Saturday, 27 April 2013

Importance - A Social Media Definition

You are not as important as you actually think you are ... If you were that important you would not have to worry about everyone knowing your business because of social media - they would actually know it already.

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

When you look for Richard Simmonds but forget to spell Simmonds with a D you get!

15 Things You Didn't Know About Richard Simmons

Source :

Monday, 22 April 2013

The business risk of Social Media - Why should you (not) be on social media.

I realize that most people can't understand why they need to be on Social Media and I come to this realisation as I flew to Cape Town this morning on a flight that had been delayed by an hour and a half.

During my wait I looked to see if there was any communication about this delay, only to find that there is no communication only reaction to complaints, but nothing positive and no proactive communication whatsoever, not today or anytime in the recent past.

I have to wonder what the business case is that motivates this non communication. All I can think is that the attitude must be, they need to fly with us and what difference pro-active communication make to our bottom line anyway?

Initially I may have to agree, if you are flying with them and your flight is full then it must be working or is it? Perhaps we expect nothing and the carrier knows this and they give us nothing. Perhaps the carrier thinks that if you want social media you should pay for it just like you pay for the food and drink on board some of the flights.

But we are in a world of customer experience not just customer service! This experience is everything from parking your car, to the cleanliness of the terminal buildings and its restrooms to your flight and the conditions at your destination. All of this adds to the experience so why not add pro-active communication into this experience?

The other argument is that no one is doing it ... But that is not true because the competition are doing it better, but they are just pro-active and have not learnt to be truly interactive as yet.

Many businesses can't see the need to be social and if that is you, the question must be asked does no one need to know about your product? Do you not have thought leaders in your company whose opinions would be valuable in industry? Do you have all the resource skills you need and is everyone lining up to work for you?

If you answered yes to these questions then your brand has proceeded itself and you need not communicate with anyone.

But social is about constant communication - think about it as a relationship, all relationships need effective communication to be effective. Without this communication nothing will be sustainable.

Think about your brand, your business, your product or your organisation is there a good reason why it should not be social and communicating in an interactive way with the world?

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Social Media - I don't want everyone to know my business!

Why what are you hiding?

Why would you tell people things you did not wan't them to know?

How do they find out about you if you don't tell them?

If your friends are telling others about you is that because they are jealous of you? 
Then why do you have friends like these?

Surely you would like to tell people the truth before others tell untruths about you?

Life is about information and normally on a need to know basis. Remember that if you don't tell them, they may need to know.

Get your thoughts right and create the intention for yourself that will leave others with the right perception - the image and message you want them to know about you.

Remember the more information that you give the better the perception will be. As they will have less thinking of their own to do and their perception will be more accurate due to you giving them more information.

Oh and no one talks about you unless you have made an impression or upset them in the first place - so the action you take is yours to chose.

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Crisis Communication using Social Media

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The more effectively we communicate the better results we will get, be that in our personal lives and in business. Most crisis' arise from a lack of communication. With this is mind how can we be proactive instead of always being reactive?

The next question we need to ask is ... Have we actually changed the way we communicate or is it just better enabled with new tools offered via social media?

Well it certainly has become more interactive and this interaction has been enabled by social media.

Do we enable interaction in the way we communicate or even expect it, or are we simply saying what we think people want to hear? Which of course raises another question and that is; what are our peers saying and how did we formulate our opinion in the first place. Certainly if we were listening, and we use up to date relevant information our opinions become worthwhile for others.  

With Social Media our peers are having conversations all around us, and these are conversations that we can listen to and be part of if we feel we have something valid to say. In most cases we observe what is happening and gather information.

So what happens when something is said that directly effects you or the company you work for? Most people get on the defensive first and without understanding the full context start reacting, usually over reacting without careful thought. 

Over reacting in any form of communication can be dangerous, but Social Media will only amplify these reactions and the chance to apologize or fix what has been said is minimized. With this in mind most people chose rather not to participate and play it safe. However playing it safe is extremely risky in the new world we live in, people will easily perceive you as hiding something rather than perceive you as playing it safe.

