Communication: Monitoring vs Listening

Why is communication so important?

#Communication is the key in relationship building. Communication only exists if at least two parties are actively participating in an open and honest manner. Once trust is broken, it will be very difficult to rebuild, if at all. #Non-verbal communication and #active listening are the key components in strong and successful relationship. Although it is also very critical for all parties to convey their feeling and idea too, but it is equally important, if not more so, to listen attentively before your response.

(Source: Advertising Media Plus, Posted March 25, 2015)

How can we apply active listen and non-verbal communication in social media?

In the #virtual world, via #social media, the equivalent of listening in communication is social media monitoring. The #verbal communication in real life is simulated through #effective written communication using various mediums such as texting, posting, tweeting, and messaging. The #non-verbal component of communication, although almost non-existence in the virtual sphere, it can be simulated by your actions in cross analyzing all information gathered and find correlation and/or exception factors through social media monitoring.

#Monitoring in the physical world means paying a lot of attention to the non-verbal communication or signals that is being send by the customers which include their purchase or preferences in their order — the financial bottom to the survival of the organization. Monitoring in the virtual world means using the social media #analytic to determine the response of audience or customers. There are many effective and sophisticated tools or marketing firms that can provide you with this service; however, many of the more mature social media tools can also provide this same basic information to you at substantially lower cost. Some of these tools include: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

(Source: TalkPoint, Posted April 19, 2017)

How can we apply the W5 (who, what, when, where, why) plus How of social media monitoring?

When we listen/monitor the audience response, we can modify and adjust our strategy quickly and respond to the customer or people effectively. The following is some example based on recently missing girl search and based on recent tornado disaster in Ottawa:

  1. An 11-year old girl ( was reported missing by police via Twitter. Few days later, the media started to engage. But over a week later, no news or leads. Media and police retweet several times, but it generates no leads. I followed and monitored that, but I did not retweet yet thinking the police and media has a lot of leads/helps already. Then more than 10+ days past, the police ask for help again. I was puzzled, and then it dawned to me that I may have connections that police and media may not have access to. I posted to my two Facebook accounts … each of very different group of influence: one is mostly church and street outreach friends, and the other are martial artist, musicians, dancers, government official/bureaucrat, and security folks other than police. 2-days later, the girl was found. It was not my effort alone, but I am sure it has helped one way or another.
  2. Six tornado ( causing substantial damages and blackout. Hydro One, first responders, relief workers, volunteers, and community organization all helped to communicate via social media what, when, where, who, why, and how to get help and access to food, water, and shelter. ( Although Ottawa suffered greatly, but with everyone’s coordination effort using social media, it made everyone in Ottawa region safe and recover faster together as an Ottawa community / family.

Both examples demonstrate how one can monitor, listen, and act efficiently and effectively to how generate the desirable outcomes. We look at the results and outcomes gathered so far, and we adjust quickly to engage the audience or redirect shout out to a different or correct audience. The final objective is to mobilize the right people to get the desirable results in a timely manner.

Can you think of some experience where you monitor and analyze reports and then adjust your strategy to get your final outcomes?


Communication: Monitoring vs Listening Same for different world.

Communication: Monitoring vs Listening.  Improve your strategy.

Blog post #5 – Will you have a conversation with me?

I would love some feedback from my new Algonquin community of bloggers. I started my own blog almost two years ago. This post below was one on my first. It’s too long, it’s poorly tagged, and of all the posts I have written, I don’t think it’s the most engaging or interesting. Despite this, it has been my most successful post by leaps and bounds. According to Word Press statistics, It has been viewed from dozens of countries around the world over 3,800 times. Other than being able to view those statistics (the search terms and referrer information is deleted daily and there have been few comments), I have nothing else in terms of engagement or ‘conversation’ to analyze so therefor do not know how to replicate this post’s success. I am curious about what others have to say – will you be my audience and have a conversation? 

How to decline an invitation

invitationPeggy from Petawawa writes: “Dear Kate, I have always been uncomfortable with turning down an invitation, even if it’s for something I don’t want to attend. I just don’t like the idea of hurting someone’s feelings. Sometimes, instead of saying no, I try to come up with a ‘reasonable excuse’ to decline, but then I feel bad for not being upfront and honest. Don’t get me wrong, I love being invited to parties and other events and so do my husband and kids, but we have a busy life and just don’t have the time or energy to do everything. How can I graciously decline an invitation without upsetting anyone?”

