The End of the One Way Street

For those of you that have been following my Little Life Stories blog over the past week, you know that I have had quite a bit of windshield time as my son and I drove the 2500 miles from Phoenix, Arizona to Brookfield, Connecticut.  Over 40 hours in the car equated to that much time off-line.  You should try it some time.  Disengaging and taking the time to think without the constant demands of meetings, phone, or computer.

One WayNow traveling down highways is the ultimate One Way Street.  If someone decides to travel in the wrong direction – it’s a recipe for disaster. 

But for most other areas of our life and business – traveling down the one way street is a very short sighted solution.   

A very wise friend of mine taught me long ago that by extending yourself, engaging, and helping others there is a karmic affect.  What you give comes back to you.  This video tells the story… 

A recent blog post and developing exchange with Gloria Feldt on her blog “Speaking Up” under the category of Courageous Leadership really helped me bring my thoughts into focus in terms of social media interactions and my social media tool kit as a leader.

How does social media fit in my leadership tool kit?

I loved that Gloria started off by recognizing that social media is a tool for leaders and not a strategy. Social Media – interactive websites, blogs, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, and more are each separate tools that can be used separately and on concert to 1) deliver information and 2) interact with your audience, employees, customers, and community in general.   These actions are the components of our strategy.  The tools simply enable us to act more effectively.

The days of one-way communication are coming to a close.

With the development of new social media platforms, we have entered into a new era of two-way communication that will allow us, as leaders, to develop stronger relationships, enhance communications, share ideas, and collaborate.

I am just learning to use these new tools to facilitate these interactions. The more I learn, the better a communicator and ultimately a leader I can become.

Here is a short story to illustrate what effectively using social media tools can do.

Gloria and I met at an ASU Women in Philanthropy event in 2002. Since then we exchanged holiday cards, read an occasional newsletter or email, and were loosely connected. As we both began to use the newer social media tools, we began to more actively interact, follow each others projects, and introduce each other to friends with shared goals.  Ultimately these conversations can lead to collaborations in the future. Basically, our communication has become a two-way street.

Are you still stuck on the one way street?

Not everyone is taking advantage of this opportunity.  Often I continue to  come across others in the social media and business worlds who are still stuck on that “one-way street” mode of communicating.  They continue to PUSH information out while failing to take advantage of the opportunity to PULL information in by engaging with their social media communities.  Until they do, they will run the risk of missing out on great new ideas, critical information, or opportunities to collaborate, and make a difference in their businesses, their personal interactions, and their communities – where ever they may be.

It’s kind of sad – I hate to see anyone miss opportunities – but in the end, that is their choice.  Their decision just creates more available opportunities for those of us choosing to travel down “two way streets”.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned.

Joan Koerber-Walker

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One Response to The End of the One Way Street

  1. The End of the One Way Street…

    Social media is changing the way we form and build business relationships. It’s your choice – are you still living on a One Way Street?…

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