeting and no touching your face or your hair! STRATEGIC INTERRUPTIONS A few months ago I highlighted how Zoom makes it impossible to interrupt. The technology only allows one voice to be heard at a time. This is great news, right? It stops all the rude interruptions! But that said, sometimes we need to interrupt – or maybe we should call it …interject. Of course, we need to be very selective about how often and with whom we do this. You probably don’t want to interrupt your boss or your client! But HOW EXACTLY DO WE INTERRUPT? Here are 4 ways to STRATEGICALLY INTERRUPT in an online meeting: Use body language. Go old-school and physically raise your hand for all to see! Use the technology to virtually raise your hand. In Zoom Click “participants” then “raise hand.” Everyone’ll see that you want to contribute to the conversation. GO into the CHAT function and start a concurrent written chat. Create a sign.Depending on the degree of formality in your meeting, you could hold up a sign that says, “great point!” or “I have a suggestion.” I’ve been in several meetings where people have blank paper and thick markers ready so they can create legible signs. (NOTE: the words might appear backward to you because the Zoom default is to mirror your image. Don’t worry – everyone else will see you and your sign normally.) FOCUS – HOW TO STAY ON TASK. Of course, you need to stay away from email and social media when you’re in an online meeting. But this isn’t just about avoiding distractions. This is about proactively focusing on the main points and the key people in the meeting. Here’s my advice. I blogged about this in a recent Talk About Talk email newsletter, and several people told me they were going to try this out. Especially for important meetings. Before the meeting, remind yourself of two things: What are the main points that’ll be discussed? Is there a framework or a process that’ll be referenced? What points need to be top-of-mind? Who are the key participants in this meeting? This is particularly important if you’re meeting with clients or other external stakeholders and you’re less familiar with their names. Here’s my Hack: I like to step it up a notch by writing these main points and key names. If I’m giving an online workshop where I’m teaching a framework, I write the framework on a recipe card (so it stays flat) and tape it on the outside edge of my monitor, right beside the camera. That way I stay focused on the framework, I never lose my words, and I’m looking at the camera! You might also want to print the agenda to help you stay focused, and even write out what your personal objective is for the meeting. LEADING ONLINE MEETINGS How to maximize engagement and interaction from other online meeting participants, in other words, how to get people talking This can be a HUGE challenge, can’t it? I mean, back to us ourselves focusing on other’s meetings. Have YOU ever “multi-tasked” when you were supposed to be focused during an online meeting? Checked your email or social media? Do you ever wonder whether the people with their cameras turned off in online meetings are paying attention? Are they even there? Have you heard of people looping videos of themselves paying attention during online meetings and classes? Here’s the thing: Active participation is critical to the success of any meeting. If active participation in the meeting isn’t required, then WHY are we meeting? And it’s definitely more challenging to make people feel engaged and connected in ONLINE MEETINGS, right? Well… I’ve got your back! Here are 4 ways to encourage engagement and interaction when you’re leading online meetings: Prepare for success (yes, this is a common theme. Preparation makes perfect.) Make it as easy as possible for participants to speak up Use names Use interactive tools PREPARE FOR SUCCESS Start by highlighting in the meeting invitation that there’s an expectation for active engagement. Be explicit about it. You can also be implicit. For example by referring to meeting invitees as “PARTICIPANTS,” not “attendees”! They’ll be participating not just listening! Then, invite-only those who are necessary. The more people in attendance, the more people will feel anonymous. It also helps to pre-issuing an agenda that highlights the meeting objective. For example: teaching or informing selling or influencing decision-making problem-solving relationship strengthening Keep slides to a minimum. If you’re not sure whether a slide is necessary, the answer is probably NO. Yes, Death by PowerPoint is a thing!!! MAKE IT EASY for participants TO SPEAK UP Here’s the thing: If participants feel ignored, they’ll ignore you. So engage directly with participants and make it as easy as possible for them to contribute. Logistically: At the beginning of the meeting, check-in not just on the agenda, but also on technology: audio and video. Typically cameras should be ON, with audio on mute. Ask everyone to silence their phones and turn calendar notifications off. Assign roles for everyone Of course, there’s the typical leader/facilitator, a timekeeper, a minute-taker,… Assign someone to moderate the chatroom. Other “advocates”: the devil’s advocate, the customer-advocate, the diversity-advocate, the quality-advocate, the efficiency advocate, the profit advocate, the environmental advocate,… For larger meetings, highlight that everyone has a role in accomplishing the meeting objective. Remember, we are PARTICIPANTS, not attendees. And certainly, no one takes the role of “observer”! Then, tell participants how to interject. Instruct participants how to share their ideas, for example by using the tactics I listed a minute ago: physically raising their hand; virtually raising their hand using the chat function (best for larger groups); even by holding up a hand-written sign! Start off with a bang. Once logistics are covered, share a story and get interactive. Don’t wait until the end of the meeting for the Q&A or a survey. Research shows that meeting participants will engage more throughout the meeting when it starts with interaction. Get everyone engaged in the first few minutes. Record the meeting. Letting participants know that the meeting is being recorded signals the significance of the meeting and it encourages people to sit up and pay attention. And they certainly don’t want to be caught snoozing on camera! LEVERAGE THE POWER OF NAMES Do you want “CHRIS” to pay attention and get involved? Well, say his name! Challenge yourself to mention as many people as possible by name during the meeting. You don’t have to cold-call Chris, but do mention his name – perhaps flatter him! “I noticed yesterday that Chris was working hard on the…” or “Chris contribution to that project was invaluable…” Speaking of names, there are several valid reasons why round-table introductions are standard at most face-to-face meetings. But introductions in virtual meetings can be complicated, so be creative! Depending on how many people are in attendance, you might create a slide in advance that lists all meeting participants, then use this list to queue the introductions Pre-issue a question that each person can prepare to introduce themselves (e.g. “What room in your house are you Zooming from?” or “What has surprised you about working from home?” or “Show-&-Tell: Show us one of your favourite books…” ) For larger groups: Ask participants to introduce themselves in the chat room while you’re going through meeting logistics. Split participants into sub-groups of 3-5 to meet separately. Then, at least participants will personally get to know 2-4 people in the meeting. Ask participants to change their display name In Zoom, ask participants to simply click on their own name, and then they can change it (see also Slack, GoToMeeting, MS Teams). Ask participants – what do you want to be called? Or make it a game. Ask people to include their first name and a nickname. Yes, updating your meeting display name can be a fun, interactive exercise in itself! There’s “Andrea – she/her” or “AN-dree-a” or “Big Red”… Be creative! Beyond your meeting preparation and using names, how else can you encourage active engagement in that online meeting you’re hosting? Well, how about USING INTERACTIVE TOOLS in your online meeting Most obvious here. There are built-in interactive tools. As a meeting host, you can pre-program various polling options with multiple-choice surveys, yes/no questions, etc. You can also use the chat function. I’ve attended online conferences where the chatroom was the best part of the event – fast-paced, on-topic, and fun! Assign one of your meeting participants to monitor the chatroom. If no one’s engaging, they can ask questions to get the chat started. The chatroom can also be ideal for brainstorming. You might also introduce other interactive platforms. Your meeting participants can create beautiful word clouds, answer questions to create visual rankings or scales, or even compete in real-time quizzes and contests. Many organizations use kahoot.com. I’ve been using mentimeter.com in my online workshops. It’s easy and it’s free! You should see some of the gorgeous and insightful word clouds that my workshop participants have created in real life. It’s pretty cool. For large meetings, create sub-groups. Videoconferencing platforms like Zoom and Teams have a sub-groups feature built-in. Assign a question and ask each subgroup to discuss the question in a given time period. Another option: share a pre-prepared slide with the question and participant names listed into subgroups. Instruct the subgroups to discuss the question in another medium that works for your organization – such as phone, text, Slack, Zoom, etc. Phew – that’s a lot of things to consider, isn’t it? Yes, I really do all of these things myself when I’m going into an important meeting or when I’m leading an online corporate workshop. I hope this helps! Please let me know. And if you think it might help your friends or colleagues, I hope you’ll direct them to this episode. There’s a lot to remember, but you can access the summary easily if you go to TalkAboutTalk.com and click on PODCASTS. There’s a printable summary for you there, plus the transcript. While you’re there, I really hope you’ll sign up for the Talk About Talk newsletter, if you’re not already! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than once per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. Good luck with your online meetings. THANKS for listening – and Talk soon! READING! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #70 ONLINE MEETINGS 2: Engagement & Leading appeared first on Talk About Talk.
26 minutes | a month ago
#68 Communicating Your PERSONAL BRAND ONLINE (2)
Actionable advice on how to communicate your personal brand online, including 3 KEY PRINCIPLES of personal branding, plus instructions for how to UPDATE, PARTICIPATE and MONITOR your personal brand online. LINK to printable shownotes: https://talkabouttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/68-COMMUNICATING-YOUR-PERSONAL-BRAND-ONLINE.pdf CONTENTS Summary References & Links Transcript SUMMARY: Communicating Your Personal Brand ONLINE Personal Branding = Proactively Managing Your Identity Personal branding is reputation management or impression management. Ideally your personal brand transcends both personal and professional contexts. Managing your personal brand encompasses two main tasks: identifying – articulating your unique personal brand communicating – both online and offline, both explicitly and implicitly Managing your personal brand is similar to managing your credit score: Whether or not you proactively manage your credit score (your personal brand), you have one. Just as institutions can access your credit score, individuals are aware of your personal brand. The implications are significant. A poor credit rating (negative personal brand) diminishes opportunities. A healthy credit rating (ideal personal brand) opens doors. Preliminary Ideas to Develop your Unique Personal Brand Start with a blank sheet of paper. Answer these prompts, then transcribe your thoughts into a digital document that you will keep updated. How do you want others to think about you? How does this compare to what others currently think about you? Highlight job titles, personality traits, adjectives… Consider your past: Think back to when you were 7-8 years old. What made you unique back then? Has that changed? What failures did you learn from? Do you have a “transformation story”? What are some of your most impressive past accomplishments? Your current status: What do others think about you? What is your current identity? Role? What are you currently focused on that excites you? Your future: What is your dream? What do you want your legacy to be? What makes you unique compared to others in various contexts? Compared to your graduating class? Compared to your peers at work? Compared to your friends? Start a list of keywords: the words or phrases that become a core part of your identity, including your roles, your unique personality traits, or your areas of expertise. 3 Key Principles of Personal Branding When communicating, be generous/gracious. Not salesy! Take a tip from product brands you admire. Are they always in sales-mode? Keep it clear and consistent. Just like product brands can’t be “all things to all people,” neither can you. What’s your one key message? Are you recognizable across media Keep it updated. Just as product brands evolve over time, so too do people. Yes that photo of me when I was 25 yrs old is lovely. But if I don’t keep my photos (and other information) updated, I might shock people when they meet me on Zoom or IRL. (image: Unsplash @ tma, Tianyi Ma) Communicating your Personal Brand Online – 3 Tasks: UPDATE, PARTICIPATE, MONITOR UPDATE 1. Websites – Check corporate and personal websites – update your bio, contact details, photo, etc. 2. Social Media – At a minimum, focus on your headline (title, short blurb) headshot, & banner image – Regardless of how active you are on social media! 3. Your Email Signature – Include relevant contact information. How do you want people to contact you? – Consider this as your interactive business card. Update it with links to things you’re proud of. 4. Your Contact file – Keep your contact file in your address book complete (social media, title, headshot, etc), then ping or text it to people when they ask you for your contact info – Bonus: Update your voicemail greeting! COMMUNICATE · Focus on the 3 key principles of personal branding – be generous, be consistent, keep it updated. · Consider various media or venues: to help establish your personal brand Get out there on SOCIAL MEDIA! Make a statement in Targeted FORUMS (or CHATROOMS or GROUPS) Consider the impression you make in VIRTUAL MEETINGS Attend online CONFERENCES MONITOR Google Search Yourself Other people are Googling you, so you know what they see. Clear your browsing history/cache, so you see what others see. Go through everything on the first page, and do what you can to encourage, update or delete each entry. Set up ALERTS Enable your browser to send you an alert when someone searches you or posts something about you. REFERENCES & LINKS Resources “How to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile” podcast episode – https://talkabouttalk.com/62-optimize-linkedin/ Updating your email signature – https://talkabouttalk.com/email-communication-blog/ Talk About Talk “Communication Skills” FB group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2512948625658629/ Forums– Quora, Reddit, Game Spot, Stack Overflow Andrea’s LinkedIn papers – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/detail/recent-activity/ (click “articles”) Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast – https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly “Communication Skills Coaching” Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup TRANSCRIPT – Communicating Your Personal Brand Online Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. I founded Talk About Talk to help ambitious managers catapult their careers by improving their communication skills. If you’re a life-long learner, or if you’re trying to get noticed and advance your career, or perhaps both, then you’re in the right place. So at Talk About Talk, we focus on communication-skills-topics like networking, storytelling and communicating with confidence – And you can access Talk About Talk across a variety of media or resources. You can choose what works for you – there’s online corporate training, 1-on-1 coaching with me, online courses, the free weekly communication-skills newsletter, and, of course, this bi-weekly podcast. One of the topics that I’m really excited to focus on over the next few months is PERSONAL BRANDING. Simply put, personal branding is reputation management or impression management. It’s the person you are, both personally and professionally. What makes you unique. How others think about you. So this is about you proactively managing your identity – what it is and how it’s communicated. I was thinking… managing your personal brand online is a LOT like managing your credit score. Think about it. Whether you proactively manage your credit score or not, you have one. Similarly, whether you proactively manage your personal brand online or not, you have one. And other people are aware of your personal brand. Similarly people, or specifically institutions, can access your credit score. So you might as well proactively optimize and manage it, right? Managing your personal brand online is a pursuit that can definitely help you advance from a B+ to an A+! And this topic of personal branding sits right in the sweet spot of my passions and expertise – strategic brand management and interpersonal communication. Can you tell I’m excited about this? Welcome to episode number 68! Today we’re focusing on one specific aspect of personal branding: COMMUNICATING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND ONLINE. When we think about all the time we spend online, how people learn about us, how we’re networking, how people get jobs these days, there’s no question: we need to proactively manage our respective ONLINE brands. We leave a digital footprint every time we post something online and every time someone posts something about us. This is your primer on managing all this. In future episodes we’re going to focus on developing or identifying our ideal or optimal personal brand. And separately we’ll also focus on communicating this brand offline – IRL. There’s a lot to get through here. So one step at a time. Here’s what you’re going to learn in this episode. you’re going to learn: Some preliminary thoughts about crafting your unique personal brand. This is really just a teaser; some general guidelines to keep in mind about personal branding, and then the nitty gritty: some specific tasks that you can do online – right away. These specific tasks fall under 3 categories: UPDATING, PARTICIPATING, and MONITORING. I’ll take you through what you can do for each of those in detail. Before I go any further, I need to warn you. This is a particularly dense episode. You’re going to learn a LOT here. But as always, you don’t have to take notes. Keep doing whatever you’re doing – walking, driving, cooking, tidying,… Just keep listening and then later you can access the shownotes on the TalkAboutTalk.com website. If you click on PODCASTS and then SHOWNOTES, there’s a printable PDF there with everything you need to know – a succinct summary and the full transcript. You’re welcome. Let’s start with some context. Actually with YOUR PERSONAL context. If you already know what your personal brand is, if you can articulate your personal brand, then you can use this episode to help you communicate your personal brand online. For most of us, our personal brand is a work in progress. And for some of us we might have almost no idea what our personal brand should be. If this is the case for you, then you can use this episode to help you audit what is being communicated about you online. Over the next few months at Talk About Talk, I will take you through a detailed process to help you identify and articulate your ideal personal brand. A personal brand that’s: unique and focused (differentiated from others). ownable (so it’s credible for you now and in the long term); relevant (resonates with your colleagues and clients) and of course your personal brand will be aspirational (it inspires you). I can’t wait to help you develop your personal brand. But first, we’re in audit mode. What brand are you conveying online right now? In order to assess it, you probably want to have some preliminary ideas about what your ideal personal brand could be. So here’s what I hope you’ll do. Right now, or more likely later when you print the shownotes. This is step one. Take out a blank sheet of paper. Before you open anything… grab a pen and ask yourself a few Qs. First, how do you want others to think about you? Then, how does this compare to what others currently think about you? If it helps, you can categorize your thoughts as a chronology – what you‘ve been and done in the past, what you are right now and what others think about you, and some thoughts on what you’d like to be. It could be job titles, it could be personality traits, it could be adjectives. Ask yourself a few Qs, starting with your past: Think back to when you were 7-8 years old. What made you unique back then? Has that changed? What failures in your past did you learn the most from? Do you have a “transformation story”? What are some of your most impressive past accomplishments? Then move on to your current status. Ask yourself: What do others think about you? What is your current identity? Role? What are you currently focused on that excites you? Moving on to the future: What is your dream? What do you want your legacy to be? You might also ask yourself what makes you unique compared to others in a variety of contexts. For example: What makes you unique compared to your graduating class? Compared to your peers at work? Compared to your friends? And last. If your feeling really ambitious, you might want to start a list of key words. These are the words or phrases that become a core part of your identity. It could be your role, your unique personality traits, or your area of expertise. Writing down your answers to these questions, these prompts – it’ll probably feel a bit awkward. But that’s ok. In fact, it’s a good thing. Remind yourself that there’s a big payoff here, so the effort is worth it. You might also want to remind yourself that we are only at the audit stage at this point. So there’s no pressure. You just want to start this personal branding process with some preliminary thoughts. So start your brainstorm with a blank sheet of paper. Answer a few of these Qs, and then create a digital document of these thoughts that you can update later. OK –that’s the first step. Some preliminary thinking about crafting your personal brand. 3 KEY PRINCIPLES So now you at least have some context. Moving on to 3 general things to keep in mind when you’re communicating your personal brand online. These 3 things are general – meaning they will apply regardless of your industry and regardless of your function. Whether you’re support staff or marketing, whether you’re in research, operations, finance, you name it. And no matter whether you are just starting your career, or you’re a successful CEO nearing retirement. There are 3 things to keep in mind: Be generous. This might seem obvious – but just take a look online and you’ll see that people are often not generous. What do I mean by generous? I mean being gracious. Not being overly salesy. You can see examples of this on social media. Are you a giver or a taker? Are you offering compliments, praise, building on others’ ideas, helping? Or are you always in sales mode, boasting, taking what you can get. Be generous. Keep it clear and consistent. This is a fundamental premise in effective product or brand marketing, and it applies to our personal brands too. What is the one key message? If someone happened to read your bio on some website, and then on another, will they even get that it’s the same person? And within that bio, what is the main takeaway about you? I’m not saying that what you post on Twitter or IG has to be exactly the same as what you post on LinkedIn. Certainly not. But they shouldn’t contradict each other. Ask yourself, across media, are you generally consistent with your tone and message? Keep it clear and consistent. And last…. Keep it updated. Yes that outdated headshot photo of me when I was 25 yrs old is …lovely. But I might shock people when they meet me on Zoom or IRL if all they’ve seen is that outdated photo. Let’s save those old photos for TBT! The same goes for any written profiles or bios of you that are out there. Keep them updated. So those are the 3 general things to keep in mind as you’re communicating your personal brand online. Be generous. Keep it clear and consistent. And keep it updated. Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. Now we’re going to run through how to communicate your personal brand online – specifically how to do 3 things: how to update it, how to participate online, and how to monitor it. 3 things to do: UPDATE, PARTICIPATE, MONITOR UPDATING – when I say update, at this point you probably don’t have your personal brand fully articulated. So all you’re doing is checking what’s out there online about you, and correcting anything that’s wrong or outdated. You’re in audit more. So check your contact details, what’s written about you in bios or profiles, and photos of you – headshots or other photos. VARIOUS WEBSITES: CORPORATE, PERSONAL &/or OTHER ORGANIZATION’s WEBSITES Depending on whether you’re an entrepreneur or if you work for a big corporation, there might be a blurb, or a bio written about you on a corporate website. You might also have a personal website where you’ve included details about yourself. And don’t forget to check the websites of various associations that you might be affiliated with – if you’re on a board or a committee, or if you do some volunteering, for example, you should check there too. As I said, the first thing to make sure everything is correct and complete. (2) SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES Of course you should keep your profiles updated. How often you post is up to you. But what people see when they come to your page, your profile on LinkedIn, YouTube, FB, IG, Twitter, What’s App, or whatever – that needs to be updated! If you have any old, outdated accounts, then by all means, delete them. I heard some great advice from Andrew Jenkins a long time ago that I think is very true. It’s better to have a strong presence on 1-2 platforms versus a mediocre presence on several platforms. That goes for whether it’s a brand, a corporate account or a personal account. Try this suggestion: choose 2 platforms that work best for you. (For me, it’s LinkedIn and Facebook.) Almost no matter your career, I recommend you have an updated LinkedIn account. You can update your LinkedIn profile with the section-by-section advice that’s listed in Talk About Talk episode #62, called OPTIMIZING YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE, where I interviewed Andrew Jenkins. In that episode, we talk about the 3 most important elements in your LinkedIn profile: your headshot your headline your banner image And here’s the thing: you can use these 3 elements on other social media platforms too, if you like! If you nail these elements – your headshot, your headline and your banner image on your social media profiles, that’s a great start in terms of communicating your personal brand online hrough social media. Of course, what you post, your comments and even what you like on social media says a lot about you and your personal brand. So that’s the 2nd place to look for opportunities to update your personal brand online: first there’s various websites, then social media profiles. What’s the 3rd place? (3) YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE You should think of your email signature as your “interactive business card” that’s included with every email you send. It’s not exactly searchable, like a website or a social media profile, but your email signature is online, and it’s viewed by many. It’s viewed by anyone and everyone to whom you send an email. You can set this up or update your email signature in the PREFERENCES or OPTIONS menu of your email provider. Of course, you want to include your name. What else? Well, again, think of this as an online business card. So Your title (or your headline from your LinkedIn profile!) Logos are fine, but not too big And you want it to be interactive, Links are a great idea to promote yourself, but not too many links! You can link to websites, articles or videos that you’re proud of, maybe your social media profile, or maybe your latest podcast (!), … And it’s easy to update your email signature. I update mine every two weeks. If you’re interested, I included a link in the shownotes to a newsletter where I outline more ideas and tips on your email signature, (( HERE.)) (4) YOUR CONTACT FILE (& your voicemail message) This one is even less obvious. But it’s easy to update, and it can make an impression. Recently someone pinged me their contact file. You know, the entry in their address book where they have all their contact details. I was so impressed at how complete the file was… It made it super-easy to follow the person on social media! And it got me thinking… this is a great way to make sure you are accessible, and details such as your job title and headshot look exactly the way you want them to look. Depending on your situation, you might want to create 2 contact files for yourself. A few suggestions for your Professional Contact file: PROFESSIONAL – include your job-title and firm, professional headshot, work email, work cell number, office address, and work-related social media PERSONAL – include your family member names, family photo, personal email, home phone, home address, and personal social media Then, don’t hesitate to text or ping the relevant file when someone asks for your phone number or other contact information. Speaking of phone numbers, I have a Q for you: When was the last time you updated your voicemail greeting ? Try calling yourself right now and ask yourself if your voicemail greeting reflects what you want to communicate with your personal brand. If not, update it. OK – that’s the 4 things to UPDATE when you’re communicating your personal brand online: websites, your social media profiles, your email signature, and your contact file in your address book. COMMUNICATE A few suggestions: you can communicate your personal brand online in venues that we’ve already mentioned, like on established websites and on social media, as well as other online venues, like in virtual meetings and online conferences. Depending on your job situation, your level, the size of your organization, and so on, seek opportunities to showcase your personal brand online on various website. It could be your employers’ website, it could be your personal website, it could be on the website of other organizations that your affiliated with. In addition to your bio and your contact details, proactively communicate things like papers you’ve written, videos that showcase your work, anything else that you’ve produced that can be showcased online. I have a suggestion if you’re stuck. Think about something relevant to your personal brand – something that your passionate about and where you have unique expertise. Write a short paper about it. I very short paper. And then publish it as an article on LinkedIn. That’s a great place to start. If you want to see some examples, I’ve written several which you can access from my LinkedIn profile. GET OUT THERE ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Speaking of LinkedIn, a big part of communicating your personal brand online is getting out there on social media. What you post, share and comment on says a lot about you. Again, don’t forget the guidelines that I shared a few minutes ago: be generous. Be clear and consistent. So maybe think about topics that are relevant to your personal brand what you are passionate about and where you want to share your expertise. Then generously share your insights AND THE INSIGHTS OF OTHERS. Participate in others’ threads. Focus and be generous. TARGETED FORUMS (or CHATROOMS or GROUPS) Sometimes these forums or groups reside in the social media platforms that we’ve been talking about. Like LinkedIn or FB groups. Yes, there is a the Talk About Talk “Communication Skills” FB group and I’d love you to join us! But there are also other forums (like Quora, Reddit, Game Spot, Stack Overflow,…) You can Subscribe to these groups so you can make timely comments. Again, my general advice is relevant here. Don’t be sales-y! Instead, be generous. Share your passion and your expertise. Eventually, forum and group members will start asking you questions! VIRTUAL MEETINGS & ONLINE CONFERENCES Whether it’s a meeting r a conference, there are some things you can do to communicate your personal brand. Starting with your online name tag. Depending on the platform – like Zoom or Teams or whatever, your name will probably show up under your video square. A few tips: Use your full first and last name. A partial name “like “awojnicki” or an email address is not ideal. Change your name, depending on the context of the conference or the meeting. For more intimate contexts, just your first name might work. For networking conferences where you want to meet people, include your first and last name and the name of your firm. If there’s something you want these people to know about you, include it on your virtual name tag! Beyond your name tag, there’s the online chat. If it’s appropriate for this meeting or conference, then go for it. It can be fun! And you can make an impression. Be vocal. MONITOR There are two things to do here: Google yourself. Once per month, google yourself, and see what comes up. I advise you to remind yourself to do this by creating a monthly recurring calendar event with an alert. It’s a lot like monitoring your credit rating. Other’s are doing this anyway, right? If someone’s curious about you they will google you. You need to know what they will find. To make this exercise valid: Make sure you clear your browsing history and clear your cache before Googling yourself. Or better yet – ask someone else to Google you. What shows up on the first page is critical. For each entry on that first page, ask yourself, should it be: Updated? Removed (deleted)? Encouraged? (You can try to increase the ranking of pages you’re proud of by creating more links to that page – on other websites, in social media, in your email signature, etc.) Go through the same exercise with images or photographs. Beyond the first page of Google rankings, it’s really more of a disaster check… So there’s googling yourself and then there’s setting up alerts. You can set up google to email you an alert when your name is searched or posted online. I have alerts set up for my name and for Talk About Talk. I suggest you do that too. I’ll leave a link to the instructions for how to do so in the shownotes, And by the way, this tip of creating an alert for your name not only helps you guard your personal brand, it can also alert you to potential identity theft. That’s hug, right? So set up alerts! OK – that’s it. But that’s a LOT. Let me briefly – very briefly – summarize. As you’re thinking about your online presence, consider updating what’s already there, then proactively communicating, then monitoring. There are so many opportunities for you to communicate our personal brand online – from social media to websites to your email signature, your contact file, targeted forums and groups, virtual meetings, online conferences, and more. As you’re updating, communicating and monitoring across these online venues, don’t forget: be generous and be clear and consistent. Alright – I hope you found this primer on COMMUNICATING OUR PERSONAL BRAND ONLINE helpful don’t forget that you can access everything you need in the shownotes. One last thing – if you’re not signed up for the Talk About Talk communication skills newsletter, please do! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. THANKS for listening – and Talk soon! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #68 Communicating Your PERSONAL BRAND ONLINE (2) appeared first on Talk About Talk.
20 minutes | a month ago
#69 ONLINE MEETINGS 1: Prepare for Success!
