Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection


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Bring your truer self

 

Amy Cuddy

Presence.

I work with a guy who is super intelligent, sharp and clinically logical – but when he communicates it’s not real – the smile is not coming from the heart – it’s stuck on his chops because it’s was ‘needed’ not because it was felt. It’s all a bit Gordon Brown.

I’m thinking of him because I’ve just been watching Ted Talks and watching Amy Cuddy – a social psychologist – talking about body language.

She says we need ‘Presence’ – a physical and mental suggestion of power. We need presence to influence.

Confident – Passionate – Enthusiastic – Authentic – Comfortable – Captivating. These are the words that she uses to explore presence.

These are big, full words. If this is the feedback you are getting during your own exchanges consider yourself in the zone. But it’s not a check list to tick off – these are outcomes – all are grounded in our body language. Presence is not some mental to-do list.

Own it.

Amy’s position is that presence is not about presentation skills. Presence is signaling that we deserve to be here. It’s about posture and how that posture promotes belief. The posture even chemically changes us – we release testosterone from the power our stance exudes. We don’t just influence others we influence ourselves.

To have presence you can never be an imposter – you need to truly see it, feel it and you need to become it. (Less like Gordon Brown and more like Tony Blair on WMD…).

But you can fake it  (the Presence, the posture). Until you become it – because you want it. (Again, I’m thinking ‘like Blair on WMD’.. meh)

Tiny tweaks lead to big changes. Life is a series of “One shots”- never leave without showing who you are. Try a power pose – change the outcome of your life.

Checkout her talk – it might just nudge your choices, boost your presence… And above all else enjoy her personal storytelling – there is a treat there for you in her talk – she is quite the master.

It’s a 20 minute TED talk – are you going to give yourself a tweak and show a bigger, truer self?


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Twitter feeds you need: but why?

Last week the The Observer – one the UK’s higher integrity newspapers – put out a list of the top twitter people to follow – it wasn’t based on ‘number of followers’ or klout, or any other vanity metrics – it simply asked a group of 50 notable UK twitterers who do they like following most. The list is here.

You can read it in many ways – as a source of new people to follow yourself, or as an insight into what makes the UK influencer people tick.

Looks like me –  I like him!

The first thing that is striking, is how people connect with people who are ‘like them’ – we have a tendency to ‘like the same’ – if you walk into a room of strangers we gravitate to people that feel familiar – they call it ‘homiphily’. Turns out Twiter is no different. Look how Gary Barlow follows hardworking and successful male celeb’s (‘status’ homophily), and how Diane Abbot identifies with people that are challenging the status quo and leading change for good and social justice (‘values’ homophily).

‘Like finds Like’.

The list has surprises too – did you know Alain De Boton (philosopher) sees Derren Brown as “One of the cleverest people of our time”?.

Mindgames?

But beyond this, the list also offers a view into peoples perceptions of what makes a good ‘twitterer’ – and raises questions for how business uses twitter?


What do we see?

The best way to see this is with a word cloud – bigger the word, bigger the theme – capturing the key adjectives and benefits people got from following their ‘favs’.

So what do we find?

Funny

Why did the mushroom have so many followers on twitter? …..because he was a fungi to be with.

In the UK we like funny – people being funny, people sharing humour, people ‘who crack me up’. But Funny is not just being a clown. We see ‘funny’ people are also human, inspiring, and admired. But this is the UK too – the country that is fuelled by quirky humour like the Boosh(@noelfielding11) , Milton Jones(@themiltonjones) and the Peep Show (@aroberwebb, @readdmitchell) – we can like the humour to be idiosyncratic, outrageous, and disturbing.

Have you read the tweets of @thetonypitts and @meganamram – its all so wrong! But funny.

This light hearted – yet much appreciated – side of twitter is at the core of twitter charm and way more ‘powerful’ than you’d think. In a busy life we know where to find the relief when we need it.

Wisdom

Thought Provoking, a sharp-mind with humility. As Jane Bruton says of @tonyparsonsuk “Sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, always thought-provoking. The wise man of Twitter.”

Opinionated

People like to see skin in the game. As Jay Rayner says of @marinaoloughlin “She’s endlessly bitter, cross and enthusiastic in equal measure.” Is it the passion and the willingness to stand out that people like?

Foodie-Links

This was a surprise for me – so many people enjoy info on restaurants and recipes. Are tips for the perfect night out or guidance for a dinner party the greatest gift we can give? Whether it is Boy George appreciating @katemagic as “a raw-food guru who keeps me up to date with delicious recipes and the latest super foods” or Gizzi Erskine gushing of her foodie tweeps “We bonded over our love for Jewish food”, “She’s also a big foodie and has an amazing, creative eye.”

On-A-Cause

In a world when people are questioning “the meaning of it all”,  following people with a passion and a cause is a big hit. Seeing people in the zone and self-actualised is a valued thing. David Rowan talks of @indy_johar’s “insights into changemakers that matter”, Matthew Ryder talking about Adam Wagners passion for human rights; or Mariella Frostruspps distress and appreciation of the human plight shared by @vitalvoices

Conversation

Its social media right – and so its ‘social’ – it not a broadcast channel – it’s meant to be engaging right? Derren Brown talks about “the sins of arrogance and relentless self-promotion”. Thats not good twitter behaviour. But there is a wide appreciation for people who ’embrace the medium’ – whether its gossip, banter, trying to kick off conversation or just sitting back and watching the glitterati nattering away – its all very human – way beyond the 140 character limit. A very enlightened person told me to watch @wossy – he’s the best at it.