Thank you for your question Peggy. First of all, you should never feel guilty or bad about saying you (or members of your family) can not attend an event. Saying ‘no’ does not mean you don’t care about or value the relationship with the person you are declining the invitation from. Putting your needs or the needs of your family first has to be a priority. As long as you promptly and respectfully decline an invitation, you can not really worry about someone else’s reaction. Here are a few simple suggestions that can help guide you when turning down and invitation:

Do’s of declining an invitation:

  • When someone invites you to an event of any kind, be prompt with your reply, especially if the invite comes with an RSVP deadline. The person throwing the dinner or party needs to know how many people to plan for. If you can not, or do not want to attend an event, it is ok to be honest and simply say, “I am sorry, but we are not available”. If you feel the need to give an explanation, be brief instead of excessively detailed (otherwise you may make it sound like you are coming up with excuses): “we already have plans”, “I am overwhelmed and we have too much on our plates at the moment”, “we have had a few busy weeks(ends) and we just can not make anymore commitments at the moment”, “my son/daughter has already been invited to another birthday party this weekend and I am afraid he/she can not handle the stimulation or the excessive sugar consumption.”
  • Some people worry that if they say no to the same person on a regular basis, they will stop getting invitations. If you get kicked off someone’s invite list for that reason, are they really your friend? Friendships don’t come with rules about mandatory attendance at social events. If the invite is for something more formal, and you regularly decline, let the organization know you would like to be kept on their list with the hope that you will be able to attend one day (thinking of university alumni events that always seem fun and interesting but take a back seat to the needs of my kid’s current activity schedules).
  • Do understand that not everyone is interested in the same kind of events (maybe they prefer a gallery opening to listening to live music at a pub) so they may decline an invitation for that reason.
  • This is an important one for me… do recognize that in some cases, you have a social obligation to attend certain events: a friend’s baby or wedding shower, a milestone birthday party, or any event of major significance in close friend or family member’s life. To be a member of a community, sometimes you have to put yourself out there for other people, even if you are busy or the event takes you out of your comfort zone.

Don’ts of declining an invitation:

  • Not acknowledging an invitation is not the same as declining an invitation. Surprisingly enough, this is a common strategy for getting out of having to RSVP to an event. For all those who get invited to an event via Evite, the host can see when you have read the invitation. Just saying…
  • Do not fake an illness or lie (doing that cancels out what I said above about not getting kicked off someone’s invite list for repeatedly declining) to get out of an invitation. Lying will make you feel guilty and karma has a way of making sure you get caught.
  • Do not ‘no show’ if you have said yes to attending an event. It’s better to be honest upfront, or even cancel last minute, then to not show up at all. This is especially true for an event in a private home where a host has spent time and money preparing for a certain number of guests.
  • If you are on the giving end of the invite, do not press an invitee too much to reschedule if they say they can not make it. There have been times in my life when I have just not been able to commit to making plans (young babies at home, busy work or school schedule) and I know how stressful it can be when one is continually approached to pick another date for a get together. No matter how well meaning a friend may be with their efforts to accommodate your schedule, sometimes a host needs to take a step back and accept that there is a reason why someone has declined an invitation.

Social tip: All the etiquette experts agree; honesty and promptness are key when declining an invite, especially if you want to be included in the fun in the future.

Originally posted from

Social Media: Go on, tell us how you really feel!

After watching the United Breaks Guitars video, I had to laugh. Not because almost anything can be turned in to a Country song, but because I can proudly say I’m guilty of doing something similar (using social media to give “feedback” – not breaking someone’s guitar). I’ve had a few very poor customer service experiences and although I typically keep my complaints to myself, I felt inclined to publicly complain to the world – or in this case, the Twitterverse. And guess what… it worked!


Social media has become the new “tell us how we’re doing” card. In the above example, I was quite pleased with the technical support I received shortly after my Tweet. I should also mention that I had tried calling the support line and even went to the store where I had bought my phone but was told there was nothing they could do. Twitter was my last resort – perhaps it should have been my first.

My point is that consumers should not be afraid to use social media to their advantage. Did you just receive terrible customer service while buying that new pair of jeans? Was the teen working at the cash register at the grocery store too busy texting to give you the receipt? In my opinion, if that business has made themselves accessible on social media – customers have the right to reach out to them!

Do I dream of a news feed full of negativity and comments bashing the local buffet restaurant? Absolutely not. In fact, on the flip side, I feel strongly about tagging businesses in positive comments as well!


As customers and consumers, we have the right to share our feedback, rave about great experiences or rant about the not so pleasant ones. Right?!