So what is the solution and how do we communicate in this challenging and unforgiving world of the informed and enabled? The real key is to develop a high EQ (emotional intelligence) by focusing on some of the following aspects:

  • Don't take offense
  • Give up the need to always be right
  • Forgive and forget
These three basics of Emotional Intelligence is what causes most of the hurts and misunderstandings within people and organisations. Once we understand that the world is not governed by laws but that self-regulation and peer-regulation has become so prevalent and effective we will realize that we are no longer on our own and that if we spent enough time building relationships - that these relationships would form our best defense against the attacks that might come our way in the form of criticism and slander.

What to do when the attack comes?

Realize that most attacks come from disgruntled people and that invariably the attack is not actually of a personal nature, but rather that the disgruntled person only wants a vent for their anger, and it may or may not have been caused by anything you or your specific organization may have done.

  • Respond with empathy without being weak, answer the question and not the emotion.
  • Never say the word 'Sorry', if necessary apologize for the way they feel.
  • Seek continued conversation rather than giving a once off solution, remember you main objective is to build relationship and not show you are right.
  • Use words that would allow them to see that you have authority and that you are trying to assist them and understand as much as possible.
  • Asking simple questions shows that you are fully wanting to understand.
  • Never respond to any personal attacks or acknowledge anything that is said to you of a personal nature. 
  • Keep all conversations professional, no matter what the circumstance you are always building a  professional relationship of respect first.
  • Never use political excuses and blame someone else for the situation, take full responsibility and allow the conversation to arrive at the solutions.
Take note of other parties that may be involved in your conversation, never assume that an answer given to one person will be the answer that everyone accepts, rather address each person separately and answer their specifics even if it may seem like you repeating yourself.

Remember that during this crisis period that you need to stop other communication that may give a conflicting message to your followers. 

Also remember that  should something have happened in the News that may be tragic - allow people a time for mourning - so don't try and sell to them, show some respect and allow people time to mourn.

What else would you add to this posting?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

What does your Future Customer want?

We live in a world that advances quicker than we can imagine and technology is advancing at an alarming rate, so what exactly will your future customer want and expect from you?

I could answer that trying to predict what the future technology will be like and how we will interact with location services, augmented reality and tell you about social media platforms that have not even been thought about as yet, but I am not going to do that.

No instead my approach is not advanced, just very simple and extremely basic and it goes around the idea of understanding what people want. When we understand what people want, it is easier to understand what your future customer will want.

Then we need to ask what do people want and have they not wanted this in the past?
I will answer the second part of this question first. I believe that people have always wanted what they want, but the main difference is now they can actually expect what they want.

So what then do people want? People want authentic experiences with real people, they want a trustworthy relationship with everyone they come into contact and of course they want this on their terms. Some want deep meaningful communication and others don't want their time wasted talking about trivial issues. People want to be listened to and for you to understand what they want, remember that we only truly listen when we ask questions, so be sure to listen and ask questions that will convince the person speaking to you that you have actually listened and understand what they want. 

Don't think the future is about technology, no the technology will change all the time, but one thing will never change and that is that people have a need to connect with others in the way they want to connect, the better you are at making those connections, the more you understand how to build those connections into relationships and nurture these new relationships; the better you will become at giving your future customer what they want.

The better you are at giving people what they want, the better you will be at serving your customers and with better service comes more referrals, new connections and more rewards for you.

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Monday, 8 April 2013

Intention - Authentic Communication

You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Your intention creates the perception in the minds of others, which ultimately forms their impression of you. I have always said that the other person's perception of you is never wrong. Believe me that is true in most cases.

So how do we go about creating the correct intention in the minds of others, so that it leaves an everlasting impression of who we are?

Get your intention right first, simplify your life and determine what your real purpose is in life.
Our highest purpose of course is to have meaning in the lives of others, if you can in some way align your purpose to this is does tend to simplify life.