Here’s your online meeting preparation checklist! We cover technology requirements and recommendations, your physical space, and your personal appearance. Preparation can fuel success in virtual meetings. Link to Printable Shownotes HERE: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes Link to Printable “Meeting Prep Checklist” HERE: https://talkabouttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/69-ONLINE-MEETINGS-Preparation.pdf (see pg. 3) CONTENTS Summary Online Meeting Prep Checklist Resources Transcript SUMMARY: PREPARING FOR ONLINE MEETINGS Your Technology Stable internet connection! Recommended tech hardware: Corded earphones – no worries about the connection or the batteries A ring light. Enable the videoconferencing platform Do you need to download an app? Check your background and your title (name) before the meeting starts Your Physical Space Where are you? Not seated on your bed! Ideally we cannot see your bed. Lighting should be natural (as in daylight) and indirect (no sunbeams on you). No shadows. Use a ring light, if that helps. The light source should be in front of you, not behind you. Face the window or the light. Tidy up Check out ROOM RATER on Twitter or in this article for tips Nothing in view that’s too personal, inappropriate, untidy nor distracting. Furniture set-up Sit or stand up straight. Your kitchen or dining room table and chair are fine! Ensure you have a big enough platform for your computer, papers and whatever else you need close at hand during the meeting. Consider a standing desk. Adjust your camera to be at eye level We don’t want to look up your nose or down on your big shiny forehead! Your Personal Appearance On top: Solids look better than patterns. Blue is a universally flattering colour on camera Wear pants….I had to say it If you wear jewelry, make sure it’s quiet Online Meeting Prep Checklist Keep this list in the notes on your phone, or perhaps on your bulletin board above your desk. Update it as you think of things that help you be more productive in meetings. See printable list HERE: https://talkabouttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/69-ONLINE-MEETINGS-Preparation.pdf. (see pg. 3) Online Meeting Prep Checklist Technology Stable Wi-Fi connection Quiet (no loud fans & ask your “room-mates” to shush) Microphone & earphones Videoconferencing platform (downloaded, check audio settings, background & name set) Phone on silent mode. Close all other windows on computer and turn OFF notifications Physical Space Lighting set up Tidy Table & chair set-up Camera at eye level Small water glass (on another table in case it spills!) Personal & Meeting Prep Appropriate clothing (no noisy jewelry, yes, wearing pants) Pen & printed meeting agenda with attendee names Bio-break before meeting starts RESOURCES Online Meeting Apps & Websites Most downloaded apps of 2020 – https://startuptalky.com/most-apps-downloaded/ Fastest growing companies of 2020 – https://www.investors.com/research/fastest-growing-companies-2020-despite-coronavirus/ ZOOM website – https://zoom.us/ growth (Bloomberg) – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-22/zoom-daily-users-surge-to-300-million-despite-privacy-woes ROOM RATER website – https://twitter.com/ratemyskyperoom?lang=en article – https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/fun-at-home/a32883540/room-rater-rate-skype-room-zoom-backdrop/ Andrea’s Recommended Equipment for Online Meetings* Corded Earphones with mic – https://amzn.to/3sVpmSq Ring Light – https://amzn.to/3phvVMY (yes this is the one I bought! Love it!) Mobile sitting / standing desk: https://amzn.to/3a7uSsm (game changer!) Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki PODCAST EPISODE #70 ONLINE MEETINGS part 2: Leading & Participating – https://talkabouttalk.com/70-online-meetings-lead Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast – https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ * These are affiliate links for products that I personally use and recommend. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. TRANSCRIPT Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. Talk About Talk is where ambitious managers catapult their careers by improving their communication skills. Maybe you’re a life-long learner, or maybe you’re trying to get noticed and advance your career, or perhaps both, then you’re in the right place. At Talk About Talk, we focus on communication-skills-topics like networking, storytelling and communicating with confidence – And you can access Talk About Talk across a variety of media or resources. You can choose what works for you ! There’s online corporate training, 1-on-1 coaching with me, online courses, the free weekly communication-skills newsletter, and, of course, this bi-weekly podcast. Welcome to episode number 69! Today we’re focusing on ONLINE MEETINGS. As in videoconferencing. As in Zooming. In case you didn’t get the memo, our world has changed. Online meetings are now the norm. In fact it’s the default for much of our communication, isn’t it? And that goes for both professional and personal communication. Communicating with work colleagues, as well as friends and family. This episode, #69, is the first is a two episode mini-series focusing on ONLINE MEETINGS. Today we’re going to focus on some context, and then specific advice for how to PREPARE for online meetings. In the next episode, #70, we’ll focus on how to rock it during online meetings, and then also if you’re leading a meeting –how to maximize engagement from other online meeting participants, in other words, how to get people talking in online meetings I can think of lots of other related topics to cover here. As always, I’d love to hear your ideas – please – email me at email@example.com And – as always, you don’t have to take notes. I encourage you to relax as you’re listening, Keep doing whatever you’re doing – walking, driving, whatever,… Just keep listening and then later you can access the summary and transcript in the shownotes on the TalkAboutTalk.com website under the podcast tab. OK – Let’s start with context. I’m going to be using the terms online meetings and video conferencing almost interchangeably. I’ll also reference ZOOM here a lot, but I’m talking about all videoconferencing software and applications, including MS Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, and all the rest of them. Since COVID-19 was declared a world-wide pandemic in March 2020, Zoom in particular has become: one of the most downloaded apps (no kidding). According to some of the statistics I found, Zoom was the 3rd most downloaded ap in 2020 on Google Play, after TikTok and What’s App. It was the #1 most downloaded app in the App store, ad it was the #2 most downloaded app overall, after TikTok. It’s also one of the fastest growing companies. There are lots of stats out there that illustrate this point. Zoom alone had about 100 million download in 2020. And Let me share this stat from Bloomberg: In the span of just four months in 2020, videoconferencing software products like Zoom, increased their in daily active users by 2,900%. (Bloomberg). OK. That’s just a fancy way of saying their user numbers increased about 30x. But that’s huge, right? And many of those people went from participating in these videoconferencing meetings maybe once or twice a week. That was me. And now it’s an everyday thing. Some people (including my husband, I have to say!) are in back-to-beck meetings for most of the day, every day. As a marketer who’s focused on interpersonal communication, I’m also fascinated with how the word ZOOM has also quickly become part of our common vocabulary. Unfortunately for some of the other videoconferencing apps like Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, House Party, – Zoom has become the generic term for online meetings or video-conferencing. You’ll hear people say: do you want to do this by phone or Zoom? When they actually mean telephone or some other videoconferencing software. We also talk a lot about our ZOOM SKILLS and of course we complain about ZOOM FATIGUE, don’t we? The truth is that while online meetings are certainly exhausting, there are some advantages. It’s not all bad. Online meetings save us all a lot of time and money. There’s no travel, which is expensive and time consuming. And its’ just plain easier than traveling. And compared to a phone call, video-conferencing is actually quite effective in terms of communication. Of course you can’t see 100% of the body language, but we’ll get into that in the next episode. Here’s an upside to online meetings. Once a week, since March, my family has scheduled a weekly 30 minute cross-Canada Zoom check-in with my parents, and my siblings’ families. That’s pretty cool, right? And if you’re like me, you may have had some video-conference calls with people recently that might’ve otherwise have been audio only – just on the phone. It really is nice to SEE people, isn’t it? So there are advantages. And you’ve probably heard again and again that online meetings aren’t going away. So let’s not fight it. Let’s focus on our online communication skills so we can thrive in videoconference meetings. In this episode, as I said, we’re going to focus on HOW TO PREPARE for online meetings so we can rock it. Remember, in the next episode #70, we’ll talk about what to do DURING the meeting. I have a Q for you: how much thought have you given to your preparation for online meetings? Well, I’ve got a checklist for you here. I classified everything in this list into 3 main categories: Your technology Your physical space and Your personal appearance. I also have a bonus suggestion for you at the end. Something I do now that helps a lot and that I know will help you too. YOUR TECHNOLOGY First things first. You need a stable internet connection. Dropping calls is not cool. If this happens frequently, you might need to upgrade your modem. And depending on your connection quality, you might ask other members of your household to go on airplane mode (or at least stop streaming movies!) when you have an important online meeting! I was just talking to my neighbour – who shared her ingenious solution to dropping calls due to her unstable Wi-Fi. She has four people – 2 kids doing online school and two adults working with frequent zoom calls – They’re are all at home and online all day. Tired of dropped calls, she actually signed up with a 2nd internet provider. She didn’t switch providers; she’s actually paying two telecom companies to keep them online. Yah… that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But the point is, we need a reliable connection if we’re going to be productive. In addition to a reliable internet connection, I suggest that you invest in two pieces of tech hardware that’ll help you immensely: corded earphones with a mic and a ring light. Corded earphones with a mic – Earphones will help you stay focused, particularly if there are other people around making noise. But why corded? Well, because then you don’t have to worry about your Bluetooth connection, like I was just saying, and also so you don’t have to worry about charging your batteries. Just plug and play. Corded earphones are not expensive these days. Like under $30. Of course you can get a lot more expensive. And if you’re recording a podcasts you have to spend more! But I digress. A ring light. No, you don’t have to buy a ring light. You do need to ensure there’s light is on your face, not behind you. (That is, unless you’re in the witness protection program! ha-ha). I got a ring light a while ago for under $50. I’ll leave a link to it in the shownotes. I have it clamped to my desk and I can change the colour tone (like warm or cool) and intensity depending on the time of day and the weather outside. It’s such an easy helpful tool, and honestly I wish I’d bought one a long time ago. So we’ve optimized our internet connection, we’ve got corded earphones with a mic, and we’ve got a ring light. What else in terms of technology? Well, we have to enable the video conferencing platform where the meeting will be hosted. Check before the meeting starts to see if you need to download an app. If you don’t have a zoom account you can still participate in others’ zoom meetings, as long as they set it up. All you have to do is click the link. For some other videoconferencing platforms you might have to download an app. Then, if possible and depending on the meeting context, you might also like to update your Zoom background and the title that shows up under your image. Ideally BEFORE the meeting starts. I realized recently when I entered a Zoom meeting on my phone that I’d previously set the background to be a photo of Madonna – yes, as in the singer. As a joke. Then I forgot to set it back. That won’t happen again! YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE My first Q is – Where are you? You’re definitely NOT on your bed. Ideally your bed doesn’t even show up on the screen. A few reasons for this, including for starters, the simple fact that it looks unprofessional. Recently I attended an online networking conference, and one of the speakers, an otherwise impressive VP, was seated in front of her perfectly made bed. I kept thinking, “why are we in her bedroom! That’s just weird.” Beyond the professional aspect, there’s also all sorts of research about not working and sleeping in the same place. It’s not good sleep hygiene. So unless you’re in a bachelor apartment, get away from your bed. Ideally you’re not in your bedroom. Ideally you should be in a room with natural and indirect light. Got that? Natural (as in daylight) and indirect (as in there are no sunbeams on you). And you can use a ring light as I mentioned, if that helps. You can create natural looking shadow-less light with a ring light. And as I also just mentioned, the light-source should be in front of you (not behind you). Most people put their ring light directly behind their camera. What else about your physical space? Well, we need to tidy up. This is a meeting, not a dorm party, right? Have you heard of ROOM RATER? If not, I suggest you check it out online. It’s kind of fascinating. There’s a whole phenomenon focused on rating people’s virtual meeting backgrounds. It’s one thing to be tidy and professional, but then ROOM RATER takes that to a whole new level. Like do you have a living plant in your background? A cushion? Is your colour scheme complementary? Instead of prescribing what you SHOULD have behind you, I’d rather warn you about what NOT to have. Here’s the list: Nothing too personal, nothing inappropriate, not untidy and nothing distracting. Got it? Yes mom. I know. So that’s your background. It needs to be professional. Next, you need to set yourself up physically so you‘re productive: You might have to move some furniture, but your kitchen table and chair might also be perfect! You certainly don’t need to buy a fancy executive desk and chair. But resting your laptop on your lap while you lean back on your sofa is not ideal. You need to sit up straight in a proper chair and have a platform – a desk or table – for your computer and papers and whatever else you need to have close at hand during the meeting. Actually – I said sit up, didn’t I? You could also STAND up. I’ve heard enough people raving about standing desks. SO I just bought a convertible mobile sitting/standing desk. That means I can shift it up or down, depending on if I feel like standing or sitting. And mobile means it is on wheels, so I can move it around. Last week I hosted an online corporate workshop from behind my standing desk and I LOVE this new desk! One last thing about your physical space. Before the online meeting starts, please adjust things so your camera’s at eye level. This is basic Zoom skills 101, but I can’t believe how many people don’t seem to know this yet. Or maybe they just don’t care. Make sure you’re looking straight into the camera – not up or down. (We don’t want to look up your nose or down on your big shiny forehead!) YOUR PERSONAL APPEARANCE I have to say this. I’d be remiss if I didn’t first mention that you absolutely should be wearing pants. There’ve been lots of jokes, and memes and stories about people working online, wearing their pajama bottoms – or worse. And some people have even lost their jobs, as you’ve probably heard. So… dress for success (at least from the waist up!). If you’re looking for more guidance – I DO have a few suggestions. Solids look better than patterns on camera. So if you’re trying to choose between two shirts, go with the solid, not the pattern. And blue is apparently the most universally flattering colour on screen. One last thing regarding your appearance: be careful if you’re wearing jewelry. Avoid wearing bangle bracelets or noisy necklaces. And make sure your earrings aren’t clanging against your earphones. Yes, I learned that the hard way. Hopefully you won’t have to. So that’s your personal appearance: If you wear jewelry, make sure it’s quiet jewelry. Solids and particularly blue tops look great, and Yes, wear pants. Now we’ve covered preparing for your meeting by setting up your technology, your physical space, and your personal appearance. As I promised, I have a bonus suggestion for you now before we finish here. Let me preface this with a Q: Do you ever sign-in to an online meeting, then realize that you forgot to print the agenda? Or worse – you forget someone’s name in the meeting? Or you get a tickle in your throat and you forgot your glass of water? CHECK LIST Make a checklist of what you need to do in advance of an important online meeting, so you don’t forget anything. You can re-use this list every time you have a meeting . And update it as you learn what works for you. It’ll help you be prepared, and you’ll feel more confident! I keep my “Meeting Prep List” on my phone. You are absolutely welcome to copy my list. And you can find a copy of it in the shownotes on the talkaboutalk.com website. I’ve got things in that list under ach of the categories we just covered: my technology; my physical space; and personal appearance. Plus there are things on the list like: Having the agenda printed and a pen (I like to hand-write meeting notes on a hard copy of the agenda during meetings. Most meeting agendas include attendee names, so that’s a great hack for helping you with that.) Also on my meeting preparation list? Having a small water glass (on another table in case it spills!) Speaking of water I also have “bio break” on my list. You know what I mean by that, right? There’s nothing worse than having to go pee in the middle of a meeting (!) (Actually, of course there’s lots worse, but you get my point) I also make a note to put my phone on silent mode And on my computer: I close all other windows and turn OFF notifications (Have you noticed how annoying and distracting to hear other people’s notifications!) As I said, I’ve included my updated online meeting checklist in the shownotes, and you’re welcome to copy it and modify it for yourself. In fact, I hope you will. OK – hopefully you’re feeling much better prepared for your next important online meeting. We’ve covered your technology, your physical space and your personal appearance. And of course that coveted checklist. Yes, I do all of these things myself when I’m preparing for an important online meeting or when I’m leading an online corporate workshop. Don’t forget there’s a lot more to come to help you with the next episode, when we cover how to rock it DURING the meeting, and then specifically if you’re leading a meeting –how to maximize engagement from other online meeting participants I hope all this helps! Please let me know. I love hearing from you. On last thing: I really hope you’ll sign up for the Talk About Talk newsletter, if you’re not already! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. That’s it! Good luck in your online meetings. THANKS for reading – and Talk soon! Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #69 ONLINE MEETINGS 1: Prepare for Success! appeared first on Talk About Talk.
47 minutes | 2 months ago
#67 ONLINE NETWORKING with Sharon Mah-Gin
Online networking is the only networking these days! Executive recruiter Sharon-Mah-Gin shares advice on how to approach people when networking online, how to follow-up, as well as general networking advice. There are many reasons to be optimistic! Just remember: “With true networking, it’s really not about you. It’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. And the benefits will come later.” CONTENTS Summary References & Resources Andrea’s Introduction Interview Transcript Andrea’s Conclusion SUMMARY GENERAL ADVICE ON NETWORKING Reasons to be Optimistic “Just continue and push on.” Don’t hesitate just because we’re all WFH. We have more time now. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to people. There are jobs out there. Vacancies from retirements, people moving on and growth industries. People are being hired after virtual interviews, without being met in real life. In other words, the Zoom or Teams interview is sufficient enough. COVID can be a catalyst or an excuse for reaching out and/or for you getting a little more personal with people in your online network. Good news for Introverts: The physical isolation associated with COVID may be easier for introverts, who are typically great listeners. Listening is a key skill for successful networking. Sharon Mah-Gin & Andrea Wojnicki Like-Minded Sharon recommends online networking with people who are like-minded; people with whom the conversations are natural, and who leave you feeling energized and better about yourself. Sharon Mah-Gin & Andrea Wojnicki It’s Not About You – Networking is always about giving and not receiving. Start with an offer, especially in the beginning it’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. As Sharon says, it’s really about “how can I help YOU?” Things to offer: insight, a video, course, advice, support, a connection… APPROACHING PEOPLE THROUGH ONLINE NETWORKING Kick start your online networking with LinkedIn. Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated and professional might be a competitive advantage for you. Use the filtering function. Filter by geography if you want to go for a walk with someone. Also filter by discipline, by firm, etc. Grow your online network by connecting with your connections’ connections. Consider the catalyst for your connection – why are you emailing? Suggestion to use something positive as a catalyst, like the video or course that Sharon recommends (see Resources) Any newsworthy article, video, course, even a meme Use COVID as the catalyst. “I’m just checking in. We used to do coffee every few months. Wanna meet for 15 minutes and get caught up?” Virtual coffees and “walk’n’talks” are becoming more accepted. The GREETING “How are you? “ is no longer just conversation filler. Ask people, how are you? Sharon Mah-Gin & Andrea Wojnicki FOLLOWING UP WHEN YOU’RE ONLINE NETWORKING Be more patient. You never know what’s going on. They might be dealing with a lot. Follow up with a maximum of 3 requests: Two emails, then a phone call a week later. Thank you notes are easy and very much appreciated. They’re also a great opportunity for you to emphasize the one takeaway you want to reinforce, or maybe something you forgot to say. As Sharon says, thank you notes are your second shot. REFERENCES Sharon Mah-Gin LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonmahgin/ Executive Search Alliance – http://www.execsearchalliance.com/ Recommendations Video – Mat and Savannah Hallelujah– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP8sE6H7j2s Yale course on Happiness – https://news.yale.edu/2020/03/25/housebound-world-finds-solace-yales-science-well-being-course Netflix – My Octopus Teacher – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Octopus_Teacher Netflix – A Life on Our Planet – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Attenborough:_A_Life_on_Our_Planet Netflix – The Biggest Little Farm – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Biggest_Little_Farm Resources Original “NETWORKING” Talk About Talk podcast episode with Sharon Mah-Gin (Mar.2020) – https://talkabouttalk.com/45-networking/ Granovetter, Mark (1973) “The Strength of Weak Ties,” American Journal of Sociology, https://sociology.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj9501/f/publications/the_strength_of_weak_ties_and_exch_w-gans.pdf Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast – https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Dr. ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. Talk About Talk is the communication skills focused podcast for life-long learners and folks who are seeking to get noticed and advance their careers. Does that sound like you? Well, you’re in the right place! Sure, some people make communication skills look easy. But it’s not easy. It takes practice and it takes know-how. Talk About Talk gives you the know-how on things like storytelling, leading productive online meetings, and communicating with confidence. Today, we’re talking ONLINE NETWORKING. Of course networking is important in advancing our careers. We’ve all heard that right? In 1973, a sociologist named Mark Granovetter published a seminal article called “The Strength of Weak Ties,” and since then, job seekers have been networking like crazy, hoping the friend of a friend will connect them to that elusive job. But online networking helps with more than just job searching. Networking can also keep you informed about what going on inside and outside of your industry, it can help you connect with prospective clients and customers, you can find mentors, and establish other meaningful professional and even personal relationships! Speaking of relationships, I’m so excited to introduce you to our networking expert, my friend, executive recruiter Sharon Mah-Gin. I met Sharon over ten years ago in a professional context and w developed a friendship. Last year I interviewed Sharon for an episode about NETWORKING, and that episode is currently ranked #1 of all the Talk About Talk podcast episodes in terms of downloads. Sharon Mah-Gin & Andrea Wojnicki Given what’s going on the world, Sharon and I thought we should continue that conversation with this episode, focused on ONLINE NETWORKING. Since COVID hit in early 2020, our work-worlds have changed, with physical distancing, working from home and the prevalence of virtual meetings. SO how are we supposed to actively maintain and grow our networks in this new normal? People ask me this Q all the time! Well, I’ve got a few ideas and Sharon has many more. I’m going to formally introduce Sharon again to you now, then we’ll get right into the interview. As usual, I’ll briefly summarize everything after the interview. People tell me they love these summaries, so I’m going to keep doing them. And a reminder, as always, you don’t need to take notes. Just keep doing whatever you’re doing while you’re listening. Then, later, you can go to TalkAboutTalk.com to access the shownotes. Click on PODCASTS then SHOWNOTES and they’re all there – a summary, the transcript, and links to all the references and recommendations. Sharon Mah-Gin Sharon-Mah-Gin earned her Commerce degree from Queens and she is a CPA and CA. She worked in auditing as and as controller before switching to executive search in 1996, when she started at Korn/Ferry International. Sharon is now an independent executive recruiter having successfully completed engagements in all functional areas including sales, marketing, operations, HR, general management, and financial. Sharon has also served on several boards, and she’s now working with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. To keep her out of trouble in her spare time, Sharon is an active skier and she has completed several half marathons. She’s also a hiker, and as you’ll hear in a minute, she’d prefer a walk n talk over a zoom meeting anytime. She has a lot of energy, and it’s infectious! TRANSCRIPT Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you so much, Sharon, for joining us to talk about online networking. Sharon Mah-Gin: I’m delighted to be here. Thank you. AW: So hello, COVID, and goodbye to live networking. There’s no more conference meetings, there’s no more networking events. How are we supposed to maintain, never mind grow our network? Sharon Mah-Gin & Andrea Wojnicki talk online networking SMG: Well, you continue on and push forward! And I mean, when we think about how we network in this virtual environment, my sense is that we just continue and push on. We have more time now. Like, think about it, people are at home. So this is an absolutely wonderful opportunity to reach out to people, whether it be your warm network, or people that you’ve lost connections with to. So go and say, Can I grab 15 minutes and catch up? Because people have time, it’s a chance now for us to really reach out and reconnect with people that we may have lost touch with because we were too busy. Because they’ve got time. And I’ve been doing a lot of that, and people have been reaching out to me. And the answer is usually, yes. Start with 15 minutes with the ones that are maybe more distant in terms of you reconnecting but grab a coffee, say hello. And I would just share with you a few tips in terms of that. One of the things that I would say is just the usual greetings. You say How are things? right, but in today’s world with, you know, people losing their jobs, being more stressed out, I think it’s more about reaching out and saying, How are you? How are you doing? How are you finding it during this COVID-19 sort of situation? AW: You know, what I’ve heard? You know, what I’ve heard people say is, how are you really doing? SMG: Yes, yes, it’s really about being more genuine and showing more empathy. And I think that that would be one thing that I would suggest. The other thing is, you’re going from face to face to face to face. In other words, when we were doing networking was over coffee. And we now do video chat, right? And so it’s easier to establish a connection and to be authentic. You know, give yourself a few extra minutes to prepare. You want to make sure that your technology is working, that you’re comfortable with it. And really checking in in terms of what you just said earlier, being more authentic, and really saying how are you finding it? It’s really that genuine, empathetic, “I care,” especially when it’s done through video. AW: Okay, so I have I have two thoughts about that. So one is, while we’re not, as you said, face to face, like physically face to face, there’s a screen between us. And there’s all this technology between us, it can be at least as personal, right? If you just make that extra effort. And the other thing I’m kind of hearing it implicitly is that the whole COVID situation is almost like a catalyst or an excuse for you getting a little more personal with people in your online network. SMG: Correct. It is because we’re all in this together. And so you got to just call it out. And you’re exactly right. I mean, one of the stories I will share with you is I know you’ve heard of Matt and Savannah, but they’re a father and daughter team, they just decided to record a song like a prayer. And it came out in March, she was 15 years old and had no social media account. She was in the choir. And they decided let’s just try to record a song for fun. And they have garnered over 7 million hits. And they just came out with a song called Hallelujah, which I just love. I took it as an opportunity to say, well, with the US election being over with a vaccine around the corner, I sent that YouTube video out to my network. I cannot tell you how many positive responses I got from everybody while sharing that. And it was a great way to reconnect with everybody. And that was more on a personal note. But I mean, it’s all personal and business. So that was networking, though, if you think about it, absolutely. AW: Absolutely. It’s it. Here’s something that’s newsworthy. I love that and spreading good news. SMG: Exactly, because I did it in terms of the nice weather, vaccine, and also the US election. So that’s networking. Like I mean, it’s not just about a job. It’s not just sharing anything. That’s good news, but I’m thinking of you. And so it’s not about I’m looking for a job, or I need you for something and again, from my earlier podcast on networking, it’s always about giving and not receiving. You’re just sharing it for the pure joy of this case, positive news and a beautiful song, which I’ll send to you right after this, by the way. AW: Yeah, and I was gonna say a couple things. I’m gonna include a link to that video that you’re talking about for sure in the show notes so people can see it. And also in reference to the previous podcast that we did number 45 on networking. Whenever I think about that podcast, I think about your one key message, as you said, it’s giving and reciprocally so you don’t start with an ask. You start with an offer you provide something and you know, I kind of hadn’t consciously really understood or internalized why when some people reach out to network with me It’s so off-putting and with others. It’s not and I realized it’s because of that. SMG: Right. With true networking, it’s really not about you. It’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. And the benefits will come later. But it really is not about you. And so thank you for again repeating that. And I, when people say, Sharon, I hate networking, I go, Well, why? Oh I feel like I’m begging, I said, Excuse me, it’s not about you, it really is, how can I help you? And it really truly and genuinely expecting nothing in return? Right? It’s not gonna be a one way street. But especially in the beginning it’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. And I often say you don’t even do an ask until at least after a year, you don’t even ask for anything until you build that relationship. AW: So I just have to interject and say, meanwhile, I’m getting LinkedIn requests every day from people where the ask is actually in the LinkedIn request. SMG: Really? AW: Yeah, every day. SMG: And what sort of ask, are they asking? AW: So hey, Andrea, I checked out your profile. Do you have five minutes where I can tell you all about how my company could help you? SMG: I’ve had those sorts of emails, but for some reason, they’ve all ended up in junk. AW: Haha. Okay, well, we’re gonna get into LinkedIn in a minute. SMG: Okay, fair enough. And then the other thing is, in terms of networking, just be more patient. If you haven’t heard back from a company, allow, like, I always say, three requests You’ll wait a few days, do the thank you note or whatever, then follow up again, another week. And then also follow up with a phone call if you can, because I have found situations where people have reached out or responded to me. And for some reason, they end up in my spam or junk email. My recommendation there is you go to via email, if you within a week of each other. And the third follow up should be voice. AW: I think that’s great. And you know what, a lot of people are looking for that kind of prescriptive advice. So two emails. SMG: Yeah. AW: And a week later a call? SMG: Yes. AW: I love that. And you can kind of feel more confident this is Yeah, this is according to Sharon, she’s an expert, she knows! SMG: exactly. Three attempts. And then that last one, it might be Listen, I’m just calling to follow up, I sent two follow up emails, you know, and you mentioned that there could be an opportunity, I’m certainly not here to nag you, but just want to get, you know, close it off one way or the other. You know, I’m hoping there’s an opportunity. But if there isn’t, just appreciate just letting me know, so I can just close it off. And that is fair. But for me, in my opinion, sometimes you may not hear back, and that’s okay, too, you know, it is what it is. But just if you’re job searching, my suggestion is you just keep at it all in a positive mindset. AW: So let’s imagine that you are job searching. And you know, we used