Oh No! People Are Falling Out Of My Network! (Communication: Part 5)


Charles McCrumb Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

They guys at Manager-Tools.com and Career-Tools.com, in their podcast “Building a Network”, state that people will fall out of your network and that’s okay. I suggest that it’s somewhat stronger than that:

It’s REALLY IMPORTANT that people fall out of your network, and here’s why: Those that are falling out will NEVER call you for help, you can’t count on them to help you, and they can’t be relied on for anything other than a brief comment on their social media feed (again I mention an acquaintance with 2,485 “friends” on Facebook, I say “acquaintance” because it’s only a collection, and I’m only a tiny part of that collection, and not someone that he [the empirical “he”, could just as easily be “she”] wants to stay in touch with).

For example: Say for instance you have 1,000 people in your network (just to keep the math easy). If by chance you lose your job, how many can be RELIED UPON to help you? You have NO WAY OF KNOWING if the unreliable ones haven’t been filtered out over the past 2 years. There may only be 600 that are partial toward you and willing to help you, and the other 400 may only be tepid at best. If you need to hire some people, who are you going to call? The folks you know and trust always get the call before an agency.

The people in your network that YOU can help will tend to ENGAGE YOU in conversation, or at least acknowledge that you have attempted communication with them or reply to you. If after 2 years of you offering help quarterly, a person falls out of your network, manager-tools, & career-tools argue that they never WERE in your network of people that YOU can help. I agree.

I wish there was a faster way to find this out, but as my dad says “Them’s the breaks!”. Those people may attempt to contact you sometime later, but you certainly don’t OWE them anything. You may decide to put them back into regular communication, but it’s certainly up to you (and I would). If then, they stay in touch, keep them in your system and communicate, offering to help them. But if then, he or she resumes his or her bad habit of ill communication, and after 2 years falls out again. Oh well.

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
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Do the Hard Thing – Part 2: Communication


Charles McCrumb Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

Today, I realized where the newest “Hard Thing” is for me: Communication. Keeping in touch with everyone you know is actually a pretty arduous task. If you know 430 people from various work environs, schools, training seminars, neighbors, friends, friends of friends, and family, etc., that is 430 people that you need to contact at least quarterly (per Manager-Tools).

Family, good friends and neighbors, I think should be contacted more frequently (monthly). With that, the math is easy, but difficult to execute. Say for example 50 good friends, neighbors and family. 400 / 120 (quarterly) * 30 (monthly) = 100 people/month. Add in the 50 that you want to communicate with monthly and it’s 150 per month. 5 people per day. Make that 6! You want to communicate with your spouse/significant other daily!

Now it’s getting tough, but we want, and increasingly NEED to be the royalty of communication.

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Do The Hard Thing

Communication


And now, a brief marriage of ideas (who knows, it may be a long and happy marriage)!

Communication is what the listener does. So say the folks at Manager Tools (www.manager-tools.com) [a’ la Peter Drucker].

So, given that, then when do people really listen? When the story is about them. So says Seth Godin in his blog and books (http://sethgodin.typepad.com), and Nancy Duarte (www.duarte.com).

Suppose you want to communicate better. How would you do it? You’d make the message about the other person and not yourself, and make it repeatable. If you always make the story about yourself, who’s listening?

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
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Reruns, Memory and Communication


Question: Why are I Love Lucy, Gilligan’s Island, and The Andy Griffith Show considered the best loved television shows of the fifties and sixties?
The Likely Answer: They’ve been in syndication and therefore in a near constant state of rerun for 50+ years. That keeps it fresh in people’s memories.

Radio didn’t fare as well.
In general, radio had no real technical way to rerun, especially after the invention of television. My father, who lived through those days (high school class of ’50), talks of how fun the old days of radio were, but only in very general terms. Almost no specific shows come to mind. Science fiction, mystery, sports recaps, news, his mother’s soap operas, westerns, etcetera. Why nothing specific?

I’d argue: No reruns.
Now, here’s my point, though maybe a little skewed:

Suppose you are a marketer of your life as a show. What kind of show is it? I don’t mean science fiction, mystery, western, adventure, et al (latin for “and the rest”). I mean marketing-wise how are you communicating across your networks that you are available to help others?
Are you selling a radio show that’s heard once and enjoyed once or are you selling a television show that’s in syndication, with episodes repeating every few months?

Communication across your networks needs to be like a rerun: Offering help to those that may not need it, but will remember that you asked. In the words of the great Seth Godin: “When all jobs are commoditized, what will be left? Trust. Only trust.” Who are you going to trust, and who trusts you?”

Your friends.
Communicate regularly (quarterly, per Manager Tools: Building Your Network [this podcast can change your life for the better, listen, listen and listen some more, I’ve heard it 5 times, going on 6]) with each friend in your network(s) (personal friends, LinkedIn colleagues, Facebook school chums and Twitter followers). You can help them in ways unimagined! They can help you too, but it starts with you. Give, give, and give some more. It’s all about relationships!