You see it is what you think of yourself that is important, not what others think of you. If you have not clarified the way you think of yourself, others will have nothing to think about you other than the superficial.

The example I often use in this instance is: Have you met a divorced woman in her forties? She will use the following statement - I am not sure how I will get a man, as I don't have the body of a twenty year old! Never mind if you have not heard this statement, some do say that and the message that they are telling the world and the men they meet is 'Look at my body'. Instead she could be seeing herself as a wholesome woman who has a lot to offer, seeing herself as a perfect partner (intention) and they in turn will see her as a wholesome woman who would be their perfect partner (perception).

So the challenge is think of yourself the way you would want others to see you, this will create the perception for them of who you are and you will be received more favorably.

Life is simple when you chose to keep it simple!

"Punk Boy" by Africa -

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Questions - Authentic Communication

We can tell people we are listening, and we can even look as if we are listening to someone when we are not, we could have a million thoughts running through our minds or we could be thinking of what we would like to say next.

So how does someone know or how do we know when someone is authentically listening to us?
When we listen properly we ask questions of the person who is talking to us ... We ask for more details, we ask what the weather was like, who they encountered or how they felt.

Only when we question others, do they know that we are authentically listening. Ask people to share how they felt, what they saw, what was new if they regularly go to a place and ask them to share more than they are initially telling you.

We never say everything unless we are asked for more. In fact we almost expect the person not to be interested, that we even start by saying less than we intended to. 

Start asking more questions when people talk to you and you will find that not only will people start listening more to you, they will actually ask more from you.

Have a wonderful day, the day is so much more fulfilling when we are authentic.

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Personal Branding, Is not ...

1. A task you can allocate to someone else to do for you.
2. A game you might need to consider playing at some time.
3. A fad which some guru has decided is the next thing that you need to focus your energy on.
4. Another way of building your influence, it is the only way.

Personal branding is with us and it is here to stay, no longer can you hide behind the brand that you work for, it is your task and your commitment to the successful life that you have always dreamed of and it is the life that you want.

Personal branding in particular is about raising your influence and becoming a key person within your industry, thus becoming a 'Brand within the Brand'. These brands are influential; their names come up in conversation, they attract the right type of opportunities, they earn more and it isn't a struggle - these brands also have more fun. They get invited on trips away, people buy them dinner, they are treated with respect and others listen when they speak. 

Today is the day you start increasing your influence and giving your personal brand the traction it deserves.

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Sixteen Ways To Encourage Your Child To Use Drugs

1. Never eat together as a family. 
2. Never have family traditions that children can look forward to. 
3. Never listen to your children; talk at them but never with them. 
4. Never let your child experience cold, fatigue, adventure, injury, risk, challenge, failure, frustration, etc. 
5. Teach them to do as I say and not as I do. 
6. Leave the responsibility of moral, spiritual training to the schools and church and don't teach them at home.
7. Never spend time with your child; give them gifts, toys, and money as a substitute. 
8. Expect your child to achieve and win, but do not teach him or her the principles of fairness and responsibility. Let them learn this on their own. 
9. Take a pick-up pill or drink in the morning, and a relaxing pill or drink in the evening.
10. Never treat your child with respect; instead try whenever possible to humiliate him in public so that he will learn his lesson. 
11. Always pick up after your child; never let him or her assume any personal responsibility. 
12. Berate your spouse in front of the children; be sure your children know your husband's or wife's faults. 
13. Keep your home tense and chaotic. 
14. Always solve your child's problems. Never allow your child the freedom to make any decisions. 
15. Be too busy with work or social activities to spend time with your children. If you do happen to have the time be sure to spend it watching television. 
16. Don't teach them anything while they are young; wait until they are old enough to learn and decide right from wrong for themselves.

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Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Secret of "Doing Without Doing"


One of the mistaken certainties or misconceptions most people operate under is that you get what you want in life by what you DO, or through the actions you take. Most people believe that the DOING or action part is what makes things happen. However, this causes you to create in reverse.