to meet with people, we’d have coffees, and in a coffee shop right? at Starbucks, or Tim Hortons or whatever, we would go to networking events, we would go to conferences, there were all these in real life ways to meet people to expand our network, because we all know that we’re more likely to get jobs from a contact of a contact or a friend of a friend rather than directly. So what should a job searcher do? SMG: Well, the first thing I’m going to say is that 80% of people who get jobs, it’s usually done through networking. AW: Mm hmm. SMG: In these COVID-19 times, the networking will be virtual: Zoom, or video or Microsoft Team calls. Or the other thing I just did before this podcast is I just caught up with a gentleman I said, Let’s walk and talk. So we talked and walked and it is a beautiful day today. I encourage everyone to get out and get some sunshine. Mental health is really critical these days, in these COVID-19 times. If you’re looking for a job to it’s even more important, because you have to have a very positive mindset. I will share with you with the gentleman that I was talking with, I just said, you know, you’re sounding a little bit off, but you’re sounding a little bit down and he says, You’re right. And I said, Have you done any walks outside? No. , I’m really busy at work and stuff. And I said, I really need you to go out and just walk and talk. And people are really open to that like, especially if you know the person maybe that first call, you may not want to do it that way. You want to do Zoom. But if you’ve known someone for two or three times, then it’s important not to just work but also to reach out to friends or acquaintances or people that you haven’t been able to connect with and say, Hey, can we grab 30 minutes in walk and talk? And even doing it in the warm sunshine and you’re doing it in nature in a quiet spot. It is so good for the soul, and that positivity needs to come across when you’re looking for a job. AW: Ah, yes, that’s for your whole outlook and it affects everything doesn’t it? SMG: And it comes across – like this gentleman was not looking for a job but I even picked up from just a walk and talk sensing that I care about you and I’m sensing you’re a little bit down. This goes back again to being that genuinely caring person. Calling it out and being kind to others. I really feel it’s important to be authentic and genuine and empathetic and share that if you see it. AW: Yeah, I have. I have two really quick stories that I want to share. One is I interviewed a woman named Gretchen Barton. And she’s a market researcher. She works for a professor of mine named Jerry Zaltman. And he asked in a zoom meeting, how’s everyone doing? And when it got to her, she was like, you know, this is this is not great. And she didn’t really want to share, but he kind of forced her to but then afterwards, she was like, it was amazing that somebody cared that much. And honestly, her loyalty to him just grew exponentially in that moment. And all he said, was, really tell us about it. And she said, Well, I didn’t sleep well, last night, and this and this, and this, and, and then afterwards, you know, that really resonated with her. Another friend of mine told me recently that someone and one of her senior vice presidents that works for her just resigned. And when they were doing the exit interview, they asked him, you know, what, you know, what’s going on? Did you get another job? And he said, No, I just, I couldn’t handle it anymore. The work was piling up and the zoom calls. And she said, but we asked you, like, every week, how’s everything going? And you always said, Fine. Unfortunately, she didn’t say, How are you really doing? Right? He didn’t feel comfortable to answer. So… SMG: and that might have been a better one on one conversation, right? Like, I mean, people will share more if it’s one on one. And that again, goes back to that premise of networking that we spoke about Andrea, where I said it like if you’re an introvert, you actually will do quite well in this because you’re a very good active listener, and you will actually listen. And we go back to the basic premise of what networking is, it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. So when you actually look at that person and say, because they would like to talk about themselves, right? And you say, How are you really doing given the COVID-19, and all the challenges the world is facing, and you look them in the eye, and you’re genuine people will usually open up. AW: So so in creating this list, we have, of course, setting up the video conference meetings, as you said, and after maybe after a few of those, you could ask someone to go for a walk and talk or as you said, if they’re in your warm online network, you could ask them immediately to go for a walk and talk or… SMG: Exactly. Some of them could be live, some of them could just you put on your headset, I’ll put on mine, let’s walk the talk and catch up. Absolutely. Don’t just sit there and do a zoom call after zoom call. AW: Someday you and I are going to go for a hike, Sharon! SMG: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. We can even start with a walk. AW: Yeah. Okay. Um, so early on a couple minutes ago, you mentioned warm networks. And then you said that people that you have let slide, do you have a hierarchy of, I guess, labels or segments that you call people in your online network? SMG: Yes, absolutely. First of all, try to network with people that are like minded, like, you know, there might be a person on your network, we think, Wow, they’re really powerful to do whatever. But if you don’t have that chemistry, or you’re not like minded, don’t do it. Like that’s just wasted energy. In other words, so I would first of all look for like minded people. And when I say like minded, those are the people when you have a conversation with them. It’s natural. It’s easy. You feel like you can be yourself. And when you finish that conversation, you feel a new energy, they make you feel better about yourself, or that they give you hope. That’s what I mean, about like minded people. AW: So Sharon, for me that that would be you. SMG: Oh, that would also be you. I know after this call, it would be just like I just finished doing a great hike, you know, up the mountain. Yeah, on a sunshiny day. AW: So let’s turn this question around 180 degrees. So as an executive recruiter, you have great insight on this, but how have firms shifted their recruiting strategy? Now that everything’s online, they can’t be hosting live in real life events. So what are they doing? SMG: Yeah. Well, that’s a great question, Andrea. And I’m really glad you’re asking. So especially for people who are job searching it. So I was telling you that, you know, I have seen a real pivot in the change in terms of recruiting that people are actually getting hired without being met. In other words, the zoom or the team is sufficient enough. And these are some very senior executives, too. So that has been surprising for me, because I mean, these people can make or break the company, right? So the first thing I’m going to tell you is that from a recruiting side, a lot of the big firms – I came out of Korn Ferry – but a lot of the big firms have unfortunately, done a number of layoffs because of all the overhead, the offices, you know, the marketing, etc. Now firms like that are smaller like myself, which are more boutique where we have, you know, minimal overhead, it’s really about your network and your connections and who, you know, we’ve done well, so I’ve really been fortunate, I’ve been quite busy. I had one individual, one client right now, in the industrial space, they found a superstar, eight years ago. Well, that person is going to retire. So it’s a retirement, so we have to fill that void. I’ve had another search where it’s a commodity trading type company, and in that situation, that incumbent left, so the role is vacant. So again, they have to find somebody. And then the third piece, which I’ve done a lot of work in is in growth industries. So I’ve done a CEO and the CFO, and some board searches for a company that is in the COVID-19 growth space and received a big government contract. And so therefore, there is a need. So there are jobs out there in terms of vacancies, retirement, right? And growth industries, there is no new norm. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t sit there thinking when things get back to normal, it is a new normal. So the faster you can accept that, keep looking, don’t stop your search, you know, be patient, leverage your online network, LinkedIn is a fabulous tool there to sort of go back and look at all your contacts and revisit them, you know, in terms of who can I reach out to be ready for video interviews, because everything’s done through video now, right? You know, update your skills, you know, and then follow up. But there are jobs out there. AW: Right there, there are many silver linings. And, gosh, there’s so many things that you just went through. Another thing that you mentioned is taking online courses. And I know from someone who offers online courses, but that side is exploding right now. Right? People are really investing in themselves, because they have the time and they’re on their computer. Any comments about that? SMG: Yeah. Well, I was gonna say, there is one that I just signed up recently, and you’ll laugh at this Andrea but it was through Yale, and it’s the number one, it’s free. It’s the number one course AW: Yeah, I did it! I just signed up! You sent it to me! So this is an example of you networking. You sent that to me. And I just registered. SMG: You did? Okay, great. Because I took that as an opportunity like, wow, Yale, number one course: happiness. And it’s free. So why wouldn’t I share that with my warm network And so it’s a matter of just taking that time, and then reconnecting you’re thinking, oh, here comes something. Share it and it’s a positive thing. So I like to send out positive stuff, because then again, you’re working on your online presence, you’re working on your personal brand. And my personal brand that I want is that I want to share positive things that I think can make someone feel better than where they’re at or to make them feel happy. Or to put a smile on their face. AW: I’m thinking I’m thinking about whether you’re looking for a new job, or maybe you’re happy in your job, but you want to upskill there are sort of categories of online courses you could take, right? It could be personal interest. So something that has absolutely nothing to do with your job. It could be your upskilling within your job, you’re trying to demonstrate on your resume to your current and potentially future employers. But then I love this third category that you have, which is a personal interest. That’s really not a hobby, but it’s something that you can use as a catalyst or news, positive news to share with others. I love that. SMG: Yes, that’s exactly it. And that’s my intent when I send out the Hallelujah video – it’s positive news. Or the Yale course, like, like, wow, like, I mean, why wouldn’t I want to share that? It’s the number one course at Yale, I might add. AW: That’s what that’s what’s kind of newsworthy about it. Right. Like, it’s not just a random course that Sharon took. This is their number one. In terms of enrollment. Yes. So I’m gonna have to put a link to that in the show notes as well. SMG: Okay. Fair enough. AW: Speaking of links, I think we have to talk a little bit about LinkedIn. SMG: Yes, we do. Yes. AW: How important is LinkedIn in terms of networking really, in these times? SMG: Extremely important. Okay. because number one, if we’re going to reach out to your network, one of the things you want to do is go into your contacts, all these people that I have over 7000 in mine, but that’s unusual, because what I do, most people have maybe 500 to 1000. And you’ll be amazed when you go through who they are, Oh, my gosh, I haven’t spoken to them. Oh, my goodness, I loved it when I met this person. Or you’ll be amazed when you go through that in terms of people that you had forgotten about, but you had very positive memories with maybe from a network and you want to start with that. First, from my networking podcast. I was talking about how, when you meet someone, the first thing I do is I link-in with them. I think you had a really fantastic speaker who focused on LinkedIn. I listened to that podcast. Andrew Jenkins spoke about the LinkedIn profile. And I really agree with what he said. But one of the key things: to create a media rich business card, and I totally concur with that. I love that. And so I absolutely from a from a networking perspective. So you go look at your contacts, you’ll figure out who you want to reconnect with, reach out to them, whether it be a job search, or maybe you want to do an informational interview, we just want to reconnect with them, because they were just great individuals that you can deepen that relationship. Because remember what I said to you before true networking, it’s all about meeting people that are like minded, really, it’s about how can I help you building that relationship and the benefits come later. So this is a wonderful time to deepen those relationships, right? Because people have time. So LinkedIn is a wonderful way to get kick started. AW: So as you were saying that I was just imagining you said that most people probably have just upwards of 500 contacts somewhere in there. SMG: Yes. AW: even 500 is really overwhelming in terms of a list to go through. But with LinkedIn, you can filter them, right? So you can filter by geography. If you want to go for a walk with someone, you could say, hey, do you want to join a meeting, go for a walk, but you could filter by discipline, or by their directory or by their firm? SMG: So yes, excellent. I totally agree with you Andrea. So that’s where I would tell you the number one place to start would be with your LinkedIn contacts and looking at and then also, when you reach out to them, you may find this other similar people that show up and you go, Oh, I forgot about them. And then that’s another chance for you to just keep expanding it right. Because again, the power of LinkedIn, I think we talked about this last time in my networking podcast is that mutual connections are so critical when youre looking for a job. So when you look at the mutual connections, you’re going in, and you’re saying, okay, I want to get a job at Lulu Lemon, (because that’s, I’m wearing Lululemon pants right now!). AW: Haha – I’m glad you have pants on. SMG: Haha. But being able to say, I want to get a job there, and then going into your contacts and finding the oh my gosh, I have five people who are actually working at Lulu Lemon or Google and saying, Hey, can you put in a good word for me? That mutual connection is so critical. AW: So so that’s a do is to leverage the mutual contacts, right? SMG: Yes. AW: And to use the filter? SMG: yes. AW: And to, as you said, throughout to make sure that there’s reciprocality and you’re focusing on the relationship and giving and not just taking, do you have any other do’s and don’ts in terms of online networking on LinkedIn? SMG: I would just say, I mean, you want to keep it current, right? Like, you know, you want a professional photo, because it really is, you know, professional networking versus like a Facebook. So I would say again, the professional photo, and also trying to really build up what your brand is, like, Andrea, what looked at yours, yours is excellent. It’s very clear, it’s a beautiful picture of you, then your first three lines are very clear in terms of what you are right? Communications, , Coach, you know, I really love the way you did that. AW: So I can tell you personally, from conversations that I’ve had with people, especially like friends of friends that are looking for jobs, and they’ll say, Well, my friend wants to get into marketing, or they want to get into the communication industry, and or podcasting, whatever it is, Andrea, maybe you can help them out. And then I’ll look find them on LinkedIn. And I’m actually shocked at the proportion of people who are really job searching who don’t pay attention, they their LinkedIn profile is simply not updated. Right? And they have yet they haven’t even probably connected with their friends. It’s crazy. So in your experience, how rare is that people that you know you connect with that are looking for a job, and then you go in? And it’s like, what is this? SMG: I would say that that’s more common. Like you, I am totally shocked. I’ve had situations where you’re telling me you’re a salesperson, and then the word sales is not even in your resume. I would say that is it is more common. Unfortunately, it’s disappointing. Actually. I think it’s just because I think people are just lazy. I think people are just lazy. And really the ones that are really good in terms of profiles are what I call true leaders. I when I see that effort that they’ve done to really care and do their brand. I have seen their career advance, as a general comment again, quite quickly. I remember doing a networking event before at one of the tier one accounting firm, and I had about 30 or 40 people. And at the end of it, I said: if you want to reach out, I’m happy to answer any questions that you might have. I had maybe two or three people who actually did reach out and I had one in particular, she said, Can I take you out for lunch and really pick your brains? And I thought, wow, and that individual? I mean, she’s in her 30s. And she was just announced as one of the top 40 under 40. AW: Oh, I saw that. SMG: I thought Yeah, probably makes sense. I mean, when you think she was the only one that who saw it as an opportunity and thought, wow, I need to really learn what to do. You know, it was like, may I take you up for lunch? Just to further have a dialogue about this conversation. I remember thinking she’s gonna go far. Well, my gut was right. And I mean, top 40 under 40. AW: Yeah. So there’s a couple things there. One is that she was giving, not taking, right. Yes. But the other thing that I the other things that I’m hearing are being proactive. SMG: Yes. Right. AW: So getting putting yourself out there, but then also a conscientiousness right? And I’ve heard that being conscientious is a huge contributor to success. So people that dot their I’s cross their T’s take care of their LinkedIn profiles, right? SMG: Andrea, that is so wonderful, because you’re such an excellent interviewer and as someone who does these podcasts with you. I love it because it’s so rich because you’re obviously learning from every person that you’re interviewing and you have this incredible ability to pull it all together right and make it even more rich. You’re absolutely right. That is what I call a true leader. AW: So you know, one theme back to your point about me learning from the people that I’m interviewing and the research that I’m doing something that more and more often is coming to my mind as a theme that links all of us together is just having a growth mindset, right. And if you think about it, the person who wanted to connect with you and she stuck her neck out, she was proactive, she was giving, she was conscientious. She also had a growth mindset she wanted to learn. And I feel like that’s also for me a big difference between confidence and arrogance. SMG: It’s totally true, you don’t know at all. You don’t not know that we might, you know, you hit it right on the nose, the growth mindset. those are those are what I call the true leaders. And I’ve interviewed I mean, 1000s, probably more people and I’m in the enviable position that, you know, companies pay me pay me a lot of money, actually, to figure out who’s going to be the next CEO or the CFO. Tthese are senior leadership roles, right? You know, that I am the gatekeeper . That’s not lost on me. And it’s the soft skill set that I look for. It’s the cultural fit. It’s the ability to communicate, it’s the ability to be confident and not arrogant. That’s what’s critical in true leadership. Yeah, and the growth mindset overrides it all. Yeah. And we’re talking a lifetime learner. AW: Yeah. I love that term, too. So clearly, Sharon, we are like minded. SMG: Yes. AW: We’ve established that if nothing else SMG: yes, we have. AW: I actually have one more question to ask you. Before we get to the five rapid fire questions. What do you think about a virtual coffee? I’ve had several of those invitations from people, what do you think about that? SMG: I think they’re fantastic to do, I tend to do them more with people that I know that I want to either deepen the relationship, or just catch up with them. I think people are more confident now with doing things virtually, that they’re getting used to technology, I’ve had some very rich conversations. Just having a – I don’t drink but – either someone have a glass of wine, or have a cup of coffee, just to catch up. Again, I prefer wherever possible to do them through walk and talks. But as the weather gets colder, and the weather gets more miserable, I don’t know about you, but the thought of a nice hot cup of hot chocolate, or a warm beverage of some kind, maybe with a little bit of Kahlua in it or whatever. AW: Yeah, I agree with I agree with all those points, I think I did have a few invitations from complete strangers to have a quote unquote, virtual coffee date. And I was kind of off put by that. But you said, if it’s someone that you already know, you could say Listen, you know, normally you and I go out for coffee a couple times a year, and we really enjoy reconnecting, we can’t do that. So let’s do a virtual coffee. And then it seems really natural. SMG: It does. And I’ve really enjoyed those. That’s why I said I wouldn’t do it with a first time person. I mean, I guess it won’t be the negatives, reversed that question, Andrea, what would be the negatives for having a virtual coffee? AW: Well, this woman was connected with me on LinkedIn. And then she was like, I know, so and so and so and so that you know, and I really want to talk to you. And we could do a virtual coffee, or you can come to my backyard, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, What are you selling me, SMG: she didn’t even know you? She was a total random stranger? AW: She was a total random stranger. And she named two people that I know that are painters. And I was like, you’re either creepy, or you’re trying to sell me something. So that’s the negative. SMG: So that that’s a great example of It’s all about them and not about you. And that’s also jumping to being familiar way too quickly. AW: You make it sound so easy, but I think that’s actually maybe one of the best pieces of advice is to just be empathetic? SMG: be empathetic, be genuine. And really, how can I help you? Yeah, those would be the three biggest things I would say right there. AW: Brilliant. Okay, ready to move on to the five rapid fire questions? SMG: I am. AW: Okay, so we’re gonna do this a little bit differently. I’m gonna remind you what you said last time and see if you have any anything to add? Okay? SMG: Oh, okay. AW: So the first question is, what are your pet peeves? And last time you said, people who are not lifelong learners. Do you have anything new to add to that? SMG: Yeah, I still agree with that. That certainly a change. But I’m going to add, especially given our conversation today, people who don’t make it easy to help them. AW: I can hear the passion in your voice. And I would say, I bet another pet peeve is not keeping your LinkedIn profile updated. SMG: That is absolutely true. And then the other thing that I’m going to say is thank you notes. It’s so easy to send a two sentence email with a gracious Thank you, right. There’s no excuse. AW: Yeah. SMG: Do you find that Andrew and what you do? Are you finding that too? AW: Oh, I mean, personally and professionally. That’s also I would say one of my pet peeves, like just say, thank you. It takes zero effort, zero. SMG: Yeah, I know. It doesn’t have to be really fancy or anything like that at all. And I’ve even had executives sometimes where they’ll go, Well, I want to send a thank you note, like you know, like is it proper in the process? So I appreciate that they’re wanting to check in in terms of the process. I always look at them going. Well, I appreciate you. You’re asking me because you want to make sure you’re not doing anything inappropriate in terms of the search process. But as far as I know, I don’t think thank you notes have ever ever been a no-no, or being ever like outdated? AW: Yeah. So that said, I’m gonna I’m gonna just tell you this quick story. I was helping a friend’s niece in her job search. And I was basically counseling her and she showed me a thank you note that she had handwritten to someone after she had done an interview. And I said, just so you know, they usually have the meeting to decide who’s going to get the job within 24 hours of the last interviewee. So that is not going to be a thank you note that they’re going to receive in time. They’re going to get that thank you note after they’ve made the decision, you need to go home and send an email like right now. And she said, Oh my gosh, I thought they would appreciate this. I said: I’m sure they will. But it’s too late. SMG: Andrea, that was excellent advice. And I would tell them the same thing. The handwritten notes are lovely too. And the other thing about thanking those of you should also be aware of for job searchers is when I do go deeper, they go oh, Sharon, I, I didn’t get this point across quite clearly. Or I wish I set this I said, Not a problem. And they go What do you mean, I said, that’s what thank you notes are for right? It’s your second shot. So when you do your thank you note and you’re thanking them for whatever, you can also say just further, I just want to clarify that whatever or, you know, I dawned on me, you know, I realized afterwards, that I didn’t share this point, which I think might be important for you to know. That is your second shot. So that’s the other reason why you should send thank you. AW: There you go. I’m so glad I told you that story. Because I guess that’s a great point. Okay. These rapid fire questions are not very rapid, but they’re great for getting information. So the second question is, what type of learner are you and the first time you said, definitely visual? SMG: Yes. And that definitely is still the same and even more so now with a videos like everything’s done through video. So it’s very visual. AW: It’s Yes. Bizarre to be looking at ourselves and and others when we’re on video conferences. Okay. I think question number three hasn’t changed. introvert or extrovert? SMG: Definitely an extrovert. How about we just put big capitals on it? AW: So you made a comment, though, about perhaps COVID is a little bit easier for introverts. SMG: Yes, I do believe that. My one nephew, who’s an introvert has said, Oh, Auntie Sharon, I’m just loving it. He said, he said, because I just, you know, online, doing my courses and stuff. But he actually said to me, he said that he actually is meeting more people because everything is being done online. AW: Oh, the poor extroverts. Okay. Next question. Number four, your communication or media preference for personal conversations. And last time you said definitely face-to-face. If it’s a serious conversation. You can’t do that anymore. SMG: Yeah, you can’t. Although I would say to you with the technology. We’ve done it all through video, but we’re okay. Because I have had a number of hires with them just doing the zoom or the teams etc. AW: Yep. All virtual. Okay, last question. Is there a podcast or blog or an email newsletter that you find yourself recommending the most lately? And I just want to say last time, you jokingly said TalkAboutTalk. And since then, that episode, where we talked about networking, that episode has become the number one of the well over 60 episodes in terms of downloads, I’m thrilled to tell you and grateful. Are there any other podcasts or blogs or email newsletters that you find yourself recommending? SMG: Well, first of all, thank you for letting me know that, Andrea. I really think what you’re doing is fantastic. You’re still right up there in my books. But I want to change the question around a little bit. And so I’m going to talk instead about three documentaries. And I would really recommend, on Netflix. And these are documentaries, so real-life stories. Number one, My Octopus Teacher. It sounds like a weird thing, but it’s about a guy who really had a breakdown and falls in love with this Octopus. But the photography and the shooting is absolutely amazing. AW: I heard about that. When I was listening to NPR. It sounds fascinating. SMG: I highly recommend it. My octopus teacher, you may not want to eat octopus ever again, if you like seafood. But anyways, number one, number two, on life on our planet by David Attenborough. He’s 93 years old that the David Suzuki is about climate change, but it’s so well done and narrated by himself, and he’s 93 years old, but it gives you a solution. So that’s what I love. And then the third one, which I just watched the other day, which I love is the biggest little farm. AW: Oh, I haven’t heard of that. AW: Yes, it’s really about being able to farm the land and how every ecosystem supports each other. So I would like to recommend on Netflix the documentaries, my octopus teacher, a life on our planet by David Attenborough, and the biggest little farm, AW: amazing. Okay, I’m gonna put links to those in the show notes. Okay, is there anything else you want to add Sharon, about online networking? SMG: Just be positive, be genuine, and be patient. AW: Thank you so much, Sharon, for sharing your time and your expertise. We all really appreciate it. SMG: My pleasure. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Transcribed by https://otter.ai Dr. ANDREA’s CONCLUSION Well, whether you’re job-searching or not, I’m guessing you found that interview helpful and inspiring. Thanks so much again to Sharon for sharing her expertise with us. Now I’m going to briefly summarize a few of the learnings. We went through a LOT in this conversation, so I’m not going to repeat everything. Just pull out a few of the major points. I categorized the learning into three categories: general online networking advice, how to approach people, and last how to follow up with people when you’reonline networking. So first: 3 PIECES OF GENERAL ADVICE ON NETWORKING: Reasons to be Optimistic. Sharon started by saying: just continue and push on. Don’t hesitate just because we’re all WFH. We have more time now. People are at home and this is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to people. There are jobs out there. Vacancies from retirements and people moving on. Also some industries are growing. Tech, health & medical. People are being hired without being met. In other words, the zoom or the team is sufficient enough. the whole COVID situation is almost like a catalyst or an excuse for reaching out and/or for you getting a little more personal with people in your online network. In terms of personality, Sharon and agree this physical isolation associated with COVID might be easier for introverts. But here’s the really good news for introverts: Introverts are great listeners, and listening is a key skill for successful online networking. LIKEMINDED – Regardless of your personality, Sharon recommends online networking with people who are like minded… people with whom the conversations are natural and easy, and who leave you feeling energized and better about yourself. It’s not about you – One other general Reminder: Networking is always about giving and not receiving. If you haven’t listened to talk about talk podcast episode # 45 on networking, Sharon is very explicit about all this in that episode. Networking is about giving and reciprocality, so you DEFINITELY don’t start with an ask. You start with an offer you provide something. especially in the beginning it’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. And I often say you don’t even do an ask until at least after a year. As Sharon says, it’s really about “how can I help YOU?” You can offer insight, a video, course, advice, support, a connection. “With true networking, it’s really not about you. It’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. And the benefits will come later.” 3 POINTERS ON APPROACHING PEOPLE WHEN YOU’RE ONLINE NETWORKING Kick start your online networking with LinkedIn. keeping your LinkedIn profile updated and looking professional is not as common as it should be, as both Sharon and I have noticed. So being diligent, that is, professional and current with your LinkedIn profile might end up being a competitive advantage for you. Filter by geography. If you want to go for a walk with someone, you could say, hey, do you want to join a meeting, go for a walk, but you could filter by discipline, or by their discipline or by their firm? Grow your network by connecting with your connections’ connections. Think about the catalyst for your connection. Probably via email. But why are you emailing? Could also use something positive as a catalyst. Like the Matt and Savannah Hallelujah video that Sharon sent to hr network. Or the Yale course on Happiness. Links to both in the shownotes. Share things that reflect your personal brand. An article, a video, a course, even a meme. As long as it is newsworthy and relevant to your brand – what you want to say about yourself. Newsworthy Checking in. Use COVID as the catalyst. We used to do coffee every few months. Wanna met for 15 minutes and get caught up? People are becoming more comfortable with virtual coffees. Don’t be creepy. Probably not cool to invite a stranger to come to your private backyard for a coffee date. Remember it is all about stablishing a relationship. It’s about giving – for at least a year before you have an ask. Need exercise? GO for a walk n talk. The GREETING. You say How are things? right, but in today’s world with, you know, people losing their jobs, being more stressed out, I think it’s more about reaching out and saying, how are you? How are you doing? 3 POINTERS ON FOLLOWING UP WHEN YOU’RE ONLINE NETWORKING be more patient. With people. You never know what’s going on. They might be looking after kids at home. They might be dealing with a lot. Be patient. Following up: with a maximum of 3 requests. Sharon also offered prescriptive advice in terms of getting back to people but not hounding them. If you haven’t heard back from a company, allow three requests. So two emails. And a week later a call.? Thank you notes –That said thank you mails are easy and very much appreciated. Not just for a job interview, but even just for advice or support. And a great opportunity for you to emphasize something with the recipient – maybe the one takeaway you want to reinforce, or maybe something you forgot to say. As Sharon says, thank you notes are your second shot. There you go- 3 pieces of general advice about online networking (be optimistic, online networking with like-minded people, and being generous, it’s not all about you.) then there’s 3 points about approaching people(kick-starting your networking in terms of LinkedIn, considering the catalyst for your connection, and then the greeting) and last 3 pointers on following up when you’re networking (being patient, following up with a maximum of 3 requests, and always following up with a thank you) Thanks again to Sharon Mah-Gin for sharing her awesome advice and her positive energy with us.. You can find her contact information in the shownotes if you want to connect with her, maybe one LinkedIn! OK – One last thing before you go start with your online networking. If you’re not signed up for the Talk About Talk communication skills newsletter, please do! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. THANKS for listening – and READING! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #67 ONLINE NETWORKING with Sharon Mah-Gin appeared first on Talk About Talk.
