I was talking to a colleague yesterday on the subject of helping people and sharing. I explained that in the past few weeks I have been able to help people and get help numerous times through using the fabulous DPG Community. She said, or rather demonstrated something funny, which I liked ‘Why some people behave like this (puts head down and arms around paperwork in a Kevin the teenager manner) I will never know, if I know the answer I will always help".
I totally agree with this way of thinking and I think it’s great that I sit next to someone who has both common sense, company smarts and the ability to make me laugh. In my experience there are a few things which stop people from sharing and participating in person but more so on social media sites and networks
I think of them as troublesome little gloopy monsters which get inside our heads and stop us, sometimes before we've even started – the ‘What ifs’
I sound silly – We all worry about losing face at times. Please remember you are a smart, talented professional and also remember that you are a human being. You have loads of worthwhile, humorous, cautionary, interesting experiences to share as well as lots to learn. We all get stuck sometimes, need information or guidance. It’s totally OK to ask for help or insight from peers and this doesn't mean that you can’t do your job/are inefficient/naive. What it does mean is that you are committed to doing your job in the most effective way as you are seeking a wide range of opinions in order to choose the best option, rather than the same option. Social helps us to build relationships and to do that effectively we need to make ourselves a bit vulnerable. After all, nobody knows everything. To avoid being too needy I try to observe a 2:1 ratio; for every one thing I ask, I try to share or input my opinion on two more things.
I’m giving away knowledge that makes me valuable – If you think that sharing information means you are going to lose your job, or be less marketable as an employee, well you could be right. However, lack of willingness to share, collaborate and communicate in a group is more likely to be the presiding factor in this rather than giving up knowledge. Employers frequently cite silo working as an issue in their organisations; there is a growing trend now for this to be considered when recruiting/promoting. Organisations are increasingly moving from valuing of ‘you are what you know’ to ‘you are what you share’ as performance boosting behaviours take more of a centre stage in considerations when recruiting and rewarding people.
It’s already been said – If you are directly lifting information from a source, of course you need to reference it. There is a lot of stuff on the internet, but there is also a lot of stuff not on there. You could be asking the question that 10 other people wanted to, but dare not. Start from a point of writing for your own development - that way it does not matter if you are saying it again. Provide your take on the matter; label it as a personal view and how you came to this conclusion.
Someone disagrees with my opinion or challenges me negatively -
Firstly, never feed a troll – a troll is someone who goes out onto the Internet with the sole purpose of winding us up! To recognise when a comment requires a response you need to decide if it’s important, relevant and that you understand what the person is saying. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and check my understanding first. Always remember that if something is truly a low blow, it normally reflects badly on the commenter rather than you.
I have worked hard to banish my own ‘What Ifs’. Social tools are increasingly becoming a part of organisational life and we in HR need to use all of our CIPD professional behaviours to participate, particularly curiosity, courage and most importantly acting as a role model. Why not start on the DPG Community?
I’d love to know:
Do you have any What Ifs?
How are you overcoming them?
Is anything stopping you from overcoming them?