Don’t you wonder sometimes why…
Some people don’t call you back
Some people ignore your messages
Some people stop working with you
The problem now is there are so many ways of communicating online, mobile device, or social media that we just don’t have timeto get back to others.
We take it personal.
We make assumptions.
We create false stories in our mind that keep us from truly understanding why others don’t get back to you when you want and they repeat over and over until they become our reality.
Recently I was recommend a book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) and it is really helping me think deeper about how I think about working with others.
There are some issues that hold us back from getting what we want in life and if we have a clear understanding of what happens in our mind we can really start to do some amazing things.
- Being impeccable with our word
- Don’t take it personal
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your very best.
These might sound a bit cliche but when you dig down deep to the way you think about these ideas they will transform how you live your life.
Let’s take this into context of the four agreements, how they relate to communicating online and how you can apply them in your online communication with others.
Agreement #1 Be impeccable with your word (with your profiles, statements, and dialogue online)
The best way to keep your promises to yourself and others is to not make any at all (joke).
But, if we weren’t seen as competent or trusted no business would ever take place.
It is so simple to say you are going to do something and when you don’t your reputation will be damaged until the situation is made right. We make these agreements with ourselves and to others.
When you say you are going to write a blog post once a week and don’t it develops a habit that continues to other activities in your life.
When you advertise a feature of a product and don’t follow through others will lose trust.
If you inflate your importance or make unrealistic claims that are not true then you are not being impeccable with your word.
Agreement #2 Don’t take it personal (with comments or dialogue)
What you post online is who you are as an individual as the other perceives it to be even though that idea may be far from the truth. What you say or write isn’t always what another understands.
It’s very easy to interpret a message in a completely different context.
If you post a message or comment on someone else’s wall, blog, or profile and they don’t respond would you resent them for it?
If someone disagrees with you in an online discussion board would take it personal?
If someone writes a post you disagree with do you take it personally?
You can choose to engage in the dialogue or move on. If you take the comments personal by fighting back and attacking the person online then chances are a potential relationship could be burned. If you don’t respond then how will the other person know you disagree? I’ve found it best to discuss a misunderstanding in private because others appreciate the personal attention to be heard and settle the issue without trying to duke it out online for others to see.
Agreement #3 Don’t make assumptions (with others’ activity)
If you are my friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter you have seen me post some pretty random things that are meant to be funny however some can take my humor out of context. I’ve been called unprofessional, rude, and called a REALTOR hater when couldn’t be farther from the reality (at least in my opinion).
We are judges by habit. Everything we see or read we form an opinion based on our past experiences. I was in a seminar recently that said when we meet someone for the first time that about 70% of our assumptions are not true. I would guess that the same could be said from online communication.
In a world of 140 characters or less or 30 minutes to write a blog post we may not have the time to write out every scenario possible which leaves others asking.
Was he/she talking about me?
What did he/she mean by that?
Should I get involved with this discussion?
If you make assumptions then you are selling yourself and other person short of a complete understanding.
To avoid making assumptions ask others…
How do you mean?
What else is missing from this?
Do you have any facts/statistics to support your statements?
Agreement #4 Always do your very best
Every day we fail at technology when we try something new.
We didn’t write the right message, press the right button at the right time, and know we could always do better.
If you end each task, each conversation, and each day knowing you did the very best you can there is no room for self doubt about your ability to perform. Maybe the job wasn’t done right.
Failure is only feedback.
Look at each task with technology or communicating online as an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from each one to do better next time.
Life Lesson Learned
I discovered the book “The Four Agreements” when it was recommended by a relationship expert to improve the relationship with me and my significant other.