20 minutes | 2 months ago
#66 Trending Communication Topics, Insights & Recommendations
Top 3 lists from Andrea and Talk About Talk, including the top 3 Talk About Talk podcast episodes and newsletters, Andrea’s favorite podcasts, plus communication insights from 2020 and focus areas for 2021. Printable shownotes with links: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS • Summary & Resources • Transcript SUMMARY & RESOURCES Top 3 most downloaded Talk About Talk PODCAST episodes #1 is NETWORKING with executive coach Sharon Mah-Gin. #2 is COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS with executive coach Heather Stark #3 is COMMUNICATING WITH CONFIDENCE: Mental Preparation, where I share the 4Ps of mentally preparing to communicate confidently Top 3 most clicked-on Talk About Talk NEWSLETTERS #1 is “Talking Taboo” #2 is “Words Matter: Racism & Taboo Topics” #3 is “Talk About Introverts & Extraverts” Andrea’s Top 3 COMMUNICATION INSIGHTS from 2020 Growth Mindset – Talk About Talk is grounded in a growth mindset. A growth mindset is critical for communication superpowers: listening, storytelling and communicating with confidence. (If you’re a Talk About Talk follower, chances are YOU have a growth mindset!) Online Communication – The increased prevalence of online media means new skills required to excel in this online world. The online environment is now the paradigm for every communication context and topic. “How are you?” – The question “how are you?” has a whole new meaning and focus in our conversations. What used to be conversation-filler is now a genuine question. (This is a silver-lining of COVID!) Top 3 FOCUS AREAS for Talk About Talk in 2021 Online communication – The digital domain is now the default. We need to step-it-up in terms of our online communication. Online workshops – Talk About Talk will be offering more online workshops for firms who are investing in their people’s development. Personal Branding – Stay tuned for your opportunity to identify your compelling, customized, personal brand, then learn to communicate it confidently to the world! Andrea’s Top 3 FAVOURITE PODCASTS The Pivot – with Kara Swisher & Scott Galloway Ask Pat 2.0 – with Pat Flynn The School of Podcasting – with Dave Jackson Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast – https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ TRANSCRIPT Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. I founded Talk About Talk two years ago to help ambitious managers catapult their careers by improving their communication skills. Of course, some people make communication skills look easy. But here’s the thing – communication skills are a SKILL, not a talent. The good news is that we can train and learn how to become … extraordinary communicators. So at Talk About Talk, we focus on communication-skills-topics like networking, personal branding and communicating with confidence – all across a variety of media or resources so you can choose what works for you – there’s online corporate training, 1-on-1 coaching with me, online courses, the free weekly communication-skills newsletter, and, of course, this bi-weekly podcast. Welcome to episode number 66! You can find the archive of the other 65 episodes on the TalkAboutTalk.com website or on your favourite podcast player. This episode is a little different. 2020 is drawing to a close, and I’ve been doing some thinking and some analysis. What a year, right? I mean there’s the whole global pandemic thing. I remember picking up my kids from school in March and telling them to empty their lockers because it might be a few weeks till they go back. Uh huh. On March 9, 2020, the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its worst single-day point drop ever. 2020 has also been the year of racial unrest, Kobe Bryant’s sudden passing, along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in that horrific helicopter crash, devastating wildfires in California and Australia and elsewhere, and the Harvey Weinstein verdict and the Jeffrey Epstein fiasco. Harry & Meghan also quit the royal family. Personally, I don’t care so much about that, but to some this qualifies as a travesty. Then there’s the death of a few folks with famous initials, including RBG and EVH, OH – and of course…. don’t forget… the murder hornets. You thought I was going to say TRUMP, didn’t you? Like I said, what a year. We’re all ready to say goodbye to 2020. But before we do, I want to remind you of some good things that happened. Let’s start with a few positive effects of COVID. The global response to this pandemic acted as a catalyst in education, in medicine, and in communication, and flexibility in where and how we work. I’ve heard several times that we advanced by ten years in just 8 months in all these areas. So we’re all online now. And Talk About Talk podcast downloads are way up, as are the free newsletter subscriptions. I guess that’s not a surprise, but I’m delighted. And now I’d like to share with the results of my year-end analysis. I’m going to present to you a bunch of “top 3s”. This is like the gold, silver and bronze medal ceremony for several categories: First – trends. There’s the top 3: • most downloaded Talk About Talk podcast episodes and • the most popular newsletters this year • Then I’ll share with you some of my observations and insights. Specifically my top 3: • communication insights from the year, • focus areas for Talk About Talk in 2021, and last • My 3 favourite podcasts that I recommend to you. Alright, let me start with what’s been trending with Talk About Talk. This is interesting for all of us, because it can give us some insight into what people are curious about or maybe what skills they think they need the most help with. Let me start with the top 3 Talk About Talk podcast episodes. These are the top 3 most downloaded episodes according to Blubrry, the podcast hosting platform that I use. #3 is 58-communicating with confidence – where I share the 4Ps… #2 is 52-communication skills of effective leaders with executive coach Heather Stark #1 is networking with executive coach Sharon Mah-Gin. I think this one is #1 for a couple of reasons. First, networking is an important topic for all of us, right? And networking isn’t easy. Also, I have to say, this was just a great episode. Sharon and I respect each other very much and I think our conversations are engaging. So I’m guessing people might recommend this episode, in particular, to their friends. The other category that I looked at in terms of trends is the most clicked on newsletters on the Talk About Talk website. To measure this, I used Goggle analytics for the period from Jan-Dec 2020 and ranked the organic clicks to al of the 100+ weekly newsletters that are archived there. So What are the top three topics? #3 – /talk-about-introverts-and-extraverts/ For this one I think people are just curious. They may know where they stand on the continuum, and they’re curious what that means in terms of optimizing their communication. #2 was from the summer of 2020, when I wrote a blog called /words-matter-racism-taboo-topics/. This newsletter is probably found by people who are searching key terms associated with racism. I’m thrilled that this newsletter is being read! Now then, the #1 most click on newsletter is called “Talking Taboos”. In this newsletter I define what is TABOO, I list several taboo topics, I highlight 5 suggestions to respond to when people start talking about taboo topics. I find it quite fascinating that TABOO TOPICS is the most clicked on newsletter of all 100 topics we’ve covered. I guess people are generally curious about taboo topics. But also, several of the Talk About Talk podcast guests have helped us with advice for various taboo conversations that we have, or at least that we should have, including talking about money, talking about mental health, talking to your doctor, talking to our grieving finds, and OF COURSE there’s the profanity episode when I interviewed University of Calgary Linguistics professor Darin Flynn about profanity. So those are the top trending topics on Talk About Talk: communicating with confidence, communication skills of effective leaders, networking, introverts & extraverts, talking racism, and talking taboo. I find these trends fascinating! Now let me move on to my personal observations and my non-quantifiable assessments from the past year. First, three unique communication insights from 2020. In no particular they are “Growth mindset,” “Online” and “how are you? First, Growth mindset. I guess it was about 6 months ago, when I first started to realize the significance of a growth mindset in effective communication. Certainly the term “growth mindset” is very popular these days. Having a growth mindset means we seek to learn from our past mistakes and triumphs, we seek to try new things. We are dedicated to lifelong learning. Well, I realized something fundamental. I realized that the conception of Talk About Talk assumes a growth mindset. If you’re engaging with Talk About Talk, chances are you have a growth mindset and you believe, like I do, that success is contingent on learning and effort. And if you put in the effort, you will be rewarded. So fundamentally Talk About Talk is grounded in a growth mindset. I have a quick story for you about this notion of a growth mindset. I was delivering an online corporate training session a few months ago on COMMUNICATING WITH CONFIDENCE. We were on Zoom, and at the end of the workshop a did an open Q&A. Someone at the firm ask me how to deal with questions or concerns from clients confidently, particularly if someone asked a Q that they hadn’t considered. You can probably guess that my answer was to adopt a growth mindset. If your client has an important Q that you can’t answer confidently in the moment, then rely on your growth mindset. Says something like “that is an AMAZING question. And an important one. Off the top of my head I’d say ABC but let me think about that. I will get back to you.” Here’s the thing. If you truly have a growth mindset, you’ll always be in learning mode, and not having a pre-determined answer to every Q won’t compromise your confidence. It probably won’t even compromise your authority – because people will respect you for learning and sharing the answer. When I think back to this Q that was asked of me in the context of confidence and then my “growth mindset” answer, I started thinking about what I call the 3 communication superpowers: listening, storytelling and confidence. And I realized that a growth mindset is fundamental to all 3 of these! Perhaps not coincidentally, I interviewed legal veteran Norm Bacal about both listening and storytelling. And he certainly has a growth mindset. In terms of listening, the most effective, active listeners have a growth mindset, As Stephen Covey said, they seek first to understand, then to be understood. And the best storytellers often tell stories of their personal experiences where they learned life lessons. They value and reflect on their past experiences. This is a growth mindset. So that’s my first unique communication insight from 2020. The significance of a growth mindset in our communication skills You know what? I think I’m going to do a whole episode on how having a growth mindset makes us better communicators. The 2nd communication insight from 2020? The increased prevalence of online media and the new skills required to excel in this online world. Everyone’s looking for advice on how to communicate effectively online. There’s the basics: how to set yourself up for your virtual meetings – your background, your camera, even what to wear. But now we are stepping it up to the next level. How to set up productive and engaging online meetings, how to encourage interaction from online meeting participants. One of my favourite Qs I got this year was from a young manager who told me he is quite junior and therefore doesn’t get much airtime in meetings. Now that those meetings are online, he feels even more self-conscious. So I gave him some tactical tips to help him out. The point here is that the online environment is the new lens that every communication context, ever topic we discuss, has to consider. That reminds me, for the next Talk About Talk podcast episode, #67, I interview Sharon-Mah-Gin again. She’s the executive recruiter I interviewed for episode #45 focused on NETWORKING, the #1 most downloaded episode to date. Guess what we’ll be talking about for the next episode? ONLINE networking. Of course networking is different when you can’t meet for lunch or coffee and there are not live networking events to attend. So stay tuned for that episode coming up in two weeks. Again, the online lens is relevant for all communication contexts, even networking. SO the first two communication insights for 2020 are the significance of the growth mindset, and the online context. The 3rd insight? I call it “how are you.” This is actually a silver-lining of COVID. Previously, “how are you” was like a filler Q, wasn’t it? It was a conversation-starter. How are ya? Fine. Ok, let’s get down to work. Have you noticed that since our lives have been turned upside-down by COVID and we’ve been cooped up in our houses, that when someone asks, “how are you?” they REALLY want to know? They truly care how you’re doing? Or maybe you yourself have asked someone “how are you?” and when they say “fine.” You respond, “REALLY?” Personally I hope this genuine care for one another stays long after COVID is gone. So those were my 3 communication insights for 2020 – the significance of a growth mindset in effective communication, the prevalence of the online context for our communications, and the new significance of the “how are you?” Q. Next I’m going to take you through 3 things that I’m super excited to be focusing on in 2021 and I’ll conclude by sharing 3 of my favourite podcasts with you. By the way, if you ever have suggestions for what I should be focusing on more, please bring it on! Based on what I was just sharing with you in terms of the increased prevalence of online communication, the first thing that you might notice in 2021 is – just that! We’ll be talking more about online communication. Starting with the next episode, as I said, when you’ll get some helpful advice from Sharon Mah-Gin about online networking. The 2nd thing I’m excited to focus on in 2021 is doing lots of online corporate workshops. I’ve been finding these incredibly fulfilling. I guess teaching really is my happy place. But I know that firms, leaders are finding these helpful too, as they’re seeking ways to keep their staff feeling connected, and also showing them how much they’re appreciated by investing in their development. I’ll be doing online corporate workshops focused on topics like communicating with confidence, conquering your email, listening skills, and personal branding. And speaking of personal branding, this topic is something you’ll be hearing a lot about from me in 2021. By following along with Talk About Talk, you’re going to have the opportunity to establish your personal and professional identity effectively and with confidence. Whether you choose to do this through an online corporate workshop, the newsletter, the podcast, or an online course, we’re going to run through various exercises to help you first identify and craft your personal brand, then we’ll shift to communicating that personal brand – offline and online. I realized this topic of personal branding lies at the intersection of my areas pf expertise: interpersonal communication, psychology, and strategic branding. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready to nail your personal brand. I can’t wait! There you go – the 3 areas of focus for Talk About Talk in 2021: the topic of personal branding, the topic of communicating online, and increased offerings of online corporate workshops. OK now, as promised, I’m going to share my 3 favourite podcasts. This year Apple hit 1 million different podcasts listed on its platform. There are so many to choose from. Fiction and on-fiction, and every niche and genre you can imagine. Anyone who knows me can probably guess that my favourite podcasts are all non-fiction. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a fiction podcast. (That said, I have been reading or listening to some fiction for my book club and quite enjoying it – but I digress.) First – Based on recommendations I’ve received from some of my guest experts, including Hilton Barbour and Andrew Jenkins, my new favorite podcast is The Pivot with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. They talk technology and current events. They make predictions and I always feel better informed after I listen to them. They’re both so smart, so irreverent, and they have fantastic rapport. I highly recommend The Pivot podcast. My other 2 favourite podcasts probably won’t appeal to all of you. It depends on our interests. If you’re running your own online business, I recommend Pat Flynn. He has a podcast called “Ask Pat 2.0” where he does a real-time coaching call with an online business owner. Pat is generous and has helpful advice and most importantly, I’d say, he’s not slimy or overly salesy, like I find many of the other online business podcasters. And speaking of podcasters, if YOU are a podcaster, I recommend Dave Jackson as an amazing resource. Dave is a pioneer of podcasting. Like Pat Flynn, he is generous with his advice. If you’re looking for advice on podcasting equipment, online software, your podcast format, your business model, you name it, Dave has an answer for you. And he has several different podcasts, including my favourite, the school of podcasting with Dave Jackson. Alright, so those are my 3 podcast recos: The Pivot, Pat Flynn’s Ask Pat 2.0, and The School of Podcasting with Dave Jackson. There you go. All my top threes. My top 3 most downloaded Talk About Talk podcast episodes, the most popular newsletters this year, my top 3 communication insights from 2020, 3 focus areas for Talk About Talk in 2021, and last, my 3 favourite podcasts. I hope you found some of this helpful or at least interesting! As always, everything is summarized for you, including links to everything I mentioned, in the shownotes on the talkabouttalk.com website. Just go to talkabouttalk.com, click on podcasts and click on shownotes. It’s right there. Now, if you have a minute, I have three asks. I know, usually it’s just one. But this is the top three episode. So I have three asks. Honestly, if you did just ONE of these three things, I’d be thrilled. First, do you have friends who might also have a growth mindset and be interested in improving their communication skills? If yes, PLEASE tell your friends about Talk About Talk! Second, if you enjoy the Talk About Talk podcast, please write a review on Apple or whatever podcast player you use. Reviews definitely help with visibility in the crowded space of podcasts. Third and last, if you’re not signed up for the Talk About Talk communication skills newsletter, please do! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. That’s it! Here’s to a FANTASTIC 2021. THANKS for listening – and READING! – LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ – Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ – Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #66 Trending Communication Topics, Insights & Recommendations appeared first on Talk About Talk.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
#65 I NEED SLEEP with biohacker & biotechnology scientist Oksana Andreiuk
Sleep can help us be more effective communicators, improving our sociability, not to mention our immunity, hormonal regulation, mental health, and memory. Biohacker & biotechnology scientist Oksana Andreiuk shares how to get more sleep, including increasing our sleep opportunity beyond 8 hours, controlling our environment, ways to calm our minds, and more. Link to printable shownotes: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS Summary References & Resources Andrea’s Introduction Interview Transcript Andrea’s Conclusion SUMMARY WHY SLEEP IS IMPORTANT ALL BODILY SYSTEMS are impacted by sleep. Sleep helps with hormonal regulation, immunity, appetite control, emotional control, and stress management. MENTAL HEALTH – While we sleep our spinal fluid acts like a detergent to wash away any cellular waste and debris from between those cells. And if this doesn’t happen, this can lead to accumulation of that damage and formation of plaques which are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic sleep deprivation is implicated in mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression. MEMORY & LEARNING – While we sleep, our brains form connections that help us process and recall information. Lack of sleep can negatively impact short and long term memory. Sleep also affects our ability to concentrate, problem solve and think critically. SOCIABILITY – Sleep affects our brain’s capacity for self-control (reactions and emotions) and for social intelligence (including our desire for social proximity and interaction). Oksana Andreiuk & Andrea Wojnicki SLEEP TACTICS – HOW TO GET MORE SLEEP (1) CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT – LIGHT & TEMPERATURE Our body clock or circadian rhythm is impacted by light, so make your bedroom dark. A few other things you can do starting early evening: wear blue light blocking glasses use a red screen or install an app on your devices to block blue light turn down your thermostat (2) DIET & NUTRITION No caffeine in the evening. Avoid large meals three hours before bedtime. (3) EXERCISE Some say avoiding exercise 3 hours before bedtime will help you wind down. But then research also shows that strength training exercise around 6pm can boost deep sleep. (4) SUPPLEMENTS Oksana suggests several “rescue supplements,” reminding us to not take any supplements chronically, for long periods: Melatonin – Magnesium bisglycinate Passionflower – L-theanine 5HTP + GABA – Valerian root (5) CALM YOUR MIND Meditation can be self-guided or with a guided meditation app like Headspace or Calm Binaural beats – project different sound frequencies in each ear, relaxing your brainwaves. Journaling – especially in the evening. (6) COLD SHOWER It sounds drastic, but cool down your core body temperature with a cold shower! REFERENCES Oksana Andreiuk, M.Biotech Talk About Talk IMMUNITY episode: https://talkabouttalk.com/46-biohacking-podcast/ Social Media (@CanadianBiohacker) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/canadianbiohacker Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanadianBiohacker/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR6KunOu-T5XANwGbaaNlHQ Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDNBiohacker Recommendation: “The Drive” podcast – https://peterattiamd.com/podcast Resources US National Sleep Foundation – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need Harvard Medical School SLEEP Resources: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/health https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/ask-the-doctor-right-amount-of-sleep Studies referenced by Oksana: 6hrs sleep insufficient to support neurocognitive functioning – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12683469/ Sleep deprivation impairs recognition of emotions – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20337191/ Sleep loss causes social withdrawal and loneliness – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05377-0 Relaxation/Sleep promoting supplements/ingredients: Melatonin Magnesium bisglycinate Passionflower L-theanine 5HTP + GABA Valerian root Other Binaural Beats – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_(acoustics) Headspace App – https://www.headspace.com/ Calm App – https://www.calm.com/ Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Podcast –https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Free Weekly Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Dr. ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. Talk About Talk is the communication skills focused podcast for life-long learners and folks who are seeking to get noticed and advance their careers. Does that sound like you? Well, you’re in the right place! Sure, some people make communication skills look easy. But it’s not easy. It takes practice and it takes know-how. Talk About Talk gives you the know-how on things like networking, storytelling, and communicating with confidence. Today, we’re talking about something we can all do to help us communicate more effectively. It’s something that requires very little energy – actually, less energy than just about anything you can imagine. And furthermore it’s FREE! Can you guess what it is? It’s SLEEP. Imagine for a minute – You’re in a meeting and you’re in the middle of explaining something when – you just can think of the right word. Does that ever happen to you? Or, you’re in the middle of a conversation and you lose your thought? “Wait – what was I saying again?” Guess what? It might be sleep-deprivation that affecting your ability to communicate. Have you ever heard someone stumble on their words and then say, “Sorry I just can’t talk today. I’m exhausted.” THAT is what we’re talking about here. And that’s why when you have a big speech or an interview coming up, people always say “make sure you get a good night’s sleep!” But sometimes that advice can backfire. Have you ever noticed that those nights when sleep is the most important are also the nights when sleep can be elusive? When you’re lying in bed staring at the clock, counting the hours until your alarm goes off? If this is resonating with you then you’re gonna love this episode. And just wait til you meet our guest, bio-hacker Oksana Andreiuk. I met Oksana about a year ago when I was at a conference. She was onstage participating in a panel discussion about food and nutrition. And she was absolutely fabulous –knowledgeable and energetic. So I went up to introduce myself and we hit it off. In that first conversation with Oksana, I learned about her background in biotech. She earned an HonsBSc in genetics and biotechnology and a Master of Biotechnology degree, and she is focused on longevity – maximizing her lifespan and healthspan and helping others do the same. So that’s when I asked Oksana – what’s your #1 tip to help us live longer? Her answer? That one word. SLEEP. Well, Oksana and I planned to do a Talk About Talk podcast episode on how sleep affects communication. But then COVID happened. I thought to myself: “I need to talk to Oksana! How can I improve my immunity?” SO in March 2020 I interviewed Oksana and released an episode where you can hear her advice about 6 ways to boost your immunity, including, yes, SLEEP, and as well, as you’ll hear in a few minutes in this conversation, taking a cold shower. I tried the cold shower thing and I cursed her for it. Anyway, here we are, finally talking about sleep. When I told a few of my girlfriends that I was interviewing a biohacker about sleep, they went crazy. Everyone had a story about sleepless nights, things they tried, and lots of questions for me to ask Oksana. So I know this topic is something people appreciate. I hope this episode accomplishes two things: first I hope it convinces you of the importance, the significance of sleep in terms of not just your communication effectiveness, but your overall well-being. And secondly, I hope you learn some new ideas for how to improve your sleep. For this episode more than most, I suggest you check out the shownotes on the talkabouttalk.com website. Of course the shownotes are ALWAYS helpful, you don’t have to take notes. I did that for you! But in this particular interview that you’re about to hear, I counted, and we reference going to the shownotes for more information FIVE TIMES. Amongst other things, these shownotes include a brief summary of 2 things: (1) WHY we need sleep and t(2) the tactics or HOW we can get better sleep, as well as links to some of the research papers that Oksana references, and lots more. I’m not a medical doctor, obviously. So this is not intended to be medical advice. If you’re thinking of making any major lifestyle changes, you should definitely talk to your medical doctor. Oksana Andreiuk, M. BioTech Oksana Andreiuk a biotechnology scientist, biohacker, and futurist. She founded Canadian Biohacker with a mission of bringing health optimisation and anti-aging science to the mainstream. She is also a Strategist at Klick Health, one of the top marketing and commercialisation agency partners to global life sciences organisations. As I said, Oksana holds an HonsBSc in genetics and biotechnology and a Master of Biotechnology, both from the University of Toronto. She has a long-standing interest in the applications of biotechnology to optimising health and performance. She believes the future of healthcare lies in disease prevention as well as delaying (and even reversing) the aging process, ultimately extending healthspan and lifespan. TRANSCRIPT Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you so much, Oksana, for joining us to talk about sleep. Oksana Andreiuk: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to talk about this. It’s one of my favorite topics, as you know, AW: I know, I know it is, and I can’t wait to get into it. But before we do that, can you explain to me and the listeners just what is biohacking? And what does a bio hacker do? OA: Sure, absolutely. So bio hacking can generally be defined as the art and science of modifying your internal and external environments to take better control of your biology in order to optimize your health and overall performance. And so one of the exciting things – and my background being more heavily on genetics and biotechnology – is that we now have the tools and technology to allow us to quantify and measure, to continuously optimize our own biology and our health. And so it’s a really exciting time to be a biohacker. Because we have all those tools. AW: When you and I first met, it was at a conference and Ensemble conference, the future of food, and you were on a panel there, and you really impressed me. So I went up, and I introduced myself and I had a great conversation with you. And I asked you as a bio hacker who’s really focused on optimizing or I guess, maximizing her longevity: What is your number one tip? You said – sleep? OA: Yes, sleep is my number one thing. If someone asked me, what should I start doing today to you know, live healthier for longer. I always say sleep, it’s just fundamental for longevity. And it’s been proven to be even more important than food. And the reason why I share this, too, is that most of us are not sleeping enough these days. You know, it’s very rare that I need someone who doesn’t have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. And two thirds of adults across all developed nations get less than eight hours of nightly sleep versus a century ago, the average person slept for two hours more than they do today. Which seems kind of crazy. In today’s world, like imagine averaging out, you know, nine hours of sleep every day, it seems like a total luxury. But I mean, we’re just not sleeping enough. AW: Wow. So I want to get into what some of the implications are with sleep. But first, I just have to tell you this. I told some of my girlfriends that I was interviewing a biohacker about sleep and sleep hygiene and the importance of sleep, and they all freaked out. So I’m with you, I totally get it. And generally I sleep okay. But there are nights. And usually it’s before a big interview or a big presentation when I know I need to sleep. And I can’t. So I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about that. What is the link between sleep and longevity? OA: So sleep is absolutely essential to just keeping our bodies functioning properly. Interestingly, humans are the only mammals who voluntarily deprive themselves of sleep. And it’s, you know, because we want to scroll through social media, there are other things we want to be doing. And we seem to just be willing to sacrifice on our sleep. But there’s a reason why sleep happens. And there are so many benefits to sleep to keeping our bodies functioning properly. There’s not one bodily system that isn’t negatively impacted by a lack of sleep and isn’t positively impacted by quality sleep. So sleep is important for emotional control and stress, resilience, which I’m sure we’ll get into when we talk about how sleep affects communication, but also hormonal regulation, our immune system, appetite control, you know, they’ve now recently published a study that can essentially predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and a person’s risk simply based on their quality of sleep. And the impairments that we see in people who are under sleeping can be seen as similar to that of people who smoke or have diabetes or have coronary artery disease. So chronic sleep deprivation has very serious, serious implications and is linked to various chronic conditions. And so that’s why it’s the number one thing you know, because it’s free. And we can just start doing that today. And it has so many amazing benefits in helping our bodies to function properly and regenerate. AW: Okay, I have to say, based on that I could just end the interview right now. And I’m just joking. I mean, you have me convinced. It’s like a domino effect, right? You said it’s linked to Alzheimer’s and hormones and weight and stress and our immunity. And we could go on and on and on. I want to let the listeners know that I’ll get the links to some of the research papers that you’re talking about and put them in the show notes if they’re interested in reading them themselves. But before we move on to communication, can you explain what is happening to our bodies physically when we sleep? Why is it so important, like what’s going on? OA: Essentially, while we’re sleeping, that is the time for our bodies to regenerate and a lot of that happens during deep sleep. And then REM sleep is important for linking new ideas and information and making memories. But sleep helps with regulating our hormones and ensuring that our brain is functioning properly and clearing out damage. If you know we’re talking about the brain, for example, while we sleep some of our brain cells shrink by up to 60%. And what happens in that time is that the spinal fluid acts like a detergent to wash away any cellular waste and debris from between those cells. And if this doesn’t happen, this can lead to accumulation of that damage and formation of beta amyloid plaques, which are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. And so there are just so many things that happen while we’re sleeping, that once you realize that and think about all the benefits, it’s hard to continue depriving yourself of sleep, just knowing how beneficial it is to your overall health and well being from top to bottom. AW: Yeah, that makes sense. You know, I’ve heard before that all of our body systems are integrated. And I have to say, I love your detergent metaphor that is fantastic. Like sleep is washing away all the dirt. So