Be Positive in Social Networking

It is so much easier to be happy and positive than it is to be glum and down.  Seriously, it takes more muscles to make a frown as opposed to a smile.

What I have noticed on social networking, especially on Twitter, is that I enjoy following and engaging with positive people over someone who is negative.  I want to stop following and block that negative person so fast but I still give them another chance to redeem themselves… this is my being positive and maybe I can help them (wishful thinking).

If you are now disillusioned with your industry, profession or peers then this is not the place for you (or me) to listen to your negativity towards every generality you can think of to expose your soured soul on the rest of us.

I asked a 30-year HR professional why he is so negative and, amongst other information, he gave me a quote from General Patton basically stating that tough and direct communication is better than any other approach.  While this may work in the military, this does not work in business.  (THIS IS MEANT WITH THE ABSOLUTE RESPECT FOR THE MILITARY AND I LOVE WHAT YOU DO FOR ALL OF US EACH AND EVERY DAY !!!)  In the military, you are trained to listen to your superior to execute a plan and to successfully achieve and live to the result.  In business, you need to question others.  If you go with what has worked for 30 years then way too many people will pass you by as you stay rigid in your ways.  The world and business has changed extensively so get off your high horse of “I am holier than thou” or “know-it-all” mentality and accept that things are better… like it or not.

I have connected with so many positive people on Twitter that it is completely contagious and impossible to not be inspired throughout the day.  This is almost better than coffee (I’m still mentally debating this comment).

There are too many people to individually acknowledge for daily injecting positive, inspiring, thought provoking, inspirational, interesting and educated micro-blogs to me and the rest of the community who choose to follow them.

I learn every single day and thank each of you for your positive influences.

Some simple rules/guidelines for me to follow and interact with everyone:

  • Watch your language – is swearing really necessary and it may be more negatively received by your followers
  • Be positive – you will reap rewards more from a positive influence rather than showering negativity down on everyone
  • Follow @unmarketing advise – take 5 minutes to engage, re-tweet, reply and interact with others without doing anything self serving
  • Don’t inundate me with your product/solution – work it throughout the day but don’t make it every single post
  • Let people know if they impact you – a simple thank you or reply to a great post will get someone to smile and make their day… pay it forward

Keep it positive and let’s grow this puppy into something that others can only be jealous of… but remember to welcome them to the party as well.

Twitter Growth and Inspiration

Lots of great ideas floating around Twitter these days.  JobAngels (#jobangels or @jobangels) was one of the first great HR ideas I saw.  The whole premise is to have everyone help one person get a job.  Fantastic.  Straight forward and an awesome goal.  If you are/were unemployed, wouldn’t you want this?!

Hash-tags always have been a great way to follow a topic.  When people travel, they create a hash tag.  When people want to discuss a movie or TV show (such as Lost at #lost), anyone can follow along and join in.

Now, for the HR community, The Red Recruiter started #followHR for everyone to have the chance to connect with others and grow the Twitter HR community (check out the explanation here

Let’s all jump in, connect, help each other and interact.  After all, isn’t that what social networking is all about.

Better yet, let’s all continue to work to uncover ways to make these experiences better each day and how you may add value and positively impact others in the process.

First Hello

Company Benefits

Graduating college years ago, the big push for my parents and my friend’s parents was to find a job and get benefits.  This was always humorous to my friends and me.  Why do I need benefits?  I am young and invincible!  OK, maybe I could get hurt in a pick up basketball game or soccer match but nothing really serious will happen.

Fortunately, nothing did happen but last week I had shoulder surgery.  Nothing major, but being in the doctors office on numerous occasions and then the surgery center and going through the prep work and through the 100+ questions about my medical history and benefit coverage did I begin to really think about my benefits for the first time.

My family is covered but I never really took time to dig into my benefits for coverage and service.  I do have a good plan which is very helpful but seeing others in the office made me consider for the first time why benefits are so important in offer negotiations.

I have been asked about benefits before, coverage’s, PPO versus HMO, out of pocket – you know the usual questions and while I know our benefit plans I never understood why they were important early in conversations.  I’m not naïve enough to not understand people have to look out for their family or certain conditions and coverage’s but when the unexpected comes up, like my procedure, then you want to make sure you are in good shape.

I am wondering if in today’s economic state if benefits are being skimped on by the majority of companies and if supplemental insurance is becoming more and more necessary.  Companies are, and have been reducing their overhead benefit expenditures for a number of years now… this is no secret.

Are benefits impacting an individual’s job search today?  Has it ever been a “deal breaker” for you?  Has it ever been something you really considered outside of being happy to have benefits?

For me, I always looked at benefits to make sure it had the basic coverage and the larger items were covered.  I do have good coverage but after this past process with my shoulder, benefits will be something that I will look at much more closely and take in a more serious light.

Missed Opportunity?

My son’s fish died this weekend.  It was a beta fish and his first pet that we got just for him (we have a dog but the dog has been around prior to his being born).  Now the ethical question came into play… do we discuss death now or do we try and have this conversation until a later time?  Of course we opted to try and postpone it for now.  I cleaned the fish bowl and then ran out to get a semi-lookalike beta replacement… it is pretty close but my wife knew right away it was the same fish.  Most importantly, our son was happy his fish was back in his habitat without thinking anything was different.


This got me thinking, do you avoid difficult conversations at work?  Do you take on extra work to avoid a poor result or to not get the team in trouble?  Do you not confront someone when you think they are not producing what they need to do for the team?  Do you care?


I have definitely missed opportunities in the past to have a difficult, or potentially difficult, discussion.  What I hate doing is to put someone on the defensive because that never ends well and then it is a who-said-what and me-versus-you and blah blah blah blah.  People tend to go defensive immediately without really considering other alternatives.


Work is personal but sometimes conversations don’t need to be that personal.  Think about how to frame and a conversation in a constructive manner and then steer the conversation in order to best allow for a good discussion.  This does not need to be an adverse time but one where you both may get on the same page and reestablish expectations.  Seek advice from your peers or other managers outside of the situation to get fresh perspective.


Being conversational instead of condescending will go a long way in these times.