A lot of what we discuss in the online space surrounds the idea of building, maintaining, and, ultimately, protecting our online reputation. The same basic principles apply for both the individual and the brand. Whether we want to admit or not we ALL have some kind of online reputation to uphold. It might be a small business owner with his/her name attached to a company. It could be on someone as public-facing as a world-renowned athlete or someone who might be locally famous (or infamous for that matter) like a politician, pastor, teacher, mayor, etc. No matter the situation or the place the reputation of a person is very fragile and it can be destroyed at any time. Or can it? If you are even a modest follower of things political, there is a name that should at least ring an online reputation disaster bell in your head. The name is Anthony Weiner. Weiner is the once-disgraced congressman from New York who turned his Twitter account into a social media Weinerland both literally and figuratively. He committed a social faux pas so egregious that one had to wonder if he would ever be able to show his face in public again. Read the remainder of this entry »
Listening is hard even when there are no distractions. Since there is nowhere on the planet where there are no distractions anymore (or so it seems, at least), the art of listening has been disabled at best and often crippled or even destroyed in the worst environments. Whether you are face-to-face, monitor-to-monitor, or screen-to-screen, truly hearing what another is saying is a rare occurrence at best. And then comes the best part: we wonder why everything doesn’t work well. More troubling is that we won’t listen to the solution to this problem, which is to listen to everything better.
Sounds a bit overdone or convoluted? That’s OK. It’s hard to listen or understand much of anything today. And guess what? If Google has it their way listening will become a thing of the past. Now, Google doesn’t always get its way, but they do more than most.
Huh, you ask? How can that happen and how is that a good thing? Well, it can happen (to some degree) and if it did happen that would mean it’s a good thing for Google but possibly quite disruptive (in a bad way) to the rest of us.
It can happen because of Google Glass. SNL did a very funny parody of a Google Glass user this past weekend. You know how parody works right? You take something that is observable then you overplay the potential bad or weird parts to make fun of it. The trouble is that even if this parody of Google Glass users is overdone for effect it still has its roots in the idea that wearing a computer of sorts in front of our eyes is a distraction at best and a complete listening shut down at worst.
I honestly could not talk to someone who was wearing a pair of Google Glasses. There would be a few things going through my mind.
- Are they REALLY listening to me?
- Are they recording me and not telling me?
- Are they watching something else while they are having a conversation with me?
- Just the physical distraction of the glasses themselves could make me lose my concentration.
You can add your questions to this list but you get my point. It would be like talking to Tim Allen’s neighbor Wilson from his Home Improvement show. You remember the guy who you could only see him from the eyes up over the fence? It would be as if there was nothing else to the person except those glasses and the intent behind them.
Oh and if you really want to go dark here, this is an interesting scenario. I saw an article in the New York Post about the prevalence of actual sociopaths in today’s society. It is believed that 1 in 25 are sociopathic that are not serial killers but they are literally morals and ethics free and couldn’t care less about another human being’s welfare. Put Google Glasses on a person like that and they become a weapon. A bit extreme? Only if you have never had the displeasure of having a person like this in your life for even the shortest amount of time. They exist and they would love to manipulate someone with a technology like this. I promise.
Anyway, listening in the age of Google Glass (if they don’t indeed go the way of the Segway which is what I am praying for) is headed for a serious downswing. We appear to be hell bent on multi-tasking our way out of any real human interaction in the name of ‘accomplishing more’.
My only question is “Accomplishing more what?”
I have been concentrating on listening lately. Part of it is because I work with Trackur, an online listening tool for corporations. Another part of it is because I am trying to simply improve at it in my own life. Communication is a two-way street but in the world today it is more often than not a one-way street that is led by an innocent enough egomaniac with a bullhorn disguised as a Twitter or Facebook account. It’s that last point that makes listening even more important. Why you ask? Why even listen to the masses scream and pound their chests in the social space? Well, that is a very good question. One that is answered with another one, “Do we need to listen to everyone all the time?” Read the remainder of this entry »
If you have been paying attention there is a pattern to my posts here at Biznology in the recent past. It’s quite simple. I am writing about listening in the corporate world. It’s not a new concept. Well, maybe it is. You may see listening in a corporate setting as something that happens between co-workers. Owners to employees, employees to employees and many other iterations. It’s a person to person practice. That’s true but that’s just the beginning. Listening in a corporate sense has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. You still need to listen to each other but now it is just as important to be listening to everyone and everything because of the rapid growth and increasing importance of the Internet in day to day company operations. Read the remainder of this entry »
How many times have you had something, whether it was in your personal or professional life, go wrong because of poor communication? If you are honest, there are likely more than you would like to admit. Having those kinds of experiences doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. In fact, it’s just more evidence of just how human you and the people you communicate with are. You see although we are given two ears and one mouth rarely are they used in the right proportion. The results are often something you have to clean up but could have been completely avoided had you, or the other person, slowed down just long enough to really listen. Read the remainder of this entry »