Interesting vs Interested? And thoughts from #TechPhx

My favorite part of speaking and meeting people is learning their stories and seeing how our lives are interconnected. Social media is a very personal thing. For me, especially so (if you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know why).  So I want anything that I present, educate or facilitate to be deeply that, personal. Otherwise, whats the point?

Stop trying to be interesting. Just be interested.

I don’t know where that quote came from, or if its the saying is exact. Regardless, its a lot harder than it seems. I don’t have children yet, but I do have friends and family, and this seems to be a key pillar when in how we establish our relationships offline and online. I see so many people who are dying for a bit of authentic attention, for someone to just care, truly interested, about what someone else is doing, saying, learning, experiencing, feeling. Have you ever been on the phone with someone clearly doing something else, and you know they’re not really “there“? Yeah. Thats what I am talking about.

This past November I spoke as the opening keynote at #techPHX a local technology conference. Last year I presented a session about using Enterprise Social Technologies within the walls of your own organization, aka Yammer. This year my focus was about the external uses of social technologies as well as providing a few of predictions for 2015. It was fun to get the audience involved and engaged so early in the morning. And try to really be interested.  Plus, who doesn’t love memes & mullets?

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Click here to see the recordings (mine will be up shortly).

Check out the Storify here.  

Now, I get thats being interested, truly, is the complete OPPOSITE of social media and how everything is portrayed, but wouldn’t our conversations within our community look a bit different if we were genuinely interested. Early on in my career, I had a boss that did just this. And it stuck because when I had other leaders who weren’t as “interested” you can tell.  So what does this really look like?

Here’s 2 things you can do to be more “interested” 

  1. Ask questions and care about what is being answered by listening.
  2. And when someone asks you a question, really answer them.

 

I mostly need this reminder for my own reflection and learning most of all, especially during the crazy busy holiday season. Maybe someone else needs to hear it too.

 

 

And, if anyone knows where the saying came from let me know. I’d gladly source it!

Leaving Yammer – Yammer Contributions

The chapters don’t end in our story. There’s more to be written…

People thought I was crazy. Leaving the comforts of familiarity and moving too many miles to count to an unknown start-up. Leaving behind the white picket fence. The great job and incredible manager. And friends and family. Then moving again! We were crazy. But that’s because big risk equals big reward.

So I started to write the chapter in my life with the title, “Yammer – taking me places I never imagined“. Quickly, we wrote this chapter together, and all over the world, you all included! We thought and wrote our pages as we were living them. Our story has characters of all walks of life, industry, and passions. We wrote it not knowing what would come on the next page.

And now, it’s time to finish this chapter and begin the next chapter. I’ve joined Hootsuite. Read more details here

My advice to you, don’t be afraid to write a new chapter. Even if there is risk. Even if you aren’t sure what story will be told in the chapters that follow. Fear, is the one way to miss out on authoring the pages of your life.

Dream big. Author your own pages. Title your own chapters.

And don’t forget that at the end of the day, its about people.

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(Selfie of my last training session with Yammer! They are PUMPED!)
It’s about people who you can share and re-live the stories you have written — that matter most.

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Keep calm and Yammer on

 

 


 

I wanted to capture my contributions to Yammer and Enterprise social in one post, more for my own knowledge but feel free to check out these links for more information!

 

View recording of my presentations of Yammer at Microsoft Conferences: Channel 9 Speaker (Includes Topics such as Power User Training, Enterprise Social Scared Straight, and Best Practices for overcoming Organizational Barriers to success)

 

Read more about my story here: Microsoft Careers Blogs

Yammer 101 Video

Yammer Blog Contributions:

Using Yammer to roll out O365

This is not your Parents Training Software

Using Yammer in your Training Programs

Social Onboarding

 

Other Yammer Related Articles & Blogs:

L&D Calendar Spotlight

Afterglow from ASTD 2014

Yammer for Internal Knowledge Sharing

ASTD Blog Publications:

Making you Yammer community work – Tips & Best Practices

Social Learning Fear Factor

 

Enterprise Social Scared Straight – The Yammer Conference Circuit Recap 2013

Steve and I have been on the road a few different times now presenting a story that we believe in.

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We have visited technology conferences, internal Microsoft conferences as well as industry conferences. Participated in Tweet Chats, webinars, panels and lunches to get to know the community who wants to do something with the next generation of communication and collaboration.

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Something that we feel like the world needs to hear. Something that is at that cusp of a paradigm shift of communication and innovations within the walls of the corporations.

Every time we actually deliver the presentation its actually a varying message. But its similar to the ones that follow but because of the differing audience, we change it up. We try and figure out a key message that we want to stress to the group of listeners who become a captive audience. And this isn’t because we are great speakers, its because we have struck a chord. We are talking about something they care about, something that matters.

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Steve and I encourage the audience not to settle for the status quo. We tell them change is on the horizon if its hasn’t already burst through their walls. And we tell them that we know what it feels like to fail and things go not according to plan. Our talks really come from our stories with customer and our own Yammer journey before we joined the Yammer team.  Stories of hope  that others are doing this and being successful. And stories of when it hadn’t gone well and the customer who is still trying to figure it out.

This picture below was taken at DevLearn in Las Vegas with a new friend from MSFT. We actually had a story about the work that he did for MSFT in our presentation and it was great to meet him in real life. Serendipitous connection made in real life!

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The key points to our message was around how can organizations actually use social to change the way they work and service customers, whether they produce a good or provide a service. We also provided some areas to avoid as common pitfalls for thinking about enterprise social and collaboration – like getting more than one executive sponsor, build experiments with different teams and projects to see how to work out loud and move faster, and the objectives that we hear and how to combat them by providing business value. ( Engagement Tips for leaders blog post) .

What I learned most on many of these trips is that the audiences vary on level of social literacy and use. That this message needs spreading and that its only just the beginning… the movement is moving…  are you in?

 

The conference season is picking back up again and Steve and I are on the road for the upcoming SharePoint 2014 Conference. Our session going to do a similar feel with some fresh perspectives.  I’ll be speaking at the AZ TechCouncil during a Lunch and Learn Feb 6th. We will also be at ASTD National Conference in May and others are in the works and we will keep you updated!