Links-to-Information

Share great content. Links to news, events, food. Lucy Siegle depends on the practical advice from @higgledygarden “I’m a novice gardener-grower and this is my Twitter support” Peston acknowledges that its @lindayueh that he is depending on and Gaby Hinsliff and Peston both recognise the work of @faisalislam and how he creatively transforms dull economics into an engaging stream of informed knowledge.

So its a cloud its not a list

If I made it a list you could look at the top three ‘big-do’s’ and discount the rest. And that would be a mistake.

There are many insights to be drawn from the language people use to capture the value they see in twitter. Its not as simple as a top 3 best practices – there is a need for many voices and styles to make it a great place. If a list meant we discounted the importance of any one of these value-points we miss the chance to be different and stand out.

But what about Businesses on Twitter?

So did you notice the absence of any Business brands on the list. No ‘brand’ is close to our hearts – but should I expect there to be one?

Maybe its too big a challenge for a company? Can a business be funny, commmunicate its humanity, wisdom, mind-moving insights, valuable resources and sense of connection with people? Or should we always expect a gap between what is valuable to us “IRL” and what we get from a company? But a business is still a social organisation, right?

Who can we empower to be the face/voice of our business on twitter? (Everyone in the company is the face/voice of our business.) Does anyone get given the permission to be the ambassador for the brand? (Everyone we employ is the ambassador of the brand.)

But we aren’t seeing this shine through on the tweep list today – or maybe they are just under the surface. Not in our top three, but somewhere close behind.

@callyrobson tweeted this morning: “10 yrs ago many business owners didn’t “believe” in the Internet. Now I just hear same about #socialmedia #yawn”

So maybe a business is full of individual brilliance but collectively a bit lost at sea in Social Media. Businesses are not yet something worth following, and we’re still waiting for them to switch on and step up and woo us.

There are couple of exceptions that do it for me. Innocent (now owned by Coco Cola) have always had an edge. But also look out for Sonar6. Ive had the need to review a lot of companies in the HR software space in the last year and these guys are the only ones that can communicate with engagement – look at their FB page, their CEO’s videos and their cup-cake competitions on Pintrest. I don’t know what is in the Auckland water – but its refreshing, funny, intelligent and no doubt the reason behind their recent evalution and acquistion. They have a voice and its memorable.

If the principles of Dale Carnegie still stand (they do) we want to know-like-trust people. There are many of types of trust but the type businesses really needs is “affect” trustan emotional bond and care for the wellbeing of the other – customers that forgive the brand if it screws up, and customers that champion brands through referral – customers that want us to succeed.

This only comes following some kind of meaningful social tie or connection.  Maybe it can come through good Social Media dialogue? (I think so).

Can business be humorous and personable? Well @tomfishburne makes a start..

Is the Observer List useful? Yup…

The great thing about this Observer list is there is some learning to be had from it – it gets into peoples minds and then lays it out for us to understand.

Its not a ranking based on followers or K+ updates. It has real and rich subjective value and a good snap shot for someone to form a recipe – bake a cake – or mix a cocktail – called “An engaging Twitter voice”.

They say that twitter is like a big dinner party – be interested in others too – dont just shout about yourself – be engaging – be helpful – be memorable.

Companies can come to dinner parties too – invite the knitted yogurt pot of Innocent or ‘Crazy Mike’ from Sonar6 and Im sure it will be memorable. But the rest of you really should stay at home.

If you want to check out some of the great people on this Observer article have a squizz at this list. There are some very engaging, eccentric, distrurbing, inspiring, rude, funny, informative, opinionated – but also very loveable tweeps there. Voices people believe in.

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Perfect Competition

It was a pleasure to catch the end of the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend – seeing Pastor Maldonado winning for the Williams team.

The race saw Lewis Hamilton demoted to the back of the grid from Pole after a technical penalty on fuel load and Kimi Raikonen edging his way ever closer – but the podium was Maldonados and the celebrations were huge.

This season there have been 5 races and five winners. There is no one powerful monopoly – there is perfect competition. I dont know what changed in the rules this year but its a time for passion and innovation and the trophies are being shared amongst the gutsy.

I really liked the scenes of Maldonado on the shoulders of Alonso and Raikkonen – its not seen every week (if ever!). Alonso can sulk for Spain and Kimi is a man of little words – but you could see they were generously pleased for the Venezuelan. Not just becasue he had his first win but because of who he is and how he conducts himself away from the races.  To be the linchpin you need talent and perseverance – but to really win you need to have charm and humilty too.

It was a big weekend for Williams – when I was a kid they were number one but this is their first success in a long time – it was FW’s birthday that weekend – turning 70 with his family all around. Those are special moments and I liked being part of them.

When Maldonado was asked what his goals were for the season he said:

To learn, be really quick, do my best for the team and improve race-by-race.

Now he has to learn to be a winner too. But not by loosing the people around him.

Sadly 90 minutes after the race there was a huge fire in the pits – this sport is dangerous. These are links to that unfortunate news:

Metro

ESPN