How to Get the Most out of Status Updates
Carol Sumner, IBM Senior Accelerated Value Leader
My favorite part of IBM Connections is reading my colleagues' status updates. I enjoy knowing what people are working on and seeing if I can help – even if it is just a word of encouragement. And folks post links to some amazing articles and videos. In about 10 minutes you'll get a taste of what people are doing and have a list of reading materials that other people have found valuable.
How to get the most out of your colleagues' posts:
- Start out by reading the updates from people in your network
- You'll want to assist anyone quickly if they need it.
- You'll be more aware of what your closest associates are up to.
- They are more likely to post things of interest to you.
- You might be reminded of something you were supposed to do.
- Once a day switch to a view that lets you see all status updates
- This will broaden your vision of the whole organization.
- This will help you to see the inter-connections between different groups in the organization.
- You'll learn different ways of working – some groups are further along in adopting a social culture.
- You might be surprised by how you can help someone else.
- You'll discover people that you want to have in your network, even though they may not work directly with you.
Don't attempt to follow each link immediately and read it
- Right click on links of interest and bring them up in a separate browser tab or window.
- As you go through the day and have a minute or two to spare, go back to one of the linked items. If it is still of interest read it. If not close that tab/window.
How to contribute the most through your posts (and get the most out of them):
Do post something every day
- This lets your colleagues know you're around and working – it's kind of like seeing someone in the hall in the morning.
- Your priorities for the day may remind them of something they need to do.
- Be aware that everything you post is visible to everyone.
- Make a habit of complimenting/thanking colleagues by posting something on their profile
- Raises the spirit of the individual involved.
- Increases awareness of someone's positive contributions across the organization.
- Promotes a positive environment for everyone.
- If you happen upon interesting articles / videos put a link to them in your status updates
- Don't post a link to everything you stumble upon – use some judgement.
- You'll be able to go back and reference them yourself without bookmarking them by opening your own profile.
- Do credit colleagues if they have shared something valuable – everyone appreciates the recognition – and it is the ethical thing to do.
- Add in a few personal items
- Think about your personal boundaries – what is appropriate and comfortable for you to share about your personal life. Stick to those boundaries.
- Sharing a few things about yourself will open more avenues of relating.
- Show your sense of humor – it's one of the best ways to connect with others.
- As my grandmother always insisted at family reunions: avoid politics and religion.
Status updates are one of the most underrated features of Connections, but I believe they are one of the most powerful. They are well worth a few minutes of your attention each day. Once you've started posting you'll develop your own style and pace of contributions. Believe me, your colleagues will look forward to seeing your updates!
Carol Sumner is an Accelerated Value Leader with IBM Collaboration Solutions who specializes in collaboration systems implementation and administration. Carol has recently added the role of social business champion within IBM, helping teams make the most of social media. What she enjoys most about her days is helping people solve problems (and playing golf). You can contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Twitter (@sumnercl1).
Carol is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader