Friday, July 30, 2010

Seriously Keeping In Touch With Your Team

I have been reviewing my use of Social Media 2.0 and have made some recent and salient observations. These are:

1)    Twitter is more immediate and forgettable, so unless you repost your tweets somebody has to access your tweets by accessing your homepage. The multiple and enthusiastic postings of friends in your community can be overwhelming, especially if they are Internet marketers. It is so easy to scroll over the many quotations and links.
2)    Facebook reminds us of friend’s birthdays and to connect with them – this is useful, unless you have 1,000 friends that you don’t really know well. It is useful to filter through your ‘fan club’; you may want consider de-listing inactive accounts. I never enjoyed the APPS. Now that Hotmail has integrated Facebook reminders, it has been useful to track your series of feed forward/fedback.
3)    Blogs are useful journal entries until they become a medium of self-indulgence, especially if you are upset by bad service or disappointments. I enjoy reading my friends’ activities and expert thoughts.
4)    Skype is useful as a business and social tool only if you activate it while you are online. It is great for private coaching and business discussions – more face-to-face communication.
5)    Chats and instant messaging functions are akin to ‘real-time’ text-messages; it would be more useful to call the local person if you have to text incessantly over a major discussion.

Regardless of your communication preferences, do make a committed effort to maintain the relationships you have initiated. There is an investment – intellectual and emotional – for each of our human connections. Ensure that your connectivity is current, contemporary and consistent despite the fact that things in life, invariably, crop up at times of inconvenience. Ignoring a request is like calling your own bluff. For a team leader, these tools are essential to staying in close touch with your members. You can acknowledge them, praise them, and reassure them in one fell swoop/technology. Your members are your most precious members of your tribe.
Yesterday, I put a deposit down for my new triathlon bicycle. I elected to have one customized made bike by Elite Bicycles. I interviewed David Greenfield a few months ago, and had my road-bike custom-fitted by him. That positive experience led to my strong recommendation to other cyclists and triathletes and I am glad to report my friends are pleased for it. They are riding comfortably and with strength and purpose after their visit to Elite Bicycles Asia at 3 Duxton Hill, Singapore.

I take my recommendations seriously; people can act on your advice, so I have refrained from giving it. Recommendations are different. Coincidentally, my neighbour who owns a single-gear bike asked me about bike fitting yesterday and I directed him to Elite Bicycles. This reminds us that tribes spread the word through positive word of mouth – one spoke on the marketing wheel that cannot be underestimated even if it takes time.

The process of getting my bike ordered and delivered involved conversations with David via Twitter and Skype. As he is serious about taking care of me, he posted a Twitter message to me to check my colour choice first. I chose the model, a full carbon Elite Razor (as in accompanying photograph)  – a smashing-looking iron horse that is a popular model with pros and elite age-groupers at Elite. My initial choice of colour is maroon, as it was my secondary school colour and that of my corporate logo. I am designing my graffiti on its body, although fellow-riders have suggested a magic wand and a rabbit-in-a-hat - I prefer a Playboy bunny (although that is a trademark/copyright).

I have been supporting charities related to Cystic Fibrosis, and they were my motivating project for Ironman New Zealand this year. Here is a story of a record-breaking 11 marathons over 11 days for fund-raising. Incidentally, Singaporean Marathon Mohan will be doing his 100th marathon shortly. All the best to this popular Team Fatbird member.

Keep moving everyone!

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