I want to get now into the link or the relationship between sleep and communication effectiveness. I mentioned this before that the night before I’m doing an interview, or if I’m giving a presentation or speaking at a conference or whatever, I think to myself, it’s really important to get a good night’s sleep. Why is it specifically important to get a good night’s sleep in terms of our communication? OA: So sleep is critical to a number of brain functions affecting communication, I’d say if we put them in three categories, there’s memory and learning, and sociability. So during sleep, your brain forms connections that can help you process and remember new information. The lack of sleep can negatively impact both short and long term memory, then there’s communication and problem solving. So if we’re underslept, our thinking and concentration are affected, you know, we’re not as able to concentrate on a task or solve a problem. So critical thinking is not as up to par, as if we when we do get a good night’s sleep. And then lastly, and this is, I think, an even bigger piece as it relates to communication as your mood and social intelligence and persuasiveness are affected as well by a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation. So it can make you moody, emotional, quick tempered. And then chronic sleep deprivation is implicated in mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression, sleep disruption actually contributes to all major psychiatric conditions. And that, of course, includes depression, anxiety, and even suicide ability. And so the reason why that happens if we want to get into that is sleep deprivation and actually acts to shut down the communication in your brain between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. So the amygdala is our fight or flight response. So for not getting enough sleep, that fight or flight response is heightened. And then the prefrontal cortex is responsible for acting as our social or emotional filter, which allows us to, you know, just filter our reactions and emotions, and so that’s where social intelligence can be affected. And then as well, sleep deprivation actually lowers our desire for social proximity and social interaction. So if we’re sleep deprived, we don’t want to be around other people, we don’t really want to interact socially. So it’s both our emotional intelligence that is affected. And we actually become worse at even understanding the intents of other people and kind of reading the room reading the audience. And then we don’t even want to be around other people as much as well. So it’s almost like we self isolate, subconsciously, when we’re sleep deprived. And what’s more is that others are able to tell when we’re sleep deprived. So there’s been studies done, where people were shown images of other individuals. And it turns out that a person is actually more likely to appear as a lonely person to others when they’re sleep deprived. And so other people are just then biologically wired to not want to engage or interact with you when you’re sleep deprived, because our brains are actually capable of registering when the other person is sleep deprived, and it makes us perceive those people as less attractive to engage with. So all in all, essentially, sleep deprivation makes us feel lonely and lowers our emotional intelligence, but also makes us less desirable for others to want to socialize with. That’s just a total communication killer, if you think about it, AW: wow. So I love the list that you that you provided. So I got short term and long term memory, learning, premonition, critical thinking, mood, social intelligence,… This is compelling. This is very, very compelling. I’m thinking about what I was a young faculty member in particular at business school and teaching cases where, you know, it wasn’t scripted. I wasn’t lecturing, I was having a discussion with the students and I had to be on. Oh, yeah, my sleep the night before, absolutely affected how effective I was in leading that discussion. OA: and, you know, at least for women, you know, we can kind of fake it a little bit, put some mascara on, eye makeup to make ourselves look more alive. But yeah, I mean, it’s fascinating how this is happening subconsciously at a biological level that our brains can just tell when someone didn’t get enough sleep. AW: So when we know that we want to get a great night’s sleep, it’s really important. You know, I feel like sometimes that can backfire, right? Because all sudden, you feel this little bit of anxiety or pressure to sleep, let’s move into sleep hygiene, how can we increase our odds that we’re going to get a good night’s sleep? OA: So one of the things to think about with that is, you know, if you’re already a little bit stressed, or have some anxiety about what’s going to be happening the next day, you don’t want to also be stressing about the fact that you don’t have enough time to sleep. So there are three metrics, if we think about it, there’s the sleep opportunity, which is the total amount of time a person spends in bed. So it’s like your opportunity to log in those sleep hours. Yeah, and then sleep duration, which is your total amount of time that you’re spending asleep, and their sleep efficiency. So it’s the percentage of time you’re asleep, relative to the amount of time that you’re spending in bed. AW: Wow. So I mean, I previously thought about it just in more simplistic terms, it was quality and quantity, but you’re breaking it down into opportunity, duration, and efficiency. I love that. OA: If you’re in bed for 10 hours, which is your sleep opportunity, and you sleep a total of eight hours, which is your sleep duration, then you would have an 80% sleep efficiency. And I think that’s an important thing to consider is, you know, when we think about, oh, I want to get eight hours of sleep, and then we go to bed giving ourselves literally eight hours from when we need to wake up. And that can create a little bit of stress as well, right? Especially if you don’t fall asleep right away. And then you’re lying awake thinking, Okay, great. Now I only have six hours to sleep. Now I have five hours to sleep and on and on that can definitely create a stressor. So one of the thing to do is just give yourself more time in bed. AW: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes a lot of sense. Just talking to my kids. Sometimes they say, Oh, you know, I went to bed at 10. But I didn’t get to sleep till after midnight, and it kind of stresses them out. So I think reminding them that sleep opportunity is kind of the first step to quality sleep, right? OA: Mm hmm. AW: We can talk about sleep hygiene as well. I’d love to hear what are the do’s and the don’ts. We’ve heard, you know, I mean, there’s some common advice out there about minimizing the amount of blue light or screens that you see immediately before you go to sleep. But maybe you can share with me and the listeners, just some of your top hacks that you personally do and recommend to others. OA: Starting with the blue light, which you’ve mentioned, that’s an important one because our body clock or circadian rhythm is governed largely by light and the signal that your body gets around what time of day it is even. And so with us spending so much time on artificial light, we often don’t get bright enough light during the day to suppress melatonin production. And so we may feel a little bit groggy throughout the day. And then more importantly, in the evening, when our body should be winding down, we should be boosting that melatonin production. We’re surrounded by so much artificial light in the evening that our body doesn’t get the signal that Okay, it’s time to wind down it’s time to get sleepy and prepare for bedtime. So blocking blue light in the evening is very important. I mean, I myself noticed that I would feel so much sleepier when I wear my blue light blocking glasses. AW: Hmm. So when do you wear them? OA: You know, starting after dinner. The longer the better in the evening, I would say three hours before bedtime is ideal. But even an hour before bedtime will still make a difference. So in terms of food, I would try to avoid a large meal again around three hours before bedtime. Because you don’t want to have your body digesting food and being busy with that when you really should be relaxing and taking the time to undergo that full body regeneration while you’re sleeping. And it can affect deep sleep as well. And then exercise – as well you know, and it’s different for everyone. So it’s something to experiment with. But the standard is kind of to avoid excessive exercise around three hours before bedtime as well because you just don’t want your adrenaline pumping when you’re trying to wind down and go to sleep. That said though. Lifting weights or doing strength training exercise around 6pm has been shown to actually boost deep sleep throughout the night. So it’s kind of like you know, extending all that built up energy or attention or frustration from the day. Just let it go. Do your strength training with some weights around 6pm. And it can actually boost your deep sleep that same night. I mean, I know a lot of people try to, you know, wake up early and get their workout in for the day. And that’s all right. I mean, you can’t be too regimented with all of these things where you’re starting to stress out about it. So you can only work out in the morning versus 6pm. That’s still getting that exercise. But it’s just a fun little tidbit, you know, to boost deep sleep even more, doing that, doing strength training around 6pm, or evening time seems to be effective. And then the last bit is around the environment and creating the right kind of environments to relax. So one of the things I had to do personally was turned down my thermostat, I used to keep my place at like tropical weather temperatures, I just wanted to walk around in a T shirt and shorts, and feel like it’s summertime all year round, despite the snow outside most of the year. And that’s not good for sleep. So ideally, we should be sleeping and around like 19 to 21 degrees, 22 degrees sometimes. So I’ve actually lowered my thermostat down. But it took some time, you know, it’s not like an overnight if you’re used to warm temperatures in the house, you’re going to be too cold. It’s going to be uncomfortable. So I kind of built myself up and gradually would go, you know, down half a degree a degree here and there. AW: So as you’re going through all of these tips, whether it’s light, or food or exercise or environment, I’m thinking to myself, these are all great things to incorporate in our lives every day. Why not? They’re relatively easy to adopt, you won’t necessarily do all of those things every day. But back to the original question about when you have a big meeting, or a job interview or big presentation, this could become your checklist? Like just make sure that these are the things that you do? OA: Everyone deals with stress differently. But it’s more about sleep opportunity: time. So you’re not stressing over that. Work-in some meditation time, if you can. And again, you know, everyone has different situations and lifestyles, even if it’s a guided meditation in your headphones that can work, I found that if I meditate for 30 minutes before sleep, it really does boost my deep sleep actually. So and then you’re also just already in that mental headspace of feeling more relaxed. And then as you mentioned, just keeping up that sleep hygiene of creating that environment, you know, removing light from the bedrooms, because our eyes can actually register light, even with our eyes closed, you know, you may not wake up, but your eyes are still registering that light, and it can disrupt your sleep on the sense that you may not be spending as much time in deep sleep. Another good technique is like writing down your anxious thoughts, you know, just do some journaling, getting them down on paper, whatever works for you to kind of de stress and relax. There’s so many different apps that can help with that too, you know, headspace, calm or different journaling apps. AW: Okay, I will leave links to some of those apps in the show notes. And I think the journaling thing is really interesting. I’ve been journaling in the morning, but you know what, maybe I should be journaling in the evening, because then I’m not on a screen. Right? OA: Yeah, reducing screen time is a big one for sure. Yeah. AW: Yeah. It’s like a double whammy. If you journal in the evening. You’re not you’re not watching the screen. Thank you for that. Before we go any further. I just need to clarify. You said eight hours at the beginning. But how many hours are adults supposed to be getting? Is it seven, eight? I’ve heard nine or a range of seven to nine. And are we talking actually the duration of sleep? Or is it time in bed and does napping count? OA: Yeah. So good question. I know the US National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep for healthy adults. And that’s ages 18 to 65.. And then the Harvard Medical School actually says that sleeping fewer than about eight hours per night on a regular basis seems to increase the risk of developing a number of medical conditions. So they’re essentially coming out and saying that if you’re sleeping for fewer than eight on a consistent basis, then that can lead to health disruptions. So I would say eight hours is probably ideal, AW: and is that duration? OA: Eight hours asleep. AW: So we need to be in bed for more than eight hours then. OA: Exactly. AW: What about napping? OA: It’s an interesting one. Because you know, if you had a bad night of sleep, then you mean need to have that power nap during the day just to boost your energy. So about 30 minutes can be a good energy boost. But if you’re consistently feeling like you need a nap, then you’re not sleeping enough at night. AW: Okay, so now I want to move into what we should do if it’s the middle of the night and we can’t sleep. Our mind is spinning with stressors and feeling anxious and we just can’t sleep but maybe starting Should we stay in bed? Or should we get up? OA: I’ve heard different things on this one. I mean, I think it comes down to what works for the individual. I’ve heard the getting up and getting out of bed. For me personally, that doesn’t really make much of a difference. But you know, there’s different things that you could do. I mean, even the most extreme example of what you can do if you wake up and go back to sleep is taking a cold shower. Actually, it seems very counterintuitive, because you figure Oh, you know, that’s just gonna jolt me awake. But… AW: Oksana, I’d have to say, you and your cold showers. Well, after I interviewed you the first time, I tried the cold shower thing, and you just about killed me. (LOL) OA: I know, it’s a pretty extreme example. But I actually tried this myself before when I was battling my insomnia about two years ago. And I was trying all the things and there was a night where I actually forced myself to get out of bed and get in the shower and take a cold shower. And it was not pleasant. But it worked. It really did. I fell asleep because it cools down your core body temperature, which needs to happen in order to get into those deep sleep states. AW: You know what, it makes sense, actually, because then when you come back into bed, you just want to cuddle with your comforter and you know, get to sleep, right? OA: Yeah. AW: Interesting one. So you know what I usually do when I can’t sleep, which doesn’t happen very often. But what it does, I do just like a personal meditation where I do a body scan, I start at the top of my head and I go down to the tip of my toes relaxing every body part. And I kind of I tell myself sometimes if I’m still awake when I get down to the tip of my toes, I say, but at least my body’s fully, fully relaxed. OA: Yeah, I mean, it definitely helps. And I’m a big proponent of that too. And binaural beats is another one where you’re using brain entrainment to get yourself down into those delta and theta relaxed brainwaves. And ease yourself back into sleep that can really help and there are so many free apps. So there’s so much great content for sleep and binaural beats where you do have to listen to with earphones, because essentially, the way it works is projecting a different sound frequency and each year, which is why it’s called binaural. And what you hear is the difference between those frequencies. So it’s very interesting because it’s, you know, fooling your brain into emitting those more relaxed brainwaves. AW: Very cool. Very cool. So again, I’m gonna put some links to that in the show notes. I have an inkling these show notes are going to be highly accessed. One more question before we move on to the five rapid fire questions. And that is, what’s your take on melatonin or other supplements to help us when we’re desperately in need of sleep? OA: Melatonin is can be used, you know, to boost sleep or help ease ourselves into sleep, especially if we have a night where we have to stay up on the computer. I mean, I would recommend using a red screen or installing an app on your devices that turns your screen red so that at least you’re not getting that blue light if you have to be on doing screen time. But melatonin here and there. I mean, I haven’t seen any studies saying that that for you. Of course with any supplement, you know, it’s not recommended to use, you know, chronically for a prolonged amount of time. But I think as like a rescue supplement, I use it myself, but there are other supplements as well to consider so magnesium is a great one. A lot of people are low in magnesium overall. But Magnesium bisglycinate is a form that can help with sleep or help promote relaxation. There are even magnesium sprays you can buy that you kind of like rub on your arms or legs too. And you can get magnesium that way or like creams even, so I have the spray myself too. And then L-theanine is a supplement that helps promote alpha brainwaves. So it’s a more relaxed state than beta brainwaves. So if you’re not anxious state, that can be a great supplement to try as well. And then if someone is experienced struggling with insomnia, 5HTP + GABA stacked together. There was a randomized control trial done with insomnia, and that specific stack helps boost sleep as well. So that’s one that I’ve used as my own personal, like anti insomnia, rescue, supplements stack. So 5HTP + GABA, and then others like Valerian root has been great for promoting relaxation. There’s so many different sleep supplements out there. A lot of times finding what works for you passion flowers, another one. Okay, so yeah, just kind of playing around and seeing what, what helps. AW: Well, as you’re going through this list, some of them I haven’t even heard of, and I don’t I certainly don’t know how to spell them. So I’m gonna have to get that from you. And I can again, imagine what the listeners are going to want to go to the shownotes. And it’s almost like a checklist that we’ve created here of all the various things that we can do in terms of light in terms of our environment. In terms of nutrition, in terms of exercise, in terms of supplements, in terms of timing all of these things appropriately during our day and in the evening before we go to sleep. So this is amazing. And but the other bonus here is that I am more motivated now to get sleep than I was before. So I just want to say thank you Oksana! OA: Oh, I’m so glad! Yeah, yeah, sleep is all good. We should all be getting more sleep. And it’s hard. AW: It’s free. I didn’t hear you say that before. It’s free. I get now why sleep is your number one thing. Let’s move on then to the five rapid fire questions that I ask every guest Are you ready? OA: I’m ready. AW: Okay, question number one. What are your pet peeves? OA: I don’t know if it’s a pet peeve. But I feel like especially if I’m if I’m listening to a recording – slow talkers for me. I feel like I’m a slow talker. But for me personally, like oh, people, just spit it out. You know? AW: So you when you listen to podcasts and audiobooks you turn up the speed? OA: Yeah, I listened to them at like two times the speed. AW: I think it depends on who’s speaking or reading, right? So the fastest I’ve ever done, I think is 1.7. And that was crazy fast. But I really wanted to get through a book when I was driving. OK, question number two, what type of learner are you? OA: I would say visual and but maybe it’s kinesthetic. I know for sure. I’m not an auditory learner. Because if I’m listening to a podcast, like I’m always writing notes for myself, and that helps me even if I never read those notes again after it just helps me remember the information. AW: Question number three, introvert or extrovert? OA: I would say I’m a social introvert. Definitely introverted in the sense that that’s where I get how I re energize, but I love to socialize. So there’s that double whammy. Yeah. AW: Okay, question number four: communication preference for personal conversations. OA: I message, WhatsApp. I feel like a lot of my conversations happen. Instagram DMS as well. Even with close friends, since everyone’s on Instagram. So really, you know, you can respond. AW: Yeah. Okay. And last question. Is there a podcast, a blog or an email newsletter that you find yourself recommending the most lately? OA: I feel like I always recommend The Drive by Dr. Peter Attia. It’s one of my favorite podcasts just because the quality of information and research and how he breaks everything down. It’s a great podcast but also the newsletters to I really enjoy it. someone’s interested in diving into biohacking and optimizing health and longevity as a lot of great doctors on this podcast. Great. It’s almost like you’re getting a free doctor consult every time you listen, it’s just full of information. AW: Oh, I’m definitely gonna check it out. And again, I’m gonna put a link to it in the shownotes. And that’s it. I want to say Oksana, thank you so, so much for not only sharing with us how to sleep, but why to sleep. OA: I’m so happy that you had me on this podcast. And this was so much fun. Thank you for letting me share my number one longevity hack, and I hope everyone is able to sleep better and sleep longer. AW: Me too. Thank you so much. Oksana. OA: Thanks, Andrea. Transcribed by https://otter.ai Dr. ANDREA’s CONCLUSION Isn’t Oksana great? So knowledgeable and helpful – encouraging, I would say, to help us in our health and longevity. I learned a lot from that conversation. Like for example the fact that sleep is even more important that food in terms of affecting longevity. And the fact that we humans are the only species that voluntarily deprive ourselves of sleep. OOPFH! Then there’s sleep metrics. Here I was thinking about sleep quantity and quality. Oksana talked about different sleep metrics. She talked about sleep opportunity, the total amount of time we spend in bed, sleep duration, the time we’re asleep, and sleep efficiency, the percentage of time we’re sleeping, relative to the amount of time we’re in bed. So here’s the first piece of advice for getting more sleep: start by increasing your sleep opportunity. You need to be in bed for more than 8 hours to get 8 hours of sleep. And here’s the bonus: it’s less stressful. If you have something coming up the next day and you know you need to get a good nights’ sleep, focus first on sleep opportunity, not duration. Then you won’t feel anxious of stressed about not falling asleep right away. Great point! WHY SLEEP IS IMPORTANT Every single one of our bodily systems is impacted by sleep. For example sleep helps with hormonal regulation, immunity, appetite control, emotional control, and resilience and stress management. We could just stop there, right? REM sleep is also important for linking new ideas and information and making memories. I loved Oksana’s detergent metaphor. She said that while we sleep our spinal fluid acts like a detergent to wash away any cellular waste and debris from between those cells. And if this doesn’t happen, this can lead to accumulation of that damage and formation of plaques which are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. In terms of COMMUNICATION, sleep is critical to a number of brain functions affecting our ability to communicate effectively. Specifically we can think of three categories, there’s memory and learning, and sociability. While we sleep, our brains form connections that help us process and remember new information. On the other hand, lack of sleep can negatively impact both short and long term memory. This obviously can affect our communication. So that’s memory. Then there’s learning. Sleep deprivation affects our learning and thinking in terms of our ability to concentrate, our problem solving and our capacity for critical thinking. Then there’s sociability. Have you ever wondered why you’re feeling so down, so grumpy, maybe moody or emotional, and then you think a-ha – I need to sleep! People, this is serious. We need to get more sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation is implicated in mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression. So there’s mood and mental health, but there’s more. In terms of sociability, sleep affects our brain’s capacity for self-control and for social intelligence. SELF CONTROL: Reactions & emotions SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE sleep deprivation actually lowers our desire for social proximity and social interaction. In other words, when we’re sleep deprived, we don’t want to be around other people and they don’t want to be around us!. As Oksana says, sleep deprivation is “Just a total communication killer.” SLEEP TACTICS – HOW TO GET MORE SLEEP Six things you can do: (1) CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT – LIGHT & TEMPERATURE You’ve probably heard that your body clock or circadian rhythm is largely affected by light. It makes sense. Your bedroom needs to be as dark as possible. Your eyes can actually register light, even with your eyes closed. A few other things you can do starting late afternoon or early evening to help your brain get the message that it’s time to sleep include Wearing blue light blocking glasses Using a red screen or install an app on your devices to block the blue light While you’re at it – early in the evening, turn down your thermostat. You’ll sleep better if the temperature is lower. (2) DIET & NUTRITION Obviously no caffeine, avoid large meals three hours before bedtime. (3)EXERCISE This is an interesting one. Some say that avoiding excessive exercise around 3 hours before bedtime will help you wind down. But then there’s research showing that strength training exercise around 6pm can boost deep sleep. So the advice here is to experiment and see what works for you. (4)SUPPLEMENTS Oksana highlighted several supplements that might help you get a better night’s sleep. Of course there’s melatonin, but many others that I haven’t even heard of. You can find the full list of all these supplements in the shownotes at talkabouttalk.com. Oksana reminded us to not take any supplements chronically, for long periods. She used the term “rescue supplements,” which is a great way to think about supplements. (5)CALM YOUR MIND Lots of advice here, starting with meditation. Personally, when I can’t sleep, I do a body scan with slow deep breathing, starting at the top of my head, and slowly moving down to my feet. You can also try meditating on your own or with a guided meditation app like Headspace or Calm through your headphones Speaking of headphones, Oksana talked about binaural beats, which I hadn’t heard of. Basically you listen to soundwaves with your headphones, which are projecting different sound frequencies in each ear, relaxing your brainwaves. That’s pretty cool! We also talked about calming your mind by journaling in the evening, which has two benefits, assuming you’re journaling with a pen and paper, not typing into a screen. First, you’re calming your brain by writing down your thoughts. And 2nd-ly you’re not on screens! (6)COLD SHOWER For the record this is the second of two times that I’ve interviewed Oksana when she mentioned cold showers as being beneficial. Yes, I looked it up (that what I do), and she was right. There’s plenty of research showing the benefits of cold showers. I tried it and it’s painful. I’d have to be pretty desperate to get up in the middle of the night and take a cold shower. But then again, it does make sense, doesn’t it? If you cool down your core body temperature, then all you want to do is climb into bed and cuddle up with your warm blankets. If you get desperate and try this cold shower thing, PLEASE tell me how it goes! Regardless of whether you resort to taking a cold shower, I sincerely hope this episode helps you sleep more! Thanks again to Oksana Andreiuk. You can find all of her contact information in the shownotes. She’s got some great posts on Instagram, in particular. OK – One last thing before I let you go to sleep. If you’re not signed up for the Talk About Talk communication skills newsletter, please do! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. THANKS for listening – and READING! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #65 I NEED SLEEP with biohacker & biotechnology scientist Oksana Andreiuk appeared first on Talk About Talk.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
#64 CORPORATE CULTURE IN TODAY’s ENVIRONMENT with Hilton Barbour
“Any leader who doesn’t genuinely step into culture as a business imperative, five years from now will look back at this as one of the greatest missed opportunities of their time in leadership. Your culture can unleash all sorts of creativity that you can’t begin to imagine. And if you’re a leader and you don’t see the chance to do that right now, you’re missing the greatest opportunity – that’s being handed to you, on a plate.” (Hilton Barbour, 2020) Printable Shownotes HERE: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS Summary References & Resources Andrea’s Introduction Interview Transcript Andrea’s Conclusion SUMMARY: Communicating Corporate Culture HILTON’S 2 “CULTURE CHALLENGES” FOR LEADERS IN TODAY’S ENVIRONMENT SEEK TO OBJECTIVELY UNDERSTAND YOUR CURRENT CULTURE Leaders are probably the least objective about the cultures inside their organization. BE HUMBLE AND VULNERABLE No one’s crystal ball is working right now! By being honest and vulnerable, by trusting your people, you can provide the opportunity for your organization to genuinely thrive, and for you to create a culture that attracts talent like a magnet. DEFINING CORPORATE CULTURE Culture is how we act, behave, and make decisions to fit into an organization. Culture is how the edges of your organization behave on your very worst day. Do you TRUST your employees? Are they empowered to do the right thing for the right reasons? And what will they do on their worst day? Culture is a marker of the commitment of your people. (Stan Slap) Culture is about how decisions are made (Edgar Schein) Evaluating corporate culture: Culture is not binary. It’s not simply good or bad. Is your culture is able to accelerate the delivery, execution, and activation of your strategy? Or is it impeding the execution of your strategy? Customer-centricity is an outcome of culture, not an objective. As such customer-centricity serves as a barometer of the health of your culture. COMMUNICATING CORPORATE CULTURE Communication is absolutely foundational to establishing a positive corporate culture. Similar to marketing messages, consistency is key – over time and across media Great people and great organizations succeed in this busy world based on what they think, what they do, and what they say (Ron Tite) Cultural artifacts: tangible and intangible signals or queues that communicate the culture (the strategic plan, the values, mantras and slogans, walking the talk…) Communicating corporate culture is like coaching a professional sports team. You’ve got to be testing the edges every day. Ask yourself, am I getting the maximum out of these people? What can I do to inspire them to even greater heights? What am I doing that’s impeding their ability? Hilton says that’s what true leaders who “get” culture obsess about. Hilton Barbour & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki talk CULTURE REFERENCES Hilton Barbour https://www.hiltonbarbour.com/ LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/hiltonbarbour/ Twitter – @ZimHilton Recommendations: “PIVOT” podcast (Scott Galloway & Kara Swisher) – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pivot/id1073226719 Tobias Sturesson –“Leading Transformational Change” podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/020-mary-gentile-giving-voice-to-values/id1504162092?i=1000489278967 Tobias Sturesson on LinkedIn –https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobiassturesson/ Culture “Think Do Say” by Ron Tite Stan Slap – Slap Company – https://slapcompany.com/ Peter Drucker – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker Edgar Schein – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Schein Ron Tite – THINK DO SAY – https://amzn.to/38YQ5pw Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Dr. ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. Talk About Talk is the communication skills focused podcast for life-long learners and folks who are seeking to get noticed and advance their careers. Does that sound like you? Well, you’re in the right place! Sure, some people make communication skills look easy. But it’s not easy. It takes practice and it takes know-how. Talk About Talk gives you the know-how on things like networking, storytelling, communicating with confidence, and today, we’re talking about CULTURE. As in what is corporate culture, and how to communicate it. For this episode, I interviewed my long-time friend, culture expert, Hilton Barbour. Yes, we had a lot of fun in this interview, as you’re about to hear. You’re going to learn what culture is, how it’s communicated, a few examples of firms with strong positive cultures, and 2 culture-related challenges that Hilton offers to leaders in this current, challenging business environment. You’ll also laugh along with us in this episode, I promise. Hilton is a very funny guy. I’m going to introduce Hilton now, then get straight to the interview. As always, I’ll summarize at the end, so you definitely don’t need to take notes! Just keep doing whatever you’re doing as you’re listening – whether you’re driving or doing housework or walking the dog – whatever you’re doing, you don’t need to stop to take notes. In addition to my summary at the end, you can also reference easily the summary and transcript in the shownotes on the TalkaboutTalk.com website. Ok? You’re welcome. Let me introduce Hilton. Hilton’s personal mantra is “Question Everything.” Over the past 20 years, he’s put that mantra to task across diverse settings, categories and markets. Hilton has lead brand, digital and business strategy engagements for global brands like IBM, Coca-Cola, Nokia, Enron, Hilton hotels and Ernst & Young, and in geographical markets including Canada, Japan, the UK, Germany and Bulgaria. Hilton’s passion is to create winning brands by helping businesses become more adept at handling change and more effective at creating extraordinary customer experiences. He has a strong belief in the power of organizational culture to transform organizations. Hilton says that culture is the true competitive differentiator for organizations in the 21st Century. While he’d never publicly disagree with Peter Drucker about Culture eating Strategy, his fundamental belief is that “Strategy is the Engine, Culture is the Fuel.” TRANSCRIPT Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you, Hilton, so much for joining us here today to talk about culture. HILTON BARBOUR: It’s an absolute pleasure, Andrea, what a delightful opportunity to reconnect. So thank you for that. AW: Let’s start with a definition. What is culture? HB: Well, I can tell you first what culture isn’t. Culture isn’t beer on Fridays and vegan muffins in the cafeteria. And often those wonderful posters that people put on the wall. There are two definitions of culture that ring very true for me, one quite academic, which is: Culture is how we act, behave, and make decisions to fit into an organization. And I think there’s a lot of truth around the two parts of make decisions and fit in. The second, and this is a definition that I’ve heard quite recently: Culture is how the edges of your organization behave on your very worst day. AW: Wow. HB: And I think in light of COVID, that probably was the most profound statement that I’d heard from any executive about the impact of culture. AW: So in both definitions, it’s really about the people. So in your first definition, it’s about how they’re acting, how they’re behaving, how they’re making decisions, and fitting in conforming or not conforming. And in the second definition, it’s also about that, in particular, the ones that are on the periphery. So is culture really, people management? HB: I would say culture is everything to do with humans inside our organization. You know, I always have a visceral reaction to the notion of management. There can be all sorts of weird misinterpretations of the word manage. And certainly I have an even more visceral reaction around the word human resources. AW: I was gonna ask. HB: Well, there are certain phrases that I think management theorists coined, whether it’s the 1960’s or 1980s, where they seem to put people in boxes. And I think the unfortunate thing is, the connotation becomes that this is something to be used and casually tossed aside when I’ve finished with it. AW: It sounds like an asset that you can leverage. And then throw out. HB: Absolutely, and I have no problem. And in fact, I think this an excellent point around humans, actually are some of the greatest, most incredible assets that any business has. I think the struggle that I have is when those assets are seen as easily replaceable, and asset to be exploited or an asset to be underutilized, which can often be as crushing as anything else. That part of the asset stripping is what really gets me around some of these terms and how they are applied to culture and organizations today. AW: Right. So I just want to clarify a little bit more in terms of the definition, you said that it’s looking at humans that are inside the organization. And I’m curious, what about customers and consumers? HB: Well, I think the customers and consumers so profoundly impacted by the culture. I will talk to leaders around customer service, which is for many organizations, the most explicit objective that they will put down, we are a customer centric organization, which then you and I would both love it in terms of: what would be the alternative? But the irony is that customer centricity is actually an outcome of your culture, not an objective, it’s an outcome, your culture will determine whether your people are profoundly interested in serving customers, or see customers as a necessary requirement. And I’ll put a plastic smile on the face and do the very bare minimum to serve them. I think the wonderful examples obviously, Starbucks would be an organization whose customer centricity is without debate. And I think the profound and deep training for the people highlights that they recognize that customer centricity is what happens when you get your culture right. AW: Have you read Ron Tite’s “Think, Do, Say”? HB: I have indeed, Ron is an old friend, and just a fantastic all around human being. AW: Yeah, I adore his mind. I have to be honest. And I just finished his book recently. And I’m thinking now that you’ve mentioned Starbucks, he talks about lots of examples where I’m not sure that he actually uses the word culture, but he is describing a culture where the corporate beliefs are articulated. That’s what they think. And then they do it. And then they say it. And he talks a lot about, for example, the Westin Hotel in Vancouver that bent over backwards to delight him and that was part of their culture. HB: Look, I think we can both agree that any organization that delivers Diet Coke to Ton Tite’s room is going to be considered a high point of customer service. And all joking aside, his point is incredibly valid. Customer Service comes from a deep understanding of what is unique about that customer and the things that they value. But here’s a great Canadian example, a great international example board. Here in Canada, which is the Four Seasons, I mean, is Izzy Sharp’s understanding of culture as a differentiator, particularly in the hospitality sector is unprecedented. There is an organization based on a very simple cultural premise of the golden rule. And following that up with, we trust our people to solve what our guests require, and having the trust again, I think that that’s something that is he pioneered. Four Seasons was decades ahead of everybody else … pushing trust and confidence down to the point where the guest and the organization meet. And I think many other organizations came to that realization decades later, but it really does set the Four Seasons apart. Sadly, I don’t get to enjoy the Four Seasons, as much as I may have done before COVID. AW: Exactly. HB: But I desperately look forward to that day. Hello Four Seasons! AW: The hotels are gonna be overflowing with happy people. So you mentioned the word intersection. And before we move on, I just, I have to ask you this. At the top of your website, it says, strategy is the engine culture is the fuel. HB: Mmm hmm. AW: can you elaborate on the distinction or maybe the interaction between culture and strategy? HB: Sure. Both of us come from a marketing background. And, you know, my foray, and deep and abiding passion for culture really is informed by what I’d say is our shared marketing background, you know, which is, you create this wonderful strategy, this this breathtaking plan, ideally, in less than 400 PowerPoint slides. AW: Haha. HB: And then you march it into an executive team, and they anoint it. Go make that happen. And then you leave the boardroom with a big smile on your face, and you take it into the organization and the organization says, What do you want me to do with that? AW: Yeah. HB: Didn’t you ask me to do something different last year? Last year I did that thing. I actually didn’t get rewarded for it the way you told me I would. All of us have seen Peter Drucker’s sadly mis-quoted thing about culture eats strategy in LinkedIn, at least 10 or 15 times a day, right? There is an inherent truth in that, because there is no organization whose strategy and critically importantly, the ability to execute that strategy that doesn’t have to come face to face with the culture’s willingness to do it. And that, for me, is always the most critical part. A strategy is a fantastic blueprint and a roadmap and ideally set of objectives. But somebody somewhere is going to put their hand up and say, I’m on board, what can I do to make that happen? And that’s all about the commitment of your people. And again, that to me, is culture. AW: Got it. So is a simple way of thinking about it would be to say that the strategy is the objectives and the priorities that are articulated. And the culture is the how? HB: Absolutely. Andrea, the truth of the matter is, unless your strategy and your culture are aligned, you’re never going to be able to as effectively execute what you’re trying to set up. You know, in previous conversations, you had said to me, why this passion for culture? Isn’t that the domain of HR people? AW: Did I say that? HB: No, you would never do something like that. But I think it’s a sad and unfortunate reality. HR has been given the responsibility for culture, where the truth of the matter is, it is almost the catalyst for everything that does or does not happen inside an organization is a tremendous responsibility. And that for me is why there is a role for marketing, a very important role for marketing to play in culture formation. Because the end of the day, I believe that your culture is truly your only sustainable competitive advantage. What gets any marketer out of bed in the morning? A sustainable competitive advantage. AW: right. So my next question for you was going to be Why does culture matter? Culture encourages loyalty, it encourages consumer resonance, and it ultimately would contribute to the bottom line. I think what you’ve identified here is something that kind of supersedes all of that. It’s like an umbrella over all of that. HB: So one of my favorite people who work in the culture space, this is great guy called Stan Slap. I mean, Stan gets kudos just for his incredible name. But Stan’s belief is your culture is actually a mark of the commitment of your people. And I can’t think of a better way to define it. And I think anybody be listening to this can probably do a quick little mental analysis and probably point out at least one organization where their commitment was head and shoulders above the commitment they had to any other task or role or job that they had. AW: Can I just interject, as you’re saying that I’m thinking about the employers that I’ve had. And it turns out that the ones that are at the top of that mountain that you’re describing, have incredible brands with incredible brand equity, and the ones that I would say had a questionable culture, the brand was not as impressive. HB: I would say, you know, you reap what you sow. For me the simple definition of your culture, it’s not whether it’s good or bad. I think those are rather binary pre-sets and actually obscure thigs. What culture really is, if your culture is able to accelerate the delivery, the execution, the activation of your strategy, and your culture is actually delivering what you need it to do as a business leader, right? If your culture is impeding the execution of your strategy, then something’s wrong. It’s either your strategy isn’t believed by your culture, or your culture looks at your strategy and says, what exactly you wanting us to do? Are you insane? AW: They’re inconsistent. Yeah. HB: The incongruence is where the issue lies. You can’t look at your culture as a binary term and say, Is it good or bad? And as outsiders, it’s impossible for us to really make those determinations. I can’t comment of working at Amazon, or Apple or Facebook, or Google or JP Morgan, right? As outsiders, we can look at artifacts. And you know, the famous culture guru, if you will, Edgar Schein would say, there are artifacts, but it’s, it’s when you get down to the level where decisions are made to really understand how our culture works. And it isn’t the posters on the wall. And it is the cute things that we say on coffee mugs, etc, etc. It’s how our decisions are made. And those decisions are driven by your culture. AW: So I am dying to hear some of the stories that you have. And I do know that you are the son of an African father and a Scottish mother and you are a heck of a storyteller. So I’m wondering when someone asks you to illustrate an example of a highly effective or maybe a highly ineffective culture and the impact that it has on an organization, what stories come to mind? HB: How long is this podcast again? How many days? AW: Three hours. Go for it. HB: Fair enough. Okay. There are two examples for me that solidified my belief in culture is something that has an impact on strategy and culture is something that marketing people, I think, should be paying infinitely more attention to. One, I was but a young pup, does that sound like a wonderful story starter? AW: Yeah. Okay, grandpa. Okay, Boomer, HB: I was at Ogilvy here in Toronto, and some colleagues that I worked with, on one of the global heads of business said, Have you ever considered working in New York? And obviously, the immediate answer was, yes, I can be on the next plane. And they said, Well, we had this very interesting client, very progressive, very sort of innovative, doing all sorts of weird and crazy things. We need people who would be invigorated by that type of assignment. I said, sign me up. What’s his company called? And they said, it’s called Enron. Yeah, you might have heard of them. Or you may not in Canada, because they’re in oil and gas, and they’re based in Texas, but they diversifying into all sorts of other things. But they are a remarkable organization. So I went down to New York, I moved to New York, and I went immediately to work on the Enron business. And I must tell you, it was probably nine or 10 months later, when I was flying back to Toronto, and Enron was plastered all over the front covers of every business magazine that you could read. AW: I remember that well, yeah, HB: …that I sort of reflected on Wow, I’ve never been exposed to an organization with such an incredibly dense feeling of winning at all costs. It was a win at all costs, peppered with more alpha males per square foot than almost any other boardroom that I’ve been in anywhere in the world. It’s easy in hindsight, but there was very much a sense of the rules don’t apply to us. It was certainly something in the air, where those belief systems were very evident, even to an outsider like myself. So that was one example. The other example when I was working in the UK, and a dear friend and I were presenting to a group of technology engineers, and he held up the very first Apple iPhone. And if we can all remember what that looked like? And then with this wonderful British accent he said, you gentlemen realize that this is the future of mobile telephony? And they burst into laughter and one of the gentlemen leaned toward me and said, what does that music company know about mobile phones? AW: Wow. HB: And we were at a presentation in Espoo, Finland, which is the global headquarters of Nokia. So at the time, you have an organization that had upwards of 80, to 85% penetration of mobile phones globally, looking at somebody like Apple out in California, on the other end of the world, other side of the world and going, what does that upstart know about what we’ve done? What we’ve created in almost every other market in the planet, there isn’t a data point about mobile phones that we do not have in this building. In that moment, I think I must have hidden under the desk when my colleague said that. I was like, Oh, dear Lord, you’re not gonna embarrass us again with the Apple is the future comment. But as I think back on those two episodes, I look at them as reflections or manifestations of the culture inherent at those organizations. Now we can paraphrase them as blind spots, we can paraphrase, you know,… AW: What comes to mind for me is that they seem myopic. So for the Enron story, you said they win at all costs. HB: Yeah, right. AW: And then for the cell phone companies, you’re talking about one player who’s looking at the future. And another one that’s saying, but we already know everything, which seems really myopic. HB: And this is, again, one of those interesting things about culture, culture, sorry, let me, let me rephrase. AW: I’m gonna edit the heck out of this…Haha. Actually, that’s going to be in the bloopers now. Go ahead. HB: There we go. Organizations that are successful, inherently create a self-fulfilling prophecy around the culture. Otherwise, they would have gone out of business. So the reality of we’ve been successful, we are brilliant, can be very much a big glass of Kool Aid, that everybody starts to drink. It can quite quickly occur. What was originally an entrepreneurial spirit can very quickly become what I would call classic calcification. The culture hardens into a we know everything about everything. There’s nothing that’s a surprise to us. And I think that’s a dangerous point for cultures, if you’re not keeping an eye on have we hardened our culture in areas that exposed us to missing signals in the market, or changes in the way that people think, act work, behave. I mean, I think for the organizations that perhaps have struggled the most with COVID is the ones whose culture was so hard and fast around aspects like what if I can’t see my team, they’re obviously goofing off on Facebook, right? So there’s no way that remote working could ever happen inside this organization. Because I don’t trust my team. There’s no way they’ll be productive. Along comes a global pandemic that didn’t get that memo about how you think about culture. So I think for the organizations and the leaders that I’ve been most inspired by, they’re the ones who recognize that culture is not a one and done thing. It’s something that you have to work on every single day. And much like a professional sports team, you’ve got to be testing the edges all the time to say, am I getting the maximum out of these people? And what can I do to inspire them to even greater heights? And what am I doing that’s possibly impeding their ability? And that’s what true leaders who get culture obsess about. AW: So what’s the relationship between culture and values, then, like corporate values? HB: Well, if you’re asking the idealist me, the idealist would say your values are a reflection of what you want your culture to be and what your culture is, or could be. AW: Okay. HB: If I’m being a realist, our values are the things that we bang up on posters on the wall, and we put on coffee mugs, and every quarter somebody from our executive team comes in chance them at the start of some old staff meeting. And then 20 minutes later, we go back to behaving the way that we do. That is where the schism exists. AW: So that’s a beautiful segue then into my next question, which is about communication. And as you know, Talk About Talk is all about communication. So if creating and sustaining a positive and strong culture is not about identifying values and plastering them all over the walls, how does an effective leader communicate the culture that he or she wants in an organization? HB: I would suggest communication is absolutely foundational, Andrea. Well, it is. It’s absolutely foundational. All communication is always a signal of intent. You communicate to signal a direction and intend to a purpose. Those are all vitally important for your culture. Your culture needs some sense of where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve? Why do you want believe that your culture looks to communication in its multitude of artifacts, because those are signals, but then it looks at those signals and it says, What do you told me this one thing? Yeah. And now shockingly, I’m now going to evaluate your behaviors against those. And if the delta between what you say and what you do, you can drive an ocean liner through, well, then you can expect people not to feel skeptical. AW: I love how you brought up the term artifacts a few times because I feel like the artifacts are almost like the communication medium, or tools that are being employed to encourage the permeation of the culture. Yes, that makes sense. HB: It’s very easy for me to call on Stan Slap again. Your culture is perpetually looking for signs that validate its survival. And I think as humans inside an organization, we can probably all look to our own behaviors and the way we’ve acted inside companies and said, there’s an enormous truth in that. I can’t say enough, particularly in the spirit of this particular podcast, that communications are absolutely vital. Yeah. As they are in any interaction between two human beings. Communication is one of the most primary things that we do to connect to understand each other, to bond with each other. These are all outcomes of communication. They’re also all outcomes of communication that has clarity that has consistency. That is an idiom, as old as time. AW: Yeah, consistency. And, and integration of everything of all of these elements that we’ve been talking about is a mantra of mine, which reminds me that I recently read an article. It’s actually an interview that you wrote, where you interviewed the CEO of the Citizens Bank of Edmond and and she said, she heard someone in a beauty salon talking about the this horrible bank with a horrible woman leading it. And she said, Well, that’s me. And she did manage to turn it around. And they have a mantra. They call themselves the MacGyver of banking. And I thought, That’s beautiful. implicit in that entire interview that I read is communication, communication, communication, do you find that mantras are common in corporations with strong positive cultures? HB: Yes, I would say most organizations probably have some way, a manifestation or a manifesto of we believe these following things are critically important. I think, again, this is me speaking as perhaps a marketing person, I look at many of those and go, those are just statements of fact, I look at the banking industry. And I would encourage anybody listening to this to open the website of 100 random banks across the world and go to the values of culture section of those websites and see if the woods trust and honesty and… AW: that’s the baseline, it better be, right? HB: Absolutely. If honesty is not wired into the DNA of the people on all of my financial business, I’ve got a really big problem. Again, I’m always struck by – regardless of what you say, if that isn’t reinforced by what you do – a subtle hat tip to our dear friend, Mr. Ron Tite. AW: I was just thinking, think do say. I have one more question for you, before we move on to the five rapid fire questions. My last question here for you is do you have any specific advice for leaders who are aspiring to create a strong positive culture these days? Before we press record, we’re talking about now more than ever, and what I’m talking about is in in these day of the COVID pandemic, and working from home, what kind of advice would you give to senior executives and leaders who are really trying to create a strong positive culture in their organization? HB: Let’s say two things. Let’s say number one: Do you honestly and objectively know the culture you have today? Time and again, leaders are probably the least objective about the cultures inside their organization. So that would be number one. Do you know that and are you being objective about that culture? The second thing, and this is reflective of all of us going through COVID. This is this is a time unlike any of that in modern history. So for any leader who still consider themselves omnipotent and omnipresent, and the owner of every single answer, the only person you’re fooling is yourself. Leaders prepared to publicly recognize they don’t have all the answers are the ones that will gain significant credibility, because the truth of the matter is, nobody’s crystal ball is working right now. So if you continue to suggest that you know everything and are invincible and invulnerable, I think you lose immediate credibility, there’s never been a better time and a better opportunity more likely for you to be objective about your culture. And for you to be objective and vulnerable about your leadership, both of those things I suggest will provide the opportunity for your organization to genuinely thrive and for you to create a culture that attracts talent like a magnet. And isn’t that what every leader wants today? AW: Very true. And now, we’re gonna move on to the five rapid fire questions. Are you ready? HB: Is this not the time that I hang up and move on and do something? This is the most terrifying part of this entire podcast. Andrea, please be gentle. AW: Okay, ready. Number one. What are your pet peeves? HB: I live with three incredible and beautiful women, my wife and two daughters. Pet peeve? makeup everywhere. But then they would say: you never put the top on the toothpaste, dad. So this is our revenge. AW: Nice, nice. Okay. Question number two, what type of learner are you? HB: I would say visual. It befuddles my wife, but I can sit with my headphones on listening to music quite loudly, and read a book and write, which is like how do you manage to do that? Because the music inspires me. And then I learn more as I’m reading. AW: Wow. HB: Maybe I’ve just highlighted another weird thing about me. Maybe we can edit the weirdness out of this podcast if that’s possible. AW: Well, if you’re a visual learner, I would love to see your visual depiction of what culture is. HB: Hmm, that sounds ominously like a homework exercise. AW: You don’t have it, or you have it? Or you’re saving them for your clients? Haha. Okay. HB: Isn’t this the moment where I do the Austin Powers strokey beard thing? AW: LOL. You know what? When I work with clients, and they describe things, I’m so visual, I’m also a painter, like I paint and I’m so off the charts, which is kind of strange for a podcaster. But I grab a piece of paper and I start making arrows and maybe it’s a common marketing thing. I wonder? HB: Well, there’s no strategy person in the world who doesn’t know the power of an intersecting Venn diagram now. Look, what happens when these three Venns intersect? AW: Haha. Yeah, forget the two by two. Okay. Question number three, introvert or extrovert? HB: Well, that’s tough. Extrovert. Extrovert, I think, if that’s okay with you, I’m a Canadian extrovert. If it’s right with you, I’m an extrovert. AW: That’s funny. Okay, question number four: communication preference for personal conversations. HB: Pick up the phone and bore them to tears by talking at them for three hours. AW: Oh, there you go. Really? HB: I probably have about 200 annual reviews from various organizations that say we really wish Hilton would get to the point and stop being so loquacious. And I said, Well, nobody told Chaucer that, or Shakespeare that, or Milton that. So why do you want me to be less loquacious? Come on now… Yeah, so I prefer a phone call over sitting like my teenage daughters texting their friends, even if they’re in the same room… AW: And yet you’re not an auditory learner. HB: I’m also mixed up. Andrea, I make no apologies. AW: You’re very ambiguous. Okay. Question number five. Is there a podcast or blog or an email newsletter that you find yourself recommending to people lately? HB: There’s a multitude. Obviously, I will be adding this particular podcast episode to everybody on the planet. AW: that goes without saying HB: there are a couple that are my go-to standards. Obviously Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher. Absolutely phenomenal. AW: I just I just interviewed Andrew Jenkins, who’s a social media guru. Do you know Andrew Jenkins? HB: Yes I do, indeed. AW: And that was his first recommendation as well. HB: Yeah, those two are all full of piss and vinegar, which makes it an interesting podcast. There’s a Swedish podcast in English by this wonderful gentleman called Tobias Sturesson. That’s around building adaptive organizations. And Tobias in such a wonderful fashion manages to find people on the edges of management thinking people who talk about ethics, people who talk about integrity, people who talk about, it just has these wonderful conversations with him. So you know, Tobias, if you’re listening to this, you’re doing great work, Brother, please keep it up. AW: Great. I will put a link to that in the show notes. Is there anything else you want to add about culture? HB: My closing thoughts on culture would be the following. The times that we are living through now provides such an incredible opportunity for any leader to genuinely step into culture as a business imperative, and then as a competitive advantage. And that any leader who doesn’t do that now, five years from now will look back at that as one of the greatest missed opportunities of their time in leadership. Your culture can unleash all sorts of creativity that you can’t begin to imagine. And if you’re a leader and you don’t see the chance to do that right now, I say you’re missing the greatest opportunity handed to you on a plate. AW: Very, very well put. Thank you so much for everything Hilton. It was lots of fun to chat. HB: Always a delight speaking with you, Andrea. Let’s not make it so long next time. Okay? AW: And so formal! Haha. HB: Of course. I didn’t know how to – I didn’t know what to do for the final finish here. If I was on the ball I’d have a little meme of me dropping a mic. I don’t know. I don’t know. I guess BOOM – sign off… Transcribed by https://otter.ai Dr. ANDREA’s CONCLUSION OK – THAT was a fun interview. And yes, it was conducted over Zoom, not face to face. Thanks again to Hilton for sharing his expertise with all of us and for making us laugh. Let me summarize now some of Hilton’s main points. I categorized these main points into four main topics: Defining culture, Communicating culture, References & examples, and the significance of culture in today’s environment. Let’s start with DEFINING CULTURE. That’s always a good place to start, right? Hilton started by saying that Culture is how we act, behave, and make decisions to fit into an organization. Specifically, Culture is how the edges of your organization behave on your very worst day. I love that. That’s the barometer. How you can measure of the strength and tone of your culture. Do you TRUST your employees? Are they empowered to do the right thing for the right reasons? And what will they do on their worst day? But Hilton warns us that culture is not at all binary. It’s not simply good or bad. So how else can you evaluate the culture of your organization? One test is whether your culture is able to accelerate the delivery, the execution, the activation of your strategy. If your culture is impeding the execution of your strategy, then something’s wrong. Hilton also highlighted that customers and consumers are profoundly impacted by the culture. Despite the common corporate mission or strategy of customer centricity, being truly customer centric is an outcome of your culture, not an objective, it’s an outcome. So that’s another barometer of the health of your culture. Whether the firm is B2C or B2B, consider whether your people are genuinely interested in serving customers, or do they see customers as a necessary evil. OK – so how should leaders, COMMUNICATE their culture within the firm? I loved Hilton’s comment about communication and culture. He said that communication is absolutely foundational, it’s something you have to work on every single day. Consistency over time and across media – including the annual strategic plan, the values that are plastered on the wall, mantras and slogans, and the other artifacts – tangible and intangible signals or queues that communicate the culture. First and foremost that means walking the talk. Consistently. Does that sound like marketing? Yep. Consistency in communication is critical. Hilton brought up the analogy of coaching a professional sports team. You’ve got to be testing the edges every day, asking yourself, am I getting the maximum out of these people? And what can I do to inspire them to even greater heights? And what am I doing that’s possibly impeding their ability? Hilton says that’s what true leaders who “get “culture – obsess about. On to REFERENCES & EXAMPLES. Hilton brought up a few other culture gurus in our conversation. If you go to the shownotes on the talk about talk website, I’ve included links to these folks for you there. He mentioned Stan Slap, Edgar Schein, Peter Drucker, Tobias Stephenson the Swedish podcast host, and our shared admiration for Ron Tite. Let’s start with Peter Drucker. Drucker is frequently quoted as saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. As in, if your culture isn’t strong, then your strategy doesnt matter much. Hilton mentioned that this is a mis-quote. So I looked it up. Apparently while this quote “Culture Eats strategy for breakfast” is frequently attributed to Peter Drucker, no one has been able to confirm where or when Drucker first said this. That said, everyone agrees that it sounds like something Drucker might say. It also clearly makes the point. Culture and strategy need to be aligned. SO there’s Peter Drucker. There’s also Stan Slap. Yes, a cool name. Stan says that culture is a marker of the commitment of your people. Hilton says he can’t think of a better way to define culture. It’s more than just trust and empowerment and job satisfaction. It’s a marker of the commitment of your people. We talked about the examples of Starbucks and of the Four Season hotel chain. You can probably imagine what it would be like to work at either of these firms, right? You understand the commitment of the people in that organization. And you certainly know what to expect as a customer. THAT is culture. Stan Slap also highlights that your culture is perpetually looking for signs that validate its survival. Again – the signals, the queues, the artifacts. Edgar Schein also has something to say about artifacts,. When you get down to the level where decisions are made – whether they’re day-to-day decisions or massive strategic decisions, it isn’t about the posters on the wall or the sayings on the coffee mugs. It’s how our decisions are made. And those decisions are driven by culture. You also heard us declaring our admiration for Ron Tite. Ron Tite is a master marketer. In his book THINK DO SAY, he talks about how great people and great organizations succeed in this busy world based on what they think, what they do, and what thy say. What they think as in the purpose. What they do as in how they behave. And what they say as in how they talk about it – how they communicate. This is EXACTLY what we’re talking about here. If you haven’t read his book THINK DO SAY, I highly recommend it. I will leave a link to it in the shownotes. Now, last, some insights and advice in terms of culture IN RELATION TO COVID. Specifically how the current environment is an opportunity for leaders. Hilton talked about how some successful firms, as thy advance from small start-up to successful corporation, lose their entrepreneurial spirit, and they “calcify,” as he calls it. The culture calcifies or hardens into a static “we know everything about everything” culture. The problem then, is that change is inevitable. Well, if the current environment isn’t a test for this calcification, I don’t know what is. Hilton shared that the organizations that have struggled the most with COVID are the ones whose culture lack trust. Leaders who assume that their people must be goofing off on Facebook when can’t see them in their office. Oopfh. Hilton concluded with two challenges for managers who are leading their culture through these challenging times: SEEK TO OBJECTIVELY UNDERSTAND YOUR CURRENT CULTURE. leaders are probably the least objective about the cultures inside their organization. But understanding the culture is critical. BE HUMBLE AND VULNERABLE No one’s crystal ball is working right now. If you’re faking invincibility, omnipotence, and omnipresence, then you lose credibility. By being honest and vulnerable, by trusting your people, you can provide the opportunity for your organization to genuinely thrive, and for you to create a culture that attracts talent like a magnet. I love that. Let me close by quoting Hilton: “Any leader who doesn’t genuinely step into culture as a business imperative, five years from now will look back at this as one of the greatest missed opportunities of their time in leadership. Your culture can unleash all sorts of creativity that you can’t begin to imagine. And if you’re a leader and you don’t see the chance to do that right now, you’re missing the greatest opportunity – that’s being handed to you – on a plate.” That’s a great place to close. Thanks again to Hilton Barbour. I sincerely hope you learned something about culture, and I hope you’re feeling as inspired as I am. Please email me and let me know your thoughts. I’d LOVE to hear about your own experience with culture – or of you have any ideas for future Talk About Talk podcast episodes. One last thing – if you’re not signed up for the Talk About Talk communication skills newsletter, please do! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. THANKS for listening – and READING! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #64 CORPORATE CULTURE IN TODAY’s ENVIRONMENT with Hilton Barbour appeared first on Talk About Talk.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