Let me explain..

The reason we put a lot of emphasis on action is because we do not understand the power of our thought. If you analyze it, 90% of most people's actions are spent trying to compensate for inappropriate thought.

The Chinese philosopher Lao-tsu said that, "In the practice of the Way, every day something is dropped. Less and less do you need to force things until finally you arrive at *non action*
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone". What he is talking about is "doing without doing"

The problem is that most of us are preoccupied with "doing". Unfortunately most of our doing usually involves struggle. In the western world we are conditioned to be action-oriented, so we place a tremendous value on doing. We are so busy doing that we do not realize that all this "doingness" causes us to create in a reverse fashion.

Most of our actions are out of fear, worry or doubt because we believe nothing will get done unless we DO something. In other words, we are trying to force our desire into manifestation through action.

If your decision to DO is dominant, then you will not focus on what you want to BE in the present moment. This causes you to miscreate because BEING is the first and most important step in the creative process.

Here is the secret.

It is not your action that makes things happen, it is your intent. You can reduce the need for action to a very minimum by allowing yourself to focus on what you desire until you feel the positive energy begin to move within you. This energy is not based on doubt, fear, anxiety, worry or need. If you focus on what you want instead of what you don't want, you will know when it is time to take action. And when you do, it will be effortless. Doors open and the entire universe will conspire to assist you in your desire.

Put simply, you should take no action on anything until you have visualized your desire and made it real enough in your mind that your next action (step), whatever it is, seems like the most logical step.

How can you know the next logical step? Here is the test that you can give to yourself before taking any action. If you focus on what you desire and still feel overwhelmed or anxious, then you are not ready for any action. You know you are ready when it feels like the next logical step is effortless. There is no effort, no strain, and no pain.

What we want to do is to use the leverage of energy, the same leverage of energy that creates everything in the universe. However, we are so caught up in the reality of WHAT IS, that we feel we must create everything through mental effort and physical activity.

Have you ever seen people who seem to have all the wonderful things in their life without much effort? It almost seems like they have an advantage over everyone else. Then you see the people who work the hardest usually have the least. That doesn't seem fair does it? But that's the way the universe works.

Unfortunately, those who work the hardest usually have the least because they haven't learned the leverage of aligning their energy. They are going about creating their lives the hard way. They are trying to use their actions to create what they want.

We have also been programmed that in order to have what we desire we must work hard. How many times have you heard - "No pain, no gain." The implication is that if you want to make something of yourself, you must work hard. The message is clear - if you are not hurting or struggling, you are not moving forward.

But here is the truth - anytime you are struggling you are miscreating. Anytime you feel pain or struggle, your magnetic point of attraction is directed to that which you do not want, rather than to that which you desire. Read it again!

Actions are necessary, but they are the last component of the creation processes. Actions cannot be used effectively to initiate results, because initiation is the function of BEING, then thought, then action.

Remember, the creation of anything is through your vibration. Everything vibrates, and it is by that vibration that we harmonize and attract experiences to ourselves. So before you act or do anything, first ask yourself, how am I vibrating? How do you tell? You tell by how you FEEL. Your feelings show you your vibration. How you feel determines what you attract.

When you use the process of creating by only focusing on what you want instead of what you don't want, you will see that the universe will provide a different set of circumstances for you that requires much less action. This puts you in a state of"doing without doing" or action without effort.

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Gratitude is the Best Attitude

Someone once said that 'no duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks' and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has been following this blog for the past two months, you have made what I put on this blog all the more worthwhile. There is really nothing like gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude so from the bottom of my heart I say thank you.   

The topic of gratitude is one most of my favorites so I have decided that I will be putting a lot more articles and quotes about gratitude on my blog.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
 Author Unknown

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say 'thank you?'"   -- William A. Ward

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Top 10 Albert Einstein Quotes

Whether or not you're familiar with theories of relativity, quantum physics or relativistic cosmology, quotes by Albert Einstein can still be enjoyed by all.

