Posts Tagged: psychology

Are You Listening, Or Just Hearing?

If you study the effect of music on the brain at all, then the concept of listening and hearing being different is not a new one. This theory holds true in the study of psychology as well. Listening and hearing are two very different things, one active (listening) and one passive (hearing).

What’s the difference? You hear everything. Everything around you, every conversation, every bit of white noise – it all goes into your ears unfiltered. Half of the things you hear you don’t even notice unless they disappear, such as a sudden blanket of silence being the first thing you notice about a daytime power outage as all appliances and machines stop in unison. To listen, really listen, takes talent. It takes the ability to filter out all of the white noise around you and hone in on what’s important. It takes an ability to retain and filter information, to generate an appropriate response.

The best business people are great listeners. I was talking to a relatively new business person the other day, giving advice and assistance, and I realized what an exercise in futility it was becoming, as I’d had this same conversation with this person every month for the last several. That was a red flag to me that the person should not be their own boss – an inability to listen, absorb and apply information; but it also meant I hadn’t been using my full listening potential in that ongoing conversation either – I’d allowed the hum of a busy schedule to tune out the finer points of global listening, and had missed the cues that would have kept me from wasting more time repeating valuable advice no one was absorbing.

Global listening is a concept that takes listening beyond the ear. Once you master the art of active listening in conversations, being able to put it in practice by absorbing all of the information available to us, filtering it according to your active listening and apply it to your business and relationships, your business will soar (and so will you). Don’t get me wrong – active listening is hard, and global listening is even harder. I know few people who have truly “mastered” either, but there are many who do it well, practice daily and constantly strive to be better.

In the online world where these adaptive media tools are changing and expanding by the minute, and where boundaries are nonexistent, you listen or hear as well. This becomes part of the global listening technique, being able to filter your information fire hose in such a way that it enhances your off line listening. Everyone talks about engagement techniques, and “joining the conversation”, but that is only scratching the surface – the way you listen is, in the end, much more important for your success. Your competitors and clients and colleagues are out there giving away encyclopedias full of information, needs, and more. Be the one who listens.

Treat every day like a symphony, and take time to listen to every part.

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Sociology and Psychology of Social Media

I’ve been thinking about this topic for all of 2009. It only seemed fitting then to do what I do and create a conference around it so we could all explore the topic together. I found a like mind in Joe Cascio of Push My Follow, and we started the work of getting a conference together.

We dubbed this conference S•Cub3d (Social Science By The Seashore) and it’s all about putting social media on the couch for some deep analysis of what drives it. We’ll be holding it in Connecticut by the ocean in Summer 2010 with the idea of being central to the great minds studying this very topic in both New York and Massachusetts, as well as central to many colleges, universities and methods of transportation.

We’re playing some of the details a bit close to the vest for now, opening our announcement with a call for speakers and sponsors for this one-day conference. We’ll be unveiling the location, hotel information for those who wish to stay over and the speaker and sponsor list as 2010 opens up, but for now – we’ve opened the dialogue to make sure we touch on the topics that are important to the community.

We’re taking this analysis so much further than ROI and marketing. We want to know about the human behaviors that drive social media and make it what it is, and the human behaviors that will drive its future.

So please, if you are researching this topic (and using the tools – not just armchair quarterbacking), we want to hear from you! If you are a cutting edge company that wants to support an event doing this kind of analysis, we want to hear from you also.

You can find the call for speakers and sponsors and conference web site at S•Cub3d.com and the S •Cub3d Facebook Fan Page here.

Looking To The Future Of Social Media

In which I discuss the need to look beyond the minutia of the daily and into the future, charity, and more.

(if you follow me on Twitter, you will see this twice – once direct from Utterli and once from the blog)

The Value of Face Time

On occasion people ask me why I don’t post more here. It isn’t that I don’t have valuable information to share with you, I do. In fact, I have so many post ideas and things I want to share with you in my head it gets a bit crowded sometimes. I tend to wander around muttering to myself or jotting things in my HTC Mogul using Evernote‘s Voice Note, Ink Note or Photo Note features so I don’t forget, which can get me more than a few funny looks until people figure out I’m just making mental notes.

I don’t post more often because I like to put most of my ideas into action instead. I am a woman of big ideas, a connector, and I try to enact as many as possible, as quickly and as well as I can. I don’t like a good idea to die on the vine. A lot of these big ideas involve connecting the real world with the online world. The value of social media to people and businesses is in the connectivity it brings, and the doors that opens. This means I believe just as much in the value of face time as I do in the value of online time, and I try to instill that belief in others by building powerful real life networks.

I’ve been putting these thoughts into practice with Social Media Breakfast NH, Podcamp NH, in-person relationship building, client coaching and strategizing, writing books to make the concept easier for others like Twitter for Dummies (co-author with Laura Fitton and Michael Gruen), investigating co-working spaces like the upcoming Port Forward, real life networking whenever possible at events like NH and Boston Media Makers, local off-web events like Chamber meetings or last night’s Extreme Website Makeover event, one-on-one time with my colleagues and friends whose minds inspire me, and more. There is something about translating connections between the tangible and the intangible that makes the ideas much more vibrant and that makes the connection adhere more fully.

How is face time important for your business? Simple: it brings the human element into your brand. You can attempt to engage people online until you are blue in the face. You can throw money and resources at social media until you go broke. But if you can’t translate that rapport and effort into time off the screen somehow, you’re missing a key component to your overall social media and business development strategy. It’s not your 100 or 100,000 or more followers on various platforms that counts, it’s the number that come to your movie, attend your event, support your cause in person, talk about you to their friends, go to your concert, use your service in their homes or businesses, drink your wine in real life… you get the idea.

Never underestimate the value of face time. How do you employ face time in your business or life?

Dunbar Numbers, Myers Briggs Type Indicators and Social Media

I am conducting a bit of an informal survey here. I won’t reveal my position on the matter at hand, so as to avoid undue skewing of the results. However, I am using both the Dunbar Number theory and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) of personalities to gather some data on Twitter for my survey and impending companion blog post. Please put your answers in the comments before January 5th, 2009. I’ll then post the results of my survey and a post about my theory that inspired the survey and how well they supported my theory (or didn’t).

Never heard of the Dunbar Number theory? Click here.

Don’t know your MBTI personality type (mine is ENTP, as is Triston)? Click here to use the MyType application on FaceBook (my personal favorite), or click here if you don’t have FaceBook.

(Yes, I started this on a survery site and found that it did not correlate the data correctly for me, so I am scrapping that early data. Please play again via the comments here. I will put the first comment so you see the information I need. Enter your MBTI and your follower count as of today. Thank you!)