#63 COMMUNICATION FOR EDUCATORS & THE FUTURE OF LEARNING with Chris Besse of Edsby
Learn 5 key communication insights for educators, including the positive impact of technology in the classroom. Chris Besse shares how edtech platforms like Edsby make education more student-centric, they enable communication and collaboration, they enable accessibility and immediacy of information, and they encourage students to learn how to learn. Link to Printable Shownotes: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS SUMMARY: 5 Communication Insights for Educators 5 Benefits of Educational Technology Platforms REFERENCES ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION TRANSCRIPT ANDREA’s CONCLUSION SUMMARY 5 COMMUNICATION INSIGHTS FOR EDUCATORS How to interpret teaching advice: Accept teaching advice about what NOT to do (i.e. common teaching pitfalls) at face value. However, be skeptical of prescriptive advice about what you SHOULD do in the classroom. Leverage the power of storytelling in the classroom. Stories are engaging and memorable. Seek the ideal level of confidence in the classroom with a growth mindset. Go multi-media. Embrace technology. 5 BENEFITS of EDUCATIONAL-TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS A shift in focus from education being teacher-centric to being student-centric. Improved communication and collaboration amongst key stakeholders: students, teachers, parents and administrators. Teachers spend more time interacting with students, less time on preparation and administrative duties. Enables accessibility and immediacy of information and feedback regarding students’ progress. It’s like getting a report card every day. More importantly, access to this information can prevent late diagnoses of learning disabilities. And when the information is data, data analytics can be leveraged. Ed-tech platforms encourage students to learn how to learn. Students have access to a familiar, private, social media-like system. Guided by their teachers, they can learn to explore what’s on the platform and beyond, and then become life-long learners. REFERENCES Chris Besse & Edsby Chris on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-besse-24b03b11/ Edsby – https://www.edsby.com/ Andrea Wojnicki & Chris Besse at “THE FUTURE OF LEARNING” Ensemble Conference, October 2020 Other Resources for Educators “THE FUTURE OF LEARNING” Ensemble online conference: video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJXimdr3bT0 website – https://www.ensembleco.com/volume-13 Mistakes of new teachers – http://ajjuliani.com/15-mistakes-new-teachers-make-learned/ Benefits of multi-media – https://www.nuiteq.com/company/blog/5-benefits-of-multimedia-learning# Confidence vs arrogance – https://talkabouttalk.com/what-is-confidence-blog/ Parenting teens and online learning with learning strategist Kimberley Acres – https://talkabouttalk.com/49-parenting-teens-podcast/ Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Website – https://talkabouttalk.com LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ FB – https://www.facebook.com/TalkingAboutTalk IG – https://www.instagram.com/talkingabouttalk/?hl=en Dr. ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION – 5 Communication insights for Educators Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. If you’re a life-long learner, or if you’re trying to get noticed and advance your career, or perhaps both, then you’re in the right place. Talk About Talk is a learning platform – an online resource where you’ll learn how to boost your communication skills. If you to check out the Talk About Talk.com website you’ll see a variety of resources, including academic and white papers, corporate workshops, one-on-one coaching, online courses, and the email newsletter, which you can think of as your source for FREE weekly communication coaching. There’s also an archive of over 60 podcasts now. And I update the website with new resources every single week. We talk about things like Networking, Storytelling, Communicating with confidence and – communication for educators! This episode will appeal to educators, to teachers, of course, but also to parents of school-aged kids. It’ll also appeal to anyone who coaches or teaches, even informally. If you are am educator, I want to start by saying THANK YOU. Thank you for dedicating your career to education. For people who haven’t formally taught before, I think teaching can seem a lot easier than it actually is. Teaching is ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION, isn’t it? And there are high stakes. You’re shaping minds. Students have very high expectations. Parents have even higher expectations! I remember my first year teaching when I was on the faculty at the U of Toronto. I was like a deer in the headlights. Yep, OF COURSE I have stories. But I took it very seriously and by my second year I won a teaching award. That said, I only had the students to deal with. Once the students are in university, they’re considered adults. I didn’t have to also deal with their parents. So to all you K-12 educators out there, bless you for what you do! The communication skills required of you are ENORMOUS! There’s the in-class teaching, the online teaching, and then there’s communication with parents. Through report cards and parent-teacher interviews and day to day interactions. Yowza.. Never mind communicating with school administrators. In this episode you’re going to learn my top 5 communication insights from teaching. One of these insights relates to technology in the classroom. And that relates to an amazing guest expert that you’ll also hear from in just a minute. His name is Chriss Besse and he’s a senior executive and investor in the EDSBY education platform. Recently I was asked to interview Chris for an online conference hosted by ENSEMBLE, called “The Future of Learning. I’ll leave links to that online conference in the shownotes for you. OK – so got it? There’re my top 5 communication insights for educators, then an interview with Chris Besse of Edsby, focused on The Future of Learning. Let’s get into the top 5 communication insights for educators. They are: What kind of teaching advice to take and what advice to question the power of stories and storytelling Seeking the ideal level of confidence with a growth mindset Going multi-media Embracing technology My first insight is something that I believe transcends beyond teaching. The insight is this: when you’re considering advice about how to teach, you can take the advice about what NOT to do, the common teaching pitfalls, at face value. The advice about what to avoid is probably valid. However, when it comes to prescriptive advice about what you SHOULD do in the classroom, take it with a grain of salt. It needs to work for you and your style. You need to be authentic. As a doctoral student, I was privileged to learn how to teach from interacting with award winning educators. I remember in particular conversations with HBS faculty Youngme Moon and Frances Frei. They were both so generous, sharing their insights. And they both won teaching awards all the time – students adored them. I first heard this advice about how to interprets the do’s and the don’ts of teaching advice from them. Here’s the big insight: you can take teaching advice about what NOT to do, about what to AVOID at face value. But when someone tells you what you SHOULD do, take it with a grain of salt. Why is that? Well, there certainly are common teaching pitfalls. Things we should NOT do. Like not assigning enough homework. Or assigning way too much. Or choosing favorites, having a teachers’ pet. This advice, the don’t-do-this or the don’t-do-that advice? You can probably take that at face-value. On the other hand, if some well-meaning experienced teacher gives you advice for what you SHOULD do (like the personality you should adopt in the classroom or the things you should say to students), you need to carefully consider that prescriptive advice. The reason is simple. The best educators are not only passionate, they’re also authentic. They have their own style. Simply put, you’re a teacher, not an actor. Of course I realize this insight requires some thought and discernment. If your boss tells you that you need to change something, and particularly if you’ve heard it from more than one source, it’s probably valid. You might want to also consider this advice outside the context of teaching and education. Personally, I use this filter when I hear advice about parenting or even about things like giving speeches. If someone’s warning you about a common pitfall, it’s probably valid for many people, including me, and including you. But If they’re prescribing how you should act, ask yourself whether it matches your style and feels authentic. OK – insight #2 is leverage the power of stories in education. If you’ve listened to previous Talk About Talk podcasts, you know that storytelling is a superpower. But I’m not the only one who thinks this. Research shows that stories engage audiences, so they pay attention. Stories are also ,memorable. So let’s just think about that. If we incorporate stories into our teaching, our students will pay attention AND they will remember things. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? Do you remember stories that some of your teachers told? My kids tell me stories that their teachers shared ALL THE TIME. I mean, my kids don’t tell me a lot of what happens at school – you know what I’m talking about – HOW WAS YOUR DAY AT SCHOOL? Their answer? One word – good. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? Again, one word. Nothing. But then later they’ll tell me the story their favourite English teacher shared about her twins. Or the story their science teacher shared about what happened to him on the weekend. SO if nothing ore, the stories that teachers tell make the classroom more engaging. But ideally the story will relate to the classroom lesson and reinforce the learnings. When I was in my second year as a doctoral student, I had to take a microeconomics course from this amazing professor named Jerry Green. When I say amazing, I mean like he wrote the 500-word textbook for this doctoral level class. Yah. He was a fantastic teacher. I had no real interest in economics, this was a required class. But he made it interesting. Anyway, I sometimes remember a story he told about how a glass dish broke in his oven when he and his wife were baking a chicken for dinner. I think the lesson in class that day was something to do with over and underestimating probabilities. He told us that his wife wanted to wipe the glass off the chicken and eat it. (I know, right?) He said that sometimes, even when the probability is very very small, the implications of a negative outcome can be so detrimental (like eating glass!)_ that considering the probability of that negative outcome is irrelevant – or perhaps irrational. Wow. I can picture Professor Green perfectly in my mind telling us that story. And that’s my point. Stories bring the classroom to life. The 3rd insight is about being confident in the classroom. That’s important, right? If you’re not confident then the students won’t respect you. And in fact, arrogance can be even worse. So the ideal level of confidence is truly a fine line. Three things that might help you here. First how to boost your confidence, second, how to avoid being arrogant, and last, one concept that I think might help you find that ideal equilibrium. First – how to boost your confidence in the classroom? Of course there’s practice. Practice and experience will help immensely. Beyond that. I hope you’ll listen to my two episodes on confidence. #xxx is about MENTALLY PREPARING to communicate with confidence. #xxx is about how to boost your confidence in the moment. I promise promise that the frameworks in these episodes will help you boost your confidence. Now. Arrogance. FWIW, I’ve never heard my kids complain about their teacher lacking confidence or even seeming shy A few times they have complained about arrogant teachers who “quote – think they’re so great.” Now, I get that they may have misinterpreted what was going on with their teacher. But what’s important for us as educators to consider, is that in achieving the ideal level of confidence, we should consider not only how to boost our confidence, but also be conscious of where confidence becomes arrogance. DO you know what I mean? Awhile ago I wrote about confidence in the Talk About Talk newsletter. Let me read to you the attributes of someone who is confident, then of someone who is arrogant. CONFIDENCE – is rooted in positivity, optimismand learning opportunities Confident people are internallyfocused and intrinsically CONFIDENCE means humility and respect for others, and being an active listener. Confident people learn from their mistakes and they’re willing to take the blame. ARROGANCE – is rooted in insecurity and defensiveness. Arrogant people seek to protecttheir reputation. Arrogant people are externallyfocused on what others think of them. They are self-absorbed and they have no time to actively listen to others. Arrogant people fear of criticism. They point fingersand blame others. When I look at these two lists, there is one term that comes to mind. GROWTH MINDSET. And I think this is a key insight for communicating as an educator. If you truly have a growth mindset when you’re teaching, that will build your confidence and even prevent you from being arrogant. Certainly you have things to learn too, right? Not just the students. The 4th insight is about communicating the material through multi-media. For starters, we know there are auditory learners visual learners, experiential learners, and I could go on. SO do your students a favour and vary the media that you use in your teaching materials. Let them hear it, read it, watch it, write it, play with it,… the more media you use, the better. Of course the students will be more engaged because it’s more interesting when they’re not just reading or just listening, but they’re reading and listening and writing and playing and and and… There’s all sorts of research out there, some of which I listed in the shownotes that shows the mor you layer various learning media, the better students learn. It’s not surprising, right? side of your students brains () and the left side () with learning material. Suddenly their whole brain is engaged. The last insight I want to share with you is to embrace technology. As a teacher, chances are you might be a generation or so older than your students. And they might be lightyears ahead of you in terms of their technology expertise. But it’s worth it to make an effort to employ technology in your teaching., for several reasons. Of course this relates to the multi-media recommendation that I just mentioned. Media is technology, and by exposing your students to various media, you’re probably employing technology. That’s a great start. It’ll make the lessons mor engaging for students. But technology can also help you with things like administrative duties, your grading, and your communication with students’ parents and with administrators. In just a minute you’re going to hear from my gust Chris Besse. Chris said that when it comes to technology, if you walked into a classroom today, it wouldn’t be much different than what it looked like when we were in school, or even when our parents were in school – very teacher centric, with lectures and textbooks. Prior to COVID, the education sector has one of the slowest adoption rates for digital technologies at just 2-3% of total spending. As you’ll hear in a moment, there are so so many advantages of employing technology. Did you get all that? My top 5 communication insights from teaching are: Accept advice about what NOT to do, common teaching pitfalls, at face value. However, take prescriptive advice about what you SHOULD do in the classroom with a grain of salt. Leverage the power of stories and storytelling in the classroom Seek the ideal level of confidence with a growth mindset Go multi-media Embrace technology I hope these insights help you and give you something to think about. OK, now let me introduce you to Chris Besse: Chris Besse is Chief Commercial Officer and member of the board of Edsby®, an award-winning SaaS-based digital platform combining learning management features with advanced assessment, reporting and parent communication. He is deeply passionate about growing and transforming the education sector having spent over thirty years building businesses in education. He’s also been an active contributor to numerous boards and committees exploring innovation and excellence in education. Prior to Edsby, Chris was CEO of EdgeMakers Inc, FreshGrade Inc and Managing Director, K-12, Nelson Education Ltd. TRANSCRIPT Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thanks so much for being here, Chris. Chris Besse: Oh, pleasure, Andrea, thank you for having me. AW: As I told you before, Chris, two of my kids go to a school that’s been using Edsby for years. And I’m a big fan. So I thought, why don’t we start by having you share with everyone? What is Edsby? CB: That is awesome. I’m so glad that your kids are using it, and that you like it. So Edsby is really the most comprehensive digital learning and data system available in K to 12. It really is a central, virtual meeting spot for students and teachers, administrators and parents. It keeps everyone in the loop and engages all the stakeholders. So for students, they can see their class schedules and their assignments, they interact in a familiar private social media-like system, safe from the public internet. Parents see their child’s homework and grades. And even better, they get a window into their child’s. Teachers get course planning, attendance, assessment tools. And administrators can access district wide analytics and identify students at risk. Everybody gets what they need in real time in one app. AW: I would love to elaborate in a minute on that collaboration, that communication, that’s a huge benefit of Edsby. But I just want to back up a minute and kind of state the obvious with what’s been going on in the world with the global pandemic, I’ve observed that Edsby and other education platforms have really accelerated in terms of their adoption and their proliferation in various educational environments. Can you talk a little bit about that? CB: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you talk to anybody who’s in the digital education space, and they would say they’ve had rapid adoption ever since COVID-19 happened. COVID – for education, it’s been a real accelerator. And the reason is because like every other industry, we were forced to do things differently. Education has stuck to the status quo for so many years. What would the OECD say? They know that student engagement has plummeted over the last 10 years and lost pace with technological advances. the education sector has one of the slowest adoption rates for digital technologies at two to 3% of total spending. And generally speaking, if you walked into a classroom today, it wouldn’t be all that different than what it looked like when we were in school, or even when our parents were in school: teacher centric, lectures and textbooks . AW: right. CB: But what education has done extremely well is research. Research on optimizing what the learning environment should look like, and how to prepare our kids for the world that awaits them. The problem is there’s been this kind of buffer between what we know is good for learning, and what we’re actually doing for learning. And some of that research, I’d say, is what are those skills and competencies required for today’s learner? We hear about 21st century learning. What does that mean? Well, it means how do we build competency in our kids around creativity, around communication, collaboration, critical thinking, computing and character education? These are vital to students in their learning as we move forward? How do we move to a student-centric learning model where students are empowered in their own learning, where teachers are guiding and framing and assessing and coaching? And then lastly, how do we leverage digital tools to drive greater efficiencies in the learning process. So we’ve had this disconnect between what we know is best and implementing what is best. So COVID hits in March. 98% of the world’s student population’s schools close. We have no choice but to move to this alternative mode of education delivery. I mean, this was just thrown upon us, and it was thrown upon education leaders and educators and teachers, etc. And they had to transition on the fly, as did parents. I mean, all of a sudden, parents were hosting the school. AW: Right. CB: And I heard this great quote from one of Canada’s leading superintendents, where he called the pandemic “a fuel for transformation”. And it’s no different than any other sector. Businesses are operating remotely, what’s happened to restaurants, what’s happened to just our social lives, etc. We’ve learned to adapt because that’s what human beings do. And education is no different. So the barriers protecting the status quo have been forced down, and we now have this incredible opportunity to implement what we already know is best for learning. AW: Right. So I love that take, there is a silver lining, right? It has served as a catalyst to accelerate our advancement in education, in medicine, and some businesses have pivoted and flourished as well. Can you talk a little bit about how the adoption of educational technology platforms like Edsby will improve learning opportunities for students? How is it going to enrich the learning experience? CB: Well, at the core of it is it optimizing communication, collaboration and connection between the stakeholders in learning, namely, obviously, the student, the teacher, and the parent, those are the key stakeholders. And so you need some sort of central communication tool that allows that to happen. AW: So can I just interject and say, as a parent, it is fantastic to have access to this platform where I can see what’s upcoming. So on the weekend, I can say, hey, you have a test on Tuesday, you need to study. And also I can see test scores immediately. I don’t have to wait for report cards, and communication and collaboration really is – are the two words that I would say, kind of sum up one of the biggest benefits, at least as a parent. CB: Historically, students have been the gatekeepers of information flow between the school and the home. What information did you have about your child’s learning? iI really came in three modes. One was the report card you mentioned. And what’s a report card? It’s a piece of paper that comes out three times a year, and with a bunch of numbers or letters on it. What does that really mean about my child’s learning? So you have that. And then you have these parent teacher interviews, which are more like speed dating events, where you have your five minutes, you get into no depth really, and understanding regarding how your child is doing. And then the third, and probably most important flow of information comes from your own child. And that’s usually, how was school today? What did you do at school today? And the typical answer of a child is I’m not sure, I don’t know. So you don’t really get a lot of information. AW: How was your day? Great. What did you learn? Nothing. CB: Exactly. And so now, when, as you said, you have a front row seat at your child’s learning, because you have access to their learning. The conversation when your child gets home changes, it’s not what did you do at school today? It’s, hey, I saw you speaking French, what were you saying? That was really cool. Or, I saw your project you were presenting that was really interesting. And now your child lights up, because they want to tell you, and it changes the dynamics. So the scientists would say that is so powerful around brain development, etc., and around empowering kids around their learning. So you’re absolutely right, that’s one of the best thing. And I would add, also, if you’re a straight-A student, or you have a child as a straight-A student, that’s not as much an issue, but many of our kids are vulnerable, they’re having issues learning. They’re stressed. And when a parent can actually see and help and support… Because parents want to do anything for their child. And as you said, when you can see that they’ve got a homework assignment due next week, or a test that they’re preparing for, at least you can remind them and encourage them to prepare. So for parents, it brings them right into the equation. AW: So you mentioned that education platforms like Edsby are shifting the focus from being teacher-centric, to student-centric. And that’s a little bit of what you’re describing. Can you elaborate on that a little? CB: Yeah. So it’s really about allowing students to take ownership of their learning. So that the teacher is more framing the learning, supporting the learner and coaching them through their learning experience. So delivery can certainly be student-led and teacher framed. AW: right. CB: When students are empowered around their learning, they’re obviously more engaged, because they own their own learning. And when they’re more engaged, the learning is just so much richer. So if a student can come in, and they can see what they’re responsible for learning, they can go through their course content, they can provide that information to their teacher, their teacher can give them immediate feedback on that… It just changes the learning process. They’re not sitting back sitting in their seat, listening to a teacher with their 25 other peers, looking up at a blackboard and trting to take that in. It’s really the opposite of that. AW: So as you’re describing that, you’re reminding me of a thought that I had, as I was preparing for this interview, I’d never explicitly thought about this before. But online platforms like Edsby are teaching our children how to learn, right? They’re not being passive, they’re learning to be proactive to accessing the various resources that are available to them, obviously, on the Edsby platform itself, and then beyond. And that really excites me, because I’m hoping that that’s going to enable my children and all children around the world to become more proactive learners, lifelong learners with a growth mindset. Do you guys have any learnings or insight about that? CB: Of course, we’re all lifelong learners. We go through a stage in our life when we’re young, where we go to formal institutions to actually develop the skills and competencies to be successful adults. Prior to the internet, let’s say where information was not as available as it is today, we had to provide that content and information as teachers to our students. As the world has evolved, there is so much information out there that students can access anytime, anywhere. So it’s not about learning the facts. It’s about dealing with it. So that’s where these competencies are so important. You need to teach our kids to be critical thinkers, we need to learn how to learn. I mean, that is most important. And I think that’s always been the purpose of our educational system. But with technology giving us access to subject matter experts, to all the information out there. It’s so very, very important. So you nailed it. It’s all about learning to learn. AW: Yeah, I mean, it’s multimedia. And then even within each media type, it’s overwhelming the amount of resources that we have access to. CB: Yeah. AW: Is there anything else you want to add? CB: I’d say just to other stakeholders, I think, these types of technologies are very important. For teachers, teachers spend only 49% of their professional time interacting with their students. And that’s because of the administrative and prep time those burdens that sits upon them. One of the other areas that we look at, and it’s built into Edsby, is to take that burden off. Lessen it. The less time they can spend preparing and administrating, it’s just better for our kids, AW: I can see that. CB: And then for administrators, we live in a data world now. And on top of all the efficiency that is gained on the system management, there’s a wealth of analytics that we provide that can help identify students at risk. You know, diagnosising students with learning issues, we usually are diagnosing them a little too late. So these are lagging indicators. But now with the data that we’re able to access, with these data sets, we can actually start to look at some patterns. And we can identify kids at risk. So more lead indicators, so that if they’re going to have some reading issues, we can pick that up when they’re 5,6,7 years old, rather than when they’re eight, nine years old, when it’s a lot more difficult to intervene on that. So I think the data analytics is also really, really important for our learners. AW: That’s absolutely true. And I can tell you as a parent that I have immediate access right to what happened in my kids class today. CB: Yeah, so there’s no more report card lag and surprise report cards so there’s a report card every day. That’s the that’s the nice thing is you can go every day and see how they’re doing. Exactly. AW: Thank you so much. CB: You’re welcome. Transcribed by https://otter.ai Dr. ANDREA’s CONCLUSION No “5 Rapid Fire Qs” for Chris Besse. As I mentioned, this interview was recorded as part of a big online conference called “ENSEMBLE: The Future of Learning.” A high-quality video of the whole conference video is available online. I’ll leave a link to that online conference in the shownotes. You’ll hear an excerpt of my interview with Chris Besse, but also many others. My favourite was probably when media guru Amber Mac interviewed the new President of OCAD University, Ana Serrano. Such incredible thinkers those two. The Ensemble conference organizers asked each of the conference speakers to share what they think about the future of learning. Here’s what we said: Hey, there, it’s Chris and the future of learning is right now and it’s transformational. And the future of learning is collaborative. Technology enables communication, making learning more accessible and more interactive. Ok – so thanks to Chris Besse. I have to say that based on my meeting with Chris, I’m even more enthusiastic about the future of learning, especially with technology platforms like Edsby. The rapid adoption by schools and school boards of technologies like these may be a silver lining of COVID. Suddenly, as Chris so succinctly put it, parents were hosting the school. I wonder what proportion of education spending goes toward technology NOW? A few of the main reasons we should all be excited about this? Well, let me highlight five from this conversation. Education platforms like Edsby: Shift the focus in education from being teacher centric to student centric. Improve communication (yes, the magic word, communication), and collaboration between the relevant stakeholders: students, teachers, parents and administrators Take some of the administrative burden off of educators. Chris said that teachers spend only 49% of their professional time interacting with their students. And that’s because of the administrative and prep time. Technology can shift this emphasis. Enable accessibility and immediacy of information and feedback regarding students’ progress. Edsby mitigates nasty report card surprises. Its like getting a report card every day. And more importantly it mitigates the late diagnoses of learning disabilities. And when the information is data, there’s so much potential here with data analytics, right? My favourite point: educational platforms like Edsby encourage students to learn how to learn. Suddenly, students have access to a familiar private social media-like system, it’s a central, virtual meeting spot for them. Guided by their educators, they can learn to explore what’s on that platform and beyond, and hopefully become life-long learners with a growth mindset. Alright, that’s it. If you’re a teacher, an administrator, a parent, I would love to hear what you think about all this. Please email me at Andrea@talkabouttalk.com, or check us out on social media. We’re on LinkedIn, FB and IG. I’ll leave links to our pages in the shownotes. If you’re a parent looking for more advice on how to enable your child’s online learning, there’s a Talk About Talk episode that can help you with that. It’s episode #49 – parenting teens and online learning with learning strategist Kimberley Acres. Lots of great parenting advice in that episode. Kimberley has some fantastic ideas – definitely worth a listen. Alright, that’s it except one last thing: – if you’re not signed up for the Talk About Talk communication skills newsletter, please do! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple to digest email. I promise no spam and no more than one per week. Just go to talk abouttalk.com to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com. Thanks for listening. And TALK SOON! THANKS for listening – and READING! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #63 COMMUNICATION FOR EDUCATORS & THE FUTURE OF LEARNING with Chris Besse of Edsby appeared first on Talk About Talk.