All you need to do is communicate better than everyone else (and they’re all particularly BAD at it)! My network is presently at 1% communicating to me first! I hope it gets better, but no luck so far.

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
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Your Permanent Record


As we all know, when growing up (at least in the United States) there was a term that would endanger our thoughts all through school: The permanent record. Only after reaching the age of eighteen did we realize: There’s no such thing.

Your “record” or your “public reputation” starts over, to be or to change as you see fit.

Until now.

On this week’s cross-threaded adventure: You’re permanent record.
My snarky remarks will be in RED. I’ll mostly snark my own thoughts though, so please don’t mind me…

First:
A TED Education speech by Juan Enriquez: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en-GB&v=pRXmEPZNkpY)

Second:
For verification of this: The Manager-Tools (Professional) MySpace and Facebook Part 1 Podcast (http://www.manager-tools.com/2008/07/the-myspace-cast-part-1-of-2) And Part 2 (http://www.manager-tools.com/2008/07/the-myspace-cast-part-2-of-2)

Your reputation matters!
Events from the past (of course they’re from the past, you can’t go the other way!) will overtake any reputation you have tried to build for yourself in the present. Looking for a job at a big corporation? Forget it! They saw something you didn’t want them to see (drunk/naughty pictures, harsh opinions or rough words), and they have formed an opinion about you: “alcoholic-indiscreet, dangerously unaware) liability”. Employers are NEVER looking to hire liabilities! They have enough problems. With the legal environment the way it is now, it’s a wonder anyone hires anyone else!

FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T YOU EVER POST A PICTURE OF YOURSELF WITH A BEER IN YOUR HAND!!! And certainly no naked/naughty pictures! (Yes, yes, I know, “Well DUH!”, but some folks don’t know. Some will never learn, and some will know, but do it anyway. You can’t save EVERYONE!  Just try not to live next door to them when they go off, or you’ll be saying “He was always such a quiet man…”

I know you can’t control what your friends post, but try to pass the message around: It’s PUBLIC SPACE! (I can’t make that BOLD ENOUGH!!!)

Facebook is trying to lock down what things can be seen by strangers, but that’s a problem too: An employer will perceive you as someone that’s hiding something bad. That profile page is for private use of you and your friends and family, but is it REALLY safe from view by strangers? (Let me snark this thought by saying: NO! It’s NOT!)

Illegal
Sure, it’s illegal for employers and recruiters to look at prospective employees’ MySpace and Facebook page(s). They will (and do) do so anyway, and it’s impossible for you to trace. The Internet has an extremely long memory. Your stuff is OUT THERE! It’s NOT GOING ANYWHERE and you need to assume that it’s NOT private AT ALL!!!

Clean up your page!
The basic purpose of social networks is public viewing, and allows (and I’d argue: forces) people to draw conclusions. Clean it up!

Be careful of what you say, and how you say it!
Watch the language you use in your postings and pay attention to the things you respond to. Be discerning about the pages you “like“.

Keep your politics to yourself.

Your Internet presence is your PUBLIC résumé. Try to treat it with a little respect. If not, At some point it WILL Come back and BITE YOU!!!

Be careful folks. As we’ve all heard for years “The Internet is a dangerous place”.

I’ll add a short bit to the end of that: It remains so, and in ways unimagined.

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
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Attend ALL Social Events


OKAY, here it is: Go to every social event you can reasonably attend, for several reasons:

1. Networking (meeting people, not networking computer systems together).
You won’t meet people that you can help without getting out there. Trust is built on lots and lots of giving. Who do you want to do business with: the person that has no time for you, or the person that has been helpful, that you trust? Being helpful is what makes us valuable to each other. By attending social events, you make yourself available to help others!

2. Staying in touch with people.
Social networking (Facebook, Twitter, et al), good for staying in touch, but better is actual touch, shaking someone’s hand or giving a big hug, and saying “How are you? Is there anything can I help you with?” Lets face it, human contact is what it’s about. It’s what it all is about. The secret of the universe isn’t that big of a secret, or even that complicated: We are here to love and be loved. 

3. Have some fun.
Get out and have a good time. If you don’t go, you deprive other people of the joy of your presence, and yourself of theirs.

4. Get some new experiences for a broader topic base.
By attending social functions, you have experiences that are unique to you. You now have other things to talk about. Without new experiences, you’ll stagnate, tell the same old stories and jokes to the same old people.

5. Your circle of friends will get smaller if you don’t.
As we go through time (age), we lose friends and family along the way as we (or they) move away, die, or we lose touch. Our circles of friends, family and acquaintances gets smaller. Don’t let that happen. Most people just think “That’s the way it goes, she’s busy, I’m busy.” Yes, we’re all busy but don’t let that be an excuse.

Force yourself to attend every social event that you can reasonably go to. Your friends (old and new) will be glad you did!

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
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Patience (Ugh, how long will THAT take?)


Sorry folks, I’ve been super busy over the last two weeks, preparing scripts for the upcoming Adobe Flash series “What I use: Why and How?”  Trust me, It’ll be worth it!

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
email: charles@hm-associates.com
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Bus: (626) 593-6700