Learning from our Kids

If you have ever had the opportunity to share your work with children you will understand the challenge, joy and inspiration of it. I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak to my daughter’s class during their module on “How we Organize Ourselves.” I realized as my daughter introduced me as “this is my Mum, Heidi, she works with computers,” that I had some explaining to do.

 

Providing a clear message that explained what I do, how I do it, and why was a fun challenge. I began by explaining my most challenging job to organize; motherhood and “family management”. I think I caught them off guard on that one, but that was part of the fun.

 

I then proceeded to draw a picture on the board of my process for teaching social strategy. I covered topics on understanding our stories, our networks, stake-holders, knowledge keepers, sharing knowledge, networking, strategy, knowledge sharing tools and visual communication.

 

I was pretty pleased with their engagement, until we came around to the final round of questions. “I thought you work with computers?” They asked.

 

“Computers, devices and apps are all important tools in the workplace no matter what our jobs,” I tried to explain. “My main job is helping people communicate with other people using these tools so they can do their jobs better and be happier.”

 

“Yeah, I get it. Like when I talk with my cousin in America on Skype, while we build stuff on Minecraft. Cool.” He said.

 

If only my clients all could get it so quickly. Maybe it takes a fourth grader to learn the most basic thing of all, the benefit of communicating and maintaining relationships.

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Learning Styles and Social Strategy

I made a promise to myself recently to be more true to that which I teach: the importance of learning, fun and visual communication. These are all elements of evolving as a social strategist. Searching for the best route to clarity: communicating complex concepts in easy to understand forms. Often when dealing with the global element of my work, verbal language and culture differences bring out the importance of seeking alternate approaches to achieving clarity. Read More

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Technical failure

So much for being tech savvy. I had my assistant put all my stacks of accumulated business cards from conferences, workshops, presentations and general networking from the last two years into my new computer loaded into my Business Contacts Manager. I felt such a relief to finally have them all in one place and organised with notes as to their affiliation and conversations, etc. That same program has decided that I need permission from my system administrator (that would also be me, as I am the only one using it) to get access. I have been wrestling with this for over a month with no results from Microsoft or Dell (who Microsoft says I should deal with).

Needless to say, this has been a very frustrating experience. After my LinkedIn disaster, I might think that technology was just not on my side these days. All this to say, backup and communication is key. I am still going through the stacks to continue the follow up. If anyone knows of the secrets to unlock this, please feel free to pass them on.

I am reminded that this year begins with the image of a phoenix rising from the ashes. With re-organisation, developments migration to Sweden and carpal tunnel to boot, I turn inward to focus on the reason I started this whole thing in the first place, balance. Finding the connection between self and surroundings where we are at peace with our ourselves and our environment. So, breath deep, exhale. As my dear friend Peggy would say “Poof” it away. Start 2008 fresh with what we have and continue stronger and wiser. Nothing is lost, wisdom is gained.

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