COM0011: Lead by Listening

Mr-Potato-Head-toy-storyHave you ever gone on one of those reading kicks, where book after book seems to flip through your hands? I’ve been on one lately and it feels invigorating. I’ve noticed something though, I tend to be reading about leadership. Yesterday, this topic drew me to a business article about the five skills of amazing listeners.

Listening is important, and we always ask how to listen, what to measure, how to listen, but are you listening effectively? Is it okay to read, or as the article above suggests, do you need to be there. Nothing seems more important to me in the five step list than number one. ‘Be Present.’ Have you ever gone in to speak with your boss and felt like he wasn’t there? Was her phone in her hand? How does this apply to social media?

Maybe it’s worth asking yourself. Were you there? Are you aware of issues when they start to arise, even before they arise (especially if their annual questions)? Or is your engagement process a ‘follow-up’ process.

I’ve always been impressed when a company starts Tweeting, Posting or Sharing a week before an event with their own FAQ. Establishing hashtags, opening up conversation and producing answers before they become reactions is essential to establishing yourself as an open an understanding company.

The problem with this of course is the time. Do you have the time to be there for your audience? If you don’t have you considered using Alerts?

Share your preemptive listening techniques in the comments to help us all lead by listening!

3 thoughts on “COM0011: Lead by Listening

  1. Having time for the audience is something that is a huge struggle. With a smaller staff and a wide audience how can you best reply in real time? I have heard of Hoot Suite to help with time management. At the moment we have dedicated staff who monitor and watch our social media mediums. I’m all ears for the instant, time management fix. Anyone?

  2. In our office, we did use HootSuite and some found it helpful. However, our web developer has created a built-in scheduler (same idea as HootSuite), so our staff can literally edit / build pages on our website, blog, and post to social media, all from one tool! That being said, “being present” is key. Although our team is encouraged to use the tools available to them to help with time management, they are all required to stay on top of whatever they post. They are expected to engage, respond to comments in the moment, and encourage conversation.

    We have one on-air announcer who will literally schedule Facebook posts up to a week ahead of time but she is flexible and know that if something more important comes up, she has to revise her posts and she checks the comments often to maintain any conversations that develop.

    A warning about scheduling content… be ready for change that will affect your posts. Nobody wants a Live Nation mishap (they had scheduled a post promoting the Radiohead concert “tonight in Toronto” – the post was Tweeted but an hour before it was posted, the stage had collapsed and the concert was called off).

  3. Hoot suite has been a big help for me along with a content scheduler and we do have staff monitoring all the business affiliated social media accounts. If I can’t get to a question right away they are my back up to responding to the client. Carving out specific times in my schedule for social media has helped as well.

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