And who knew Albert Einstein was such a funny guy? For example, "The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat."

And how about quotes by Albert Einstein on love? "Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." Or are you looking for inspirational Albert Einstein quotes like, "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

But here are 10 that really that really stand out for me:

1)  Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.

2)  When the solution is simple, God is answering.

3)  Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

4)  Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

5)  If A equals success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.

6)  Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.

7)  Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.

8)  The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a  society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

9)  The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax.

And then one of my personal favourites;
10)  The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

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Simple Language - Authentic Communication

Make sure you are making the language that you are using as simple, and clear as possible without using big words.

When we use big words we disconnect with the people we are trying to communicate with, as they tend to wonder what the big word means instead of listening to what we are saying.

Don't assume either that the person who you are communicating with is English either, not everyone who speaks English has English as their mother tongue, so keep things simple from the start and if they communicate in a higher English then you can always step up your English. The stepping up of your English if necessary is less obvious than if we step down because we have started too high.

Think before you speak, keep the way you communicate as simple as possible and the way you speak will be more authentic, than if you were trying to impress the other person by how much you know.

Remember they don't care how much you know anyway or how eloquent you are, they only care how much you care.

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Friday, 5 April 2013

Listening - Authentic Communication

When we hear the word 'communication' we often think about how we are going to say something and say it effectively, what new ideas we can bring into our content mix and how are we going to get the attention of our audiences.

Often the answer is so simple, yet so difficult to comprehend ... All we need to do is listen.

We often do not realize that we have the other persons full attention when we are effectively listening to them. These are amazing opportunities to ask subtle questions that will achieve what the communication would have achieved anyway.

And no I am not only referring to the interpersonal connections, I am referring to communication in it's broadest sense and this communication is enabled by Social Media, the number of platforms you use and which ones you chose are entirely up to you.

You may be using Facebook, to see how people are talking about you and your brand, Twitter to see if they actually recommend you and if they are prepared to retweet what you have said to their friends.

They may be using LinkedIn to tell their business network about the job opportunities you have on offer, and updating their network on the type of advice and training they have received form you.

You could be using Pinterest to see if your friends and customers are actually interested in what they say they are interested in and on FourSquare you can see where they go, what they like eating and if the service you provide is any good and if they will even think of recommending you.

Yes the world has changed and authentic communication is what people are looking for, so before you communicate ask yourself 'have I listened enough and do I actually have a feel for what people want' and if not.

The solution is simple ... keep listening until.

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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Social Media - What is the current Strategy?

Social media as we know it, started it's life out as an informal experiment in most organisations, where it was regarded by many executives as a mere novelty rather than a serious business tool. Many of the C-suite executives were late adopters and some have still not realized the need to adopt.

In the past we had ad hoc strategies, driven by independent tweeters and bloggers who knew they could help grow brands but who did not form part of a coordinated strategy. These tweeters and bloggers are still however the backbone of any strategy and should never be overlooked. No in fact they should be encouraged, nurtured and rewarded and they add authenticity and immense value into the companies goal of becoming more social and eventually being acknowledged as a social business.

Just to recap a Social business is the concept of activating social networks using social technology and media to create business value, across any number of functional or business processes.

Yes by all means appoint Digital and Community Managers, if you can afford them (the good one's don't come cheap) but never forget the champions that are already growing brands within your company.

Social business is all about balance, you need to find the balance between those you pay to do the service and those that are building brands within your organization already.

The real challenge is to keep all those lines of communication open and focused on the business goals at hand.

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Problems - Authentic Communication

How do we adress challenges and problems in our lives? Sometimes we run from them and most time we hide from them - simply wishing they will go away.

But the truth is we cannot hide from our problems, we need to face the very reason we have the problem, and that is we need to communicate - the lack of communication in most cases is the reason we have problems.

Confront your problems by communicating until the problem is no longer an issue and you have reached a clear understanding of how the problem can be solved.

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