30 minutes | 4 months ago
#62 HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE with Andrew Jenkins
Step by step instructions on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Volterra founder Andrew Jenkins shares how to use LinkedIn for creating your personal brand, networking, thought leadership, marketing, and job-searching. Printable shownotes: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS SUMMARY REFERENCES ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION TRANSCRIPT ANDREA’s CONCLUSION HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE Section-by-Section LINKEDIN PROFILE GENERAL ADVICE Consider your profile to be your media-rich business card or resume. To improve discoverability, focus on the keywords you use in every section. Use all of the elements in your profile to communicate your personal brand. The 3 most important elements in your profile and what people see first: the headline, your headshot and the banner image. HEADLINE The 200 character headline shows up with every post and comment you make on LinkedIn! The headline could be your title, but not necessarily. Add your value proposition, strengths expertise, differentiator, certifications,… The headline should encourage people to keep reading you profile. If you’re job-searching, avoid putting “open for new opportunities” in your headline. Recruiters will hire you because of your expertise and experience, not because you are looking for a job! HEADSHOT Get a professional headshot whenever you have the opportunity to do so. LinkedIn video on how to take a headshot selfie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrD_iFl7QcA Neutral background, no vacation photos, no group photos, wear whatever you usually wear to work. BANNER The banner photo is like free advertising for your personal brand. What do you want people to know about you? Consider an image that portrays your values, your expertise, your clients/customers, or perhaps you working – in action! ABOUT This is the “story of you” that summarizes the sections listed below. Only 2-3 lines of text show. Make sure those lines encourage people to click “see more.” Write in first person. Imagine this is your answer to “what do you do?” at a networking event. (e.g. “I’m a passionate…” or “People ask me…” or “My expertise is…”) Use the 2000 characters available, including possibly listing your expertise at the bottom of this section. Do not keyword stuff! FEATURED Prioritize media that highlights your expertise, including thumbnails with links to websites, white papers, videos, podcasts, etc. Consider your LinkedIn profile to be a media-rich business card or resume. Note that media can also be included in other sections (e.g. experience, education, etc.) EXPERIENCE List relevant work experience, education, licences & certifications, and volunteer experience Provide more detail/emphasis on most recent 5 years. These sections are the “chapters” of your career. Consider the opportunity to connect with fellow alumni, etc. You can list more than one role at a company, with details for each. For example you might be the founder and CEO, as well as a keynote speaker. Add relevant media as appropriate (e.g. articles, videos, etc.) SKILLS & ENDORSEMENTS People know that endorsements are simply a button click. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to give or receive endorsements. The more you are endorsed for a specific skill, the higher you rank in searches for that skill. Only the top three skills are displayed above the “show more” button. So determine whether your top three skills represent your personal brand. If not, ask your LinkedIn network to endorse you for the appropriate skills. RECOMMENDATIONS It is understood that people sometimes “game” these recommendations (for example, writing reciprocal recommendations or writing them for yourself). That said, valid recommendations are a positive indicator, particularly when they are recent. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Use the opportunity to list publications, patents, courses, projects, honors and awards, test scores, languages and organizations. INTERESTS Not a priority but keep them updated. Consider the implicit values associated with various institutions and people that you follow and whether they are consistent with your personal brand. REFERENCES Andrew Jenkins & Volterra LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewjjenkins Volterra – https://www.linkedin.com/company/volterradigital/ Talk About Talk podcast episode with Andrew Jenkins #7: SOCIAL MEDIA – https://talkabouttalk.com/7-social-media-with-volterra-founder-andrew-jenkins/ Recommended podcast: Pivot – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pivot/id1073226719 Qwant search engine – https://www.qwant.com/ How to take a headshot selfie – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrD_iFl7QcA Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki Andrea on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Talk About Talk on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/18798163/ Talk About Talk podcast episode – NETWORKING with Sharon Mah-Gin- Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup Website – https://talkabouttalk.com Dr. ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION – Your LinkedIn Profile Hey there – I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!) Welcome to Talk About Talk. Talk About Talk is the communication skills focused podcast for life-long learners and folks who are seeking to get noticed and advance their careers. Does that sound like you? Well, you’re in the right place! Sure, some people make communication. skills look easy. But it’s not easy. It takes practice and it takes know-how. Talk About Talk gives you the know-how on things like storytelling, communicating with confidence, & today, we’re going to work on communicating online. Specifically optimizing your LinkedIn profile. We all know networking is critical. As our guest in today’s episode reminds us, “Your network is your net worth.” Now more than ever, that network is ONLINE. Hello LinkedIn! This episode is for anyone who’s on LinkedIn or who wants to get onto LinkedIn. After you’ve listened to this episode you’ll know what you need to do to optimize your profile so you can leverage the online network, the network transparency that LinkedIn enables. In this episode you’ll hear my interview with social media guru Andrew Jenkins, where I ask him lots and lots of Qs about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Andrew shares so much advice… After our interview I went straight to my laptop and started updating my profile. Trust me, you’re going to want to do the same thing. So I’ve made it super easy for you. If you go to the podcast shownotes on the talkabouttalk.com website, you’ll see a succinct step-by-step LinkedIn checklist that I created for all of us. You’re welcome. I’ll remind you about that again at the end of this episode. First – let me start by asking you – Have you ever been at an event and connected with someone on LinkedIn in real time? It seems to happen mor and more these days. Forget business cards. Just connect on LinkedIn or have you ever on a zoom call and connected with someone on LinkedIn during the zoom meeting? I did that just yesterday!!! There are 700 million active users on LinkedIn? YEP, that’s a big number. For context, that means almost 1 in every 10 humans on the planet is on LinkedIn. That’s BIG! And LinkedIn’s been voted the most trusted network for the past three years. And TRUST is kind of big these days, isn’t it? What else is big? Working from home and working online. Meeting people online, working with people online. Basically what I’m saying is that LinkedIn has become more important than ever in terms of your career – and your opportunity to network. So – what are these 700 million people doing on LinkedIn? Of course there’s Professional networking. Making connections with people in your industry, with potential customers, with suppliers and more. There’s industry thought leadership. Articles, videos, white papers, posts & comments. You can create an identity for yourself, and you can learn. What else are people doing on LinkedIn? Well, there’s marketing. Marketing of your firm, your brand, and marketing yourself. And of course there’s job searching. In 2019, more than 4 million people were hired directly through LinkedIn. And I can tell you for a fact that there are many more hires that come indirectly through LinkedIn. Have I convinced you yet? You just might want to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Let me introduce you to someone who’ll tell us how. Andrew Jenkins. If the name sounds familiar, I also interviewed Andrew over a year ago for episode #7 on social media! Andrew Jenkins has provided social media strategy and social selling services to numerous mid to large enterprises such as CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, BMO Nesbitt Burns, National Bank, Sirius XM Canada, the Globe and Mail, World Vision Canada, and the Aga Khan Foundation. He spent the last 20 years working in technology, spanning social media, wireless, and e-business. Andrew holds a BA in Economics y, a BFA in Film Production, and an MBA. He currently teaches Social Media Strategies for the Enterprise at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. TRANSCRIPT – How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you so much, Andrew, for joining us here to talk about LinkedIn. ANDREW JENKINS: You’re very welcome. I’m glad to be here. AW: I’m going to start by asking you about the objective or the purpose. So why would we want a LinkedIn account? ANDREW JENKINS: In this day and age where connections are all the more important – virtual or otherwise, and in this new world of work, and having to rely on digital networking to replace offline networking, I think people need to be more conscious of the power of network transparency. And this, if you want to call it the social graph, if I’m on LinkedIn, I now know who you know, your network is transparent to me. And so I can say to you, according to LinkedIn, you know, so and so would you be comfortable in introducing me? Or is it okay, if I reached out to them and say that you actually recommended me? There’s no more effort on your part. That network transparency is something that is often overlooked or never thought of or considered. And that’s just one aspect of the overlooked value of LinkedIn. AW: So would you say that LinkedIn has become a more necessary and more important tool? ANDREW JENKINS: Oh, very much so. And we’ve seen just with clients that we work with, and so on a rise in activity on LinkedIn, and 85% of jobs are filled through networks, not through job postings. So if you’re not networking, I’m sorry, it’s going to be particularly challenging. And you know, I’ve been mentoring some people. And as part of that mentorship, I tell them connect with me on LinkedIn, and look in my network. And I reached out to six different people on my network that they had identified as people they would like to talk to. Six out of six, I said, I have this person that I’m assisting and mentoring. They have identified you as someone they’d like to speak with, from a networking information gathering, (but not asking for a job just wanting to talk). And all six said, Yes, yeah. And they’ve all had virtual or just either zoom or phone conversations with them. And I mean, not everyone is that receptive. But this is the new reality. And so we have to up our digital networking skills, and perhaps get a little bit out of our comfort zones of cold calling people in a digital way. AW: But what you described there, I think it’s not really what I would call cold calling, right? It was more warm calling it’s through another person. And that’s probably why they were receptive. So what I heard in your answer about the purpose of object or objective of LinkedIn, then is that it serves to help us in job searches, of course, you mentioned, but really, it’s the network. It’s the connecting. ANDREW JENKINS: Well, it’s an often-used phrase that your network is your net worth. AW: I like that. ANDREW JENKINS: But for me, personally, I owe my career to LinkedIn. So from my perspective, I describe it as not, even for sales teams that I’ve trained, and other speaking engagements where I’ve talked about LinkedIn, I’ve said, LinkedIn is not necessary for a job search, or it’s a place to make valuable connections. And the sooner you equate making a connection on LinkedIn, to something where someday there will be an exchange of value. And don’t always think that it’s got to be something what’s in it for me, actually, there’s more value to come from you actually paying it forward and being of assistance to others. And Malcolm Gladwell talked about it in the Tipping Point about the strength of weak ties, right. And I found oftentimes, when I’ve reached out to someone I barely know on LinkedIn, asking for their assistance, that they’ve been more receptive to help me or to help me, help me help someone else than someone I know very, very closely or deeply. AW: Interesting. This relates nicely to some comments that we heard from Sharon Mah-Gin. She’s an executive recruiter that I interviewed about the power of networking, and she talks a lot about reciprocality and offering value to others. So … interesting. Should everyone have a LinkedIn account? ANDREW JENKINS: I think it’s fair to say that not everyone needs it. It depends on what your objectives are, or what it is that you do. You know, I know, when my son was in high school and doing a co-op, they were required to set up a LinkedIn account. Now, like, there’s a joke that goes around says like, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. But there’s 700 million accounts on LinkedIn, but only about 3 million share content on a monthly basis. So there’s a huge delta between the number of people who have an account and the number of people who are active. And a lot of people will dismiss it as a place just to go to get a job. And a lot of other people don’t like being active on it, because they get inundated with people wanting to work for their firm or, or being sold. AW: Yeah, that happens to me a lot. ANDREW JENKINS: Me too. And I think we touch on that later. But this idea, though, that it is a social network, but it’s a professional social network. And so the analogy I use is, you’re at the soccer game on the weekend with your kids and you’re on the sidelines with another parent. You don’t always talk about soccer, right? You’ll start talking about what you do during the week or other things and suddenly Oh, they say something. Oh, I know something about that. And suddenly you’re networking on the side of the soccer field. So can you transfer that kind of serendipity into a virtual world through LinkedIn? AW: Yeah, absolutely. So you talked about your son being instructed to create a LinkedIn account, I’m wondering if we can talk a little bit about optimizing our profile. So whether you are creating one from scratch, or you already have one, and you’re looking to improve it, what are some easy things that people can do to optimize their profile? Maybe we can work our way down? ANDREW JENKINS: Okay, starting at the top, often people will just default to their title. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your title you can. But don’t stop there. They’ve made some refinements you now have up to 200 characters for your headline. So put your value proposition. What is it you have to offer? What is it – What’s your strengths, your expertise, you can, like I said, it can still include a job title if you want, if you want to put some certifications like MBA, DBA, CFP, whatever, that’s fine, because a lot of people are looking for, you know, well known credentials or designations. AW: Can you give us an example? say, say I’m a vice president of marketing? ANDREW JENKINS: That’s a very generic title, right? What kind of marketing do you do? areas of expertise? Again, what kind of value are you delivering to that organization? And can you put it succinctly in 200 characters, what would make me read further down your profile? Now, the other thing to think about one of the reasons you want to have like provocative or eye catching headline is when you are commenting on someone else’s post, and someone looks at the thread of commenters. And you’re all directors of marketing, you don’t stand out, there’s no differentiation. But if you’ve got this provocative statement about you, something as subtle as that. To be more conscious of like, it’s your personal brand walking around inside LinkedIn. So consider what you’re doing – leaving these digital breadcrumbs that are related to your personal brand, AW: it’s probably the most important thing because as you said, it’s showing up… ANDREW JENKINS: well, and it’s the first thing people see when they hit your profile. So there’s the three things that are in combination, when people first hit your profile, it’s the banner image, your headshot and the headline. And so you want to have them working in unison. So when you look at my LinkedIn profile, yeah, my banner image is a collage of images of me speaking, right? I don’t need to tell you that I’m a speaker. It’s there. I am onstage so you know I speak. Then there’s my headshot, which is a professional headshot. So whenever you’re at a conference and someone sponsored a photographer, take the 10 minutes, take the opportunity, but LinkedIn even has a video. It’s #workselfie, the shows you have to take a picture of yourself with a neutral background with your smartphone. And that’s a lot better than a Gray Ghost. And avoid your vacation pics, no pictures with remnants of other people, the number of people that I’ve seen use scuba diving,… AW: what about the background, the banner ad, because I’ve seen people, they’re putting things like scuba diving or whatever, where it’s kind of showing that they have another side to them, or… ANDREW JENKINS: well you raise an interesting point. So I’ve worked one on one with some executives on their LinkedIn profile. Recently, I was working with a partner in an accounting firm. And I said, when you think about the banner image, we can use it to humanize you to show other aspects of you, what is it you would want to convey with an image, and he said diversity. He said, I like to work with diverse teams. I really evangelize diversity in all its shapes and forms. And so we found an image that was representative of that theme. For another executive who works in the energy space, he wanted to talk about the innovation in the energy space. So we found still a stock photo, but something that conveyed that rather than just the default blue background, so again, it’s free, throw something up there that this is all about personal branding and think about all the icebreakers that you’re asked to share. When you go to a networking event like LinkedIn. I’ve been to some of their events and they’ll say tell the room one thing about you that’s not on your LinkedIn profile is an icebreaker. AW: So now we’ve got our background, we’ve got our headshot, we’ve got our headline, can you go through all of the elements kind of from top to bottom, just briefly talking about the do’s and the don’ts, maybe what the common mistakes are. And also I should add, I know that we can play with the order, we can move things up or down depending on the relevance and what we want. ANDREW JENKINS: So the next section after your headline is the about or the summary section. And again, like you said, you can move them around, but typically people are just going through the default settings. Now the about section only displays about three lines of text. So this is where I tell people give thought to what those first three sentences say, Ah, it’s the opening of your story below the that third line are two words see more, right? And what would give me cause to click see more? And the other thing is, your LinkedIn profile is not your resume. This is kind of I call it the story of you and the about section is a summary that stitches together all the chapters of your career that are listed below. AW: Okay, so I have a question about the about the about section, I’ve noticed some profiles that are that are very impressive that do exactly what you said they kind of draw you in. So you click on see more. Should it be written in first person? So I help companies blah, blah, blah, or should it be in third person? Dr. Andrea Wojnicki…Right? ANDREW JENKINS: It should be written in first person, imagine if your summary went to a networking event on your behalf. Okay? It wouldn’t be talking about you in a third person. This is not Seinfeld, this is you talking about yourself, write it as if you’re trying to build rapport and trust. Okay, you’ve got 2000 characters, so take advantage of it. The other thing is, I don’t want to say keyword stuff. AW: I was just thinking that! ANDREW JENKINS: Some of the things that are written there are going to aid you being discovered. And so you can list your areas of expertise, AW: I’ve seen that in the last six months, I’ve noticed a lot of people changing their about section to introduce themselves. And then at the end, it lists their areas of expertise. In fact, I did that as well. Like I have courses and coaching in the following areas. ANDREW JENKINS: I did a bit of a hack. And this doesn’t stop anyone else from doing the same thing. AW: we’re all gonna do the same thing! ANDREW JENKINS: So I have my own company. So I can list as many roles at my company related to me as I as I wish. So I have myself as the principal running the company. And then I’ve added a second role, speaker. And the reason I did that is because with that secondary role, it gives me more screen real estate to describe what I do as a speaker and panelist and I list all the conferences that have spoken out or been a panelist and so every new conference that I’ve spoken at virtual or otherwise, etc., I add that. And then if there’s any media of me standing on stage, or a video clip, or whatever, I add that media to that section, that’s amazing. AW: So you’re updating it, you’re adding to your credibility. ANDREW JENKINS: I should jump back just briefly to the about section. We’ve talked a lot about what you write there that you can have media there, you can have you on YouTube, you can put a thumbnail, but the link is to a podcast, the way I describe it is that your LinkedIn profile could be the most media rich business card you could dream of having. AW: I love that! Roll more media into it. This is all stuff you can’t do with a resume. So is the media in the about section in addition to the featured section, which is usually below that…? ANDREW JENKINS: that’s where they’re bringing some of that to the forefront is into that featured section. AW: So you could do both right, you could put something in the about section and also in the featured section. ANDREW JENKINS: Okay. But for instance, if I write an article on LinkedIn, publish an article that gets featured in the featured section, okay, but it’s also listed in my activity, but not necessarily listed as media in my about section. The same principles apply for all the roles. It’s a chapter in your career, I would give emphasis to any of the roles that are for the last five years, and I saw a comment recently from someone else, a millennial who does a lot of work on LinkedIn, she made a comment about people saying “open for new opportunities” is their headline. And there’s a new setting on LinkedIn that says, you can say I’m available for new opportunities. The recommendation was not to blatantly put that as your headline, because I don’t want to say there’s an element of desperation. AW: But I think there is! ANDREW JENKINS: But again, it’s about being proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. And if people want to recruit you, they will because you can change that setting for recruiters. So it’s behind the scenes that you’re doing that anyway, put the emphasis on who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and that personal brand kind of thing. AW: I actually I have to say I agree, and I loved your previous point about the headline, it should announce what you’re proud of and why people should trust you and why they would want to talk to you, right? And they don’t they don’t want to talk to you because you’re looking for a job, right? They want to talk to you because of your experience and your expertise. So what about – so there’s like section one that lists your job experience, right? ANDREW JENKINS: So then you’re going to get into education, and volunteer and recommendations and endorsements. So again, those are other chapters, it’s not the appendix of your career like that people will make a connection with someone who’s an alumni of the same program. So don’t overlook your education, even if it was a while ago. And as well, if you’ve done any recent certifications, or professional development, AW: and sometimes some organizations, they cut their applicants, for example, they’ll say we’re not going to look at anyone that doesn’t have an MBA just because it’s probably an easy sort of objective, quantifiable measure that they can. ANDREW JENKINS: It’s a filter. Yeah. And then volunteering, you may make a connection. Like you and I met on a board. People outside of their work ,if they’re on the board of a non-profit, it may lead to a connection. And so don’t overlook that section. And the last two main sections: recommendations. When was the last recommendation that you got? Sometimes they can be gamed. I’ll write you a recommendation if you write me one or I’d love a recommendation, I know you’re busy. I took the liberty of writing it for you. So that’s my take on recommendations. AW: I’m sure many, many of them are legitimate, but also many of them are not. ANDREW JENKINS: right. So you have to be careful. You want them valid. And the other one that receives scrutiny is endorsements. Right? I just have to click a button to endorse you. The one thing I highlight about that is that the more you are endorsed for specific skills, the higher you rank and search for those skills. AW: Yeah. So if you are job searching, that may be critical, right? ANDREW JENKINS: Yeah. And the top three are the ones that get displayed. AW: Okay, it’s three that get displayed. I haven’t even looked at what mine are. ANDREW JENKINS: So then, that’s the thing is like, I tell people, go look at the three that are displayed. Are they the ones you want to be known for? Just like keywords in your summary section, you’re trying to help your discoverability. AW: Right. And then I guess the last thing is interests, right. You can follow organizations or people and then they show up as interest. Does that matter? ANDREW JENKINS: Well, sometimes you forget what you clicked on, right? Oh, yeah. I don’t want that there. So they were showing us some of their political affiliations. Yeah, that’s not good. There’s so far down your profile, like they’re not a priority. But I just flag it as just be mindful of what’s displayed there. That’s all. We’ve been hired to do social audits on executives that were being considered for senior roles. And in one instance, they were going to be a CFO, and we found nothing. And so we delivered the audit and they go, Well, there’s nothing here. I said, Well, that’s what you want. There’s nothing – there’s no red flags. They were clean. Think about every digital breadcrumb you leave. AW: Yeah. So the social audit is an interesting, interesting topic in and of itself, right. So I know a lot of senior executives who have no digital footprint, really, they may have, like you said, a placeholder on LinkedIn or a placeholder on Facebook. But that’s really it. Is that, is that a good thing? Is that better than nothing? Or? ANDREW JENKINS: Well, there’s two different audits. There’s the auditing of their own digital presence and digital breadcrumbs. And then there’s have they been talked about? Just because you don’t have a LinkedIn account, doesn’t mean you’re not being talked about online. Now, for many people. If it’s a small business fine, like you can fly below the radar for a very, very long time. AW: Okay, so I think that’s a great insight, right? You have a digital footprint, which may include your social media profiles, but it may include articles written by your firm or by journalists or whatever. So Google yourself, as you said,… ANDREW JENKINS: perhaps get someone else to Google you, because Google is so tied to our own search habits. Yeah, have someone else Google use because the search is not going to be tainted, like it would be for you, AW: or just don’t use Google? ANDREW JENKINS: Those or you have not watched the movie on Netflix, The Social Dilemma? AW: Yeah. ANDREW JENKINS: Someone who worked for Google, actually, at the end says, I use QWANT “ q, q, a, n, t” to do search, right? Because it doesn’t track your history or keep it AW: fascinating. ANDREW JENKINS: you may not have a digital footprint whatsoever. And you might be quite content with that. That’s okay. But if it’s at all concerning how somebody search your name, and see what they come up with, AW: yeah, that’s fantastic advice. I guess the way to think about it is that social media is an opportunity to craft your personal brand online. Let’s shift gears then to etiquette and posting. Can you take us through some do’s and don’ts maybe what topics are off limits, particularly on LinkedIn? ANDREW JENKINS: Sure, I’ll touch on posting for a moment. People say, Well, I don’t have time, if you’re five minutes early for a meeting, fire up LinkedIn and just comment on a post or share a post. Instead of surfing Facebook, surf LinkedIn. See if someone’s with an article of interest, whatever, like just swap it out, and find these moments to engage. Use a Google Alert to find content around certain topics that you might want to build thought leadership about, and put the emphasis more on commenting on other people’s articles for visibility, you know, comment on someone else who has higher visibility, comment on something they’ve shared, and see who likes the comment that you made? And if whatever comment you made garners a reaction, that could inspire you to write a blog post. You can then go back to those seven people that liked it and say, oh, by the way, here’s a blog post or a podcast or another article. And suddenly, I’m building a relationship with these people. I haven’t sold them anything. I’m not trying to sell them anything. We’ve just made a connection over mutual interests. AW: Brilliant. ANDREW JENKINS: Yes, that’s a bit of effort. But as people become increasingly reliant on LinkedIn to make connections, be genuine, be human. Don’t use the default message from LinkedIn saying, I’d like to add you to my personal network on LinkedIn. I heard a great example from a friend of mine, someone in his network posted on Friday night at five o’clock, saying we’re all working from home now. My wife likes to put on Led Zeppelin when it’s five o’clock on Friday to celebrate the end of the week and the weekend is here. What have any music you played to signify the end of the week? AW: I love it. ANDREW JENKINS: It started this whole thread of comments. And this was on LinkedIn. Yeah, he was being human. There. It was tied to work. And on Monday morning: just isn’t it great that we can talk about Led Zeppelin on LinkedIn? Let’s stay connected. Yeah. And that was so genuine. So human. So real versus anything that felt scripted, right? That’s the sad state I’m seeing on LinkedIn. And if I had to summarize etiquette, just be yourself. It’ll go a long way. AW: Well put, well put. Let’s move on then to the five rapid fire questions. Yeah. Are you ready? ANDREW JENKINS: I’m ready. AW: Question number one. What are your pet peeves? ANDREW JENKINS: The person who ended up being my boss at Bell during an interview said you’re very even. You’re low key. What pisses you off? Oh, but like, I know that I can be somewhat hard to read. And so he said, like what pisses you off? I said, being made to look unprofessional. AW: Okay, well, I’m going to make you look great with this podcast, Andrew. Question number two, what type of learner are you? ANDREW JENKINS: I’m the stereotypical guy who doesn’t read the instructions, but I will watch a YouTube video and that taking me through how to do something, thank God for YouTube because it’s become this. It’s the number two search engine. Just type in the words how to into the search field. But I have found YouTube invaluable to watch a minute clip. I literally just how do I do x? And there’s a YouTube video that shows me how to do it. AW: So yeah, the poor repair man, he’s done. Question number three, introvert or extrovert? ANDREW JENKINS: Introvert, I think back to when I did my MBA, and the thought of standing up in front of my class would make me sick to my stomach. And now I can stand up in front of 400 and speak quite comfortably. AW: Yeah, I’ve seen you speak. Yeah. Question number four communication preference for personal conversation? ANDREW JENKINS: I can say that I don’t like talking on the phone. I find lengthy conversation on the phone – I don’t enjoy that. I rather prefer in person, or the virtual digital equivalent. Or I like Slack or texting just because it’s like the one thing I need to ask you. So I don’t have to have a five minute conversation to get to the point. AW: Right. Ok, got it. Last question. Is there a podcast, a blog or an email newsletter that you find yourself recommending the most these days? ANDREW JENKINS: Pivot with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. They have a mixture, but they’re talking about a variety of things that are happening in the media space. So that’s my recommendation. AW: Okay. I’m gonna put a link to that in the show notes. Is there anything else you want to add about LinkedIn? ANDREW JENKINS: connect with me on LinkedIn! AW: Okay! I will make sure I put your coordinates in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time, Andrew. ANDREW JENKINS: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much. Transcribed by https://otter.ai Dr. ANDREA’s CONCLUSION After I said goodbye to Andrew, I went straight to LinkedIn and I updated my profile. No major changes, but several, many little tweaks. Thanks again to Andrew for all his great advice! Before you rush off to make changes to your profile, let me briefly summarize just a few important things here. A reminder: you can find the full checklist of what to do, section-by-section in the shownotes. In the meantime, a few things that Andrew shared that I want to re-iterate: First and foremost, as Andrew mentioned many times, LinkedIn is NOT just for job searching. Of course, people DO get jobs through LinkedIn. But it’s a lot more than that. LinkedIn is for networking, it’s for learning, and it’s for creating your professional brand. It’s much more than a business card. It’s much more than a resume. It’s a transparent network (think about that!), and it’s media-rich opportunity to establish your professional brand. It’s also an effective way to control at least part of your digital footprint. When it comes to etiquette and posting on LinkedIn, Andrew suggests “be genuine, be human. just be yourself. It’ll go a long way.” That’s empowering, isn’t it? NOW – I have 3 things for you to do. They’re all online: Get the step-by-step checklist that I created for you to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile. Go to TalkAboutTalk.com, click on PODCAST and the SHOWNOTES. It’s right there for you. You’re welcome. While you’re on the Talk about talk website, sign up for the weekly newsletter. Its free, it’s never spammy, and it’s like getting free communication coaching from me, every week. Go to LinkedIn and connect with me and with Andrew Jenkins! Got that? So 3 things: get the LinkedIn checklist in the shownotes, sign up for the talk about talk newsletter, and then go to LinkedIn and make two new connections on LinkedIn: Andrea Wojnicki and Andrew Jenkins. Alright, that’s it. I look forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening. And TALK SOON! THANKS for listening – and READING! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawojnicki/ Web: https://talkabouttalk.com/ Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com ***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk. The post #62 HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE with Andrew Jenkins appeared first on Talk About Talk.
22 minutes | 5 months ago
#61 WHAT I LEARNED FROM PODCASTING: from crutch words to how to interrupt
Crutch words, interrupting, filler comments, and more. Dr. Andrea Wojnicki shares 10 unique communication insights after hosting 60 Talk About Talk podcast episodes. CONTENTS 10 Communication Insights – Summary References & Links Transcript SUMMARY: 10 COMMUNICATION INSIGHTS: What I Learned from ? Podcasting CRUTCH WORDS Crutch words are unnecessary words that we use repeatedly, like […] The post #61 WHAT I LEARNED FROM PODCASTING: from crutch words to how to interrupt appeared first on Talk About Talk.
40 minutes | 5 months ago
#60 THE POWER OF STORYTELLING with influencer & speaker Bobby Umar
Storytelling is a superpower. Influencer and speaker Bobby Umar shares how storytelling can elevate your personal brand and your identity as a thought leader. For marketers, storytelling is a powerful tool to facilitate consumers’ resonance with brands. Printable shownotes: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS SUMMARY REFERENCES ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION TRANSCRIPT ANDREA’s CONCLUSION Summary: THE POWER OF STORYTELLING STORYTELLING IS […] The post #60 THE POWER OF STORYTELLING with influencer & speaker Bobby Umar appeared first on Talk About Talk.
23 minutes | 6 months ago
#59 COMMUNICATE WITH CONFIDENCE: Part 2 – In the Moment
Communicate with CONFIDENCE – in the moment: Learn the 5 step formula to communicate with confidence in the moment when you feel that nervous energy. The 5 steps include asking a question, breathing, acting confident, focusing with no distractions, and listening, using your ears. You got this! Printable shownotes: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes CONTENTS – Confidence in the […] The post #59 COMMUNICATE WITH CONFIDENCE: Part 2 – In the Moment appeared first on Talk About Talk.
15 minutes | 6 months ago
#58 COMMUNICATE WITH CONFIDENCE: Part 1 – Mental Preparation
Communicate with confidence: There’s the mental preparation, then there’s confidence in the moment. In this first of a two-part series, we focus on the 4P’s of mentally preparing to communicate with confidence: Practice, as in rehearsing; Proverb, as in adopting a mantra; Pep talk; and Pirate, as in copying that confident feeling. Printable SHOWNOTES: […] The post #58 COMMUNICATE WITH CONFIDENCE: Part 1 – Mental Preparation appeared first on Talk About Talk.
38 minutes | 6 months ago
#57 HOW TO ASK FOR HELP with researcher Gretchen Barton
HOW TO ASK FOR HELP? Consider the 3Ms: Mindset, Motivations and Metaphors. Researcher Gretchen Barton of OZA shares her expertise, including insights from a recent Gates Foundation project on “Understanding Perceptions of Poverty” in America. Asking for help- be it expertise, time or money – isn’t easy, but you can learn to seek help with […] The post #57 HOW TO ASK FOR HELP with researcher Gretchen Barton appeared first on Talk About Talk.
36 minutes | 7 months ago
#56 HOW TO CHOOSE A BRAND NAME
Learn how to choose a brand name. Are you naming a new product? A start-up? A new podcast? Dr. Andrea Wojnicki takes you through the 5 steps, from strategy to name generation, to evaluation, to searching availability and trademarking, to launching the brand! See the shownotes for a useful printable summary. Printable shownotes here: https://talkabouttalk.com/podcasts/#shownotes/ […] The post #56 HOW TO CHOOSE A BRAND NAME appeared first on Talk About Talk.
50 minutes | 7 months ago
#55 ARCHETYPES & FEMALE POP STARS with Professor Kristin Lieb
Female pop stars: there’s the good girl, the temptress, the diva, the hot mess, the survivor… Professor Kristin Lieb shares her research on how pop stars influence and are influenced by culture, how a female pop star’s body is her core brand asset, and how female pop stars evolve through various archetypes over their lifecycle […] The post #55 ARCHETYPES & FEMALE POP STARS with Professor Kristin Lieb appeared first on Talk About Talk.
23 minutes | 8 months ago
#54 ARCHETYPES with Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
ARCHETYPES are shared, universal patterns that help us understand characters and stories. We employ archetypes in both our consumption (of stories, movies, music) and our communication – of ourselves, our experiences and our brands. Learn about the stages in the hero’s journey and 12 common archetypes, one of which may describe you and/or your brand. […] The post #54 ARCHETYPES with Dr. Andrea Wojnicki appeared first on Talk About Talk.
29 minutes | 8 months ago
#53 CRISIS LEADERSHIP & VIRTUAL TEAMS with Heather Stark
Are you leading a virtual team? Learn how to lead a virtual team and excel in a crisis. During a crisis, everything is magnified, including leadership skills. Executive coach Heather Stark shares her “5C’s of creating a virtual culture” framework to help leaders navigate and excel in the new normal. (This is part 2 of […] The post #53 CRISIS LEADERSHIP & VIRTUAL TEAMS with Heather Stark appeared first on Talk About Talk.
33 minutes | 9 months ago
#52 COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS with executive coach Heather Stark
Effective leaders are effective communicators. Executive coach Heather Stark shares how to improve our communication skills and why leaders need to be good listeners, authentic, proactive, inclusive, intentional and mindful. CONTENTS Summary References & Links Andrea’s Introduction Interview Transcript Andrea’s Conclusion SUMMARY: Communication Skills for Effective Leadership The #1 Communication Skill: Effective Leaders are Great […] The post #52 COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS with executive coach Heather Stark appeared first on Talk About Talk.
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