I have switched to a new server – so please check out my blog at laurenafernandez.com.
LAF Note: This post was written by regular contributor Chevis English.
When I chose to study communications at the University of Arkansas, I never knew how many types of communication there actually were. There is nonverbal communication, inteERpersonal communication, intrRApersonal communication, small group communication, gender communication (Side Note: best class one could ever take for the sake of their relationship) and the list goes on. Today we have new forms of communication with the advent of the Internet, email, texting and social media, which are still evolving everyday.
There are also different styles of communication and everyone speaks differently. The four main styles of communication are assertive, aggressive, passive and passive aggressive. As a newbie in the professional world it is important to communicate with the right style. If we speak too aggressively we are considered arrogant and if we speak too passive we are seen as lacking confidence.
I have tried to learn to speak more assertive and not sound passive, but I find myself reverting back to my natural tone at times. I naturally have a voice that is soft in tone and I have been told that I come off as sounding not confident. It does raise a few questions though:
How should we speak assertively without coming off as arrogant when we are still ripe in the industry? When should we speak passively? What communication style do you think is best for us Gen Yers? Do our personality styles coincide with how we speak?
*Picture taken from DailyPic on Flickr.
Hey young pros: There’s a difference between getting coffee and setting up lunch.
Sure, they are both dealing with food. Your supervisor is probably asking you to do this task. And yes, many interns and entry level pros have probably gotten coffee a time or two. But here’s the difference: Who is it serving, the client/organization or a co-worker? Yes, your supervisor is your co-worker.
I read this article yesterday (Thanks Rachel for tweeting it) and, well, it just kinda played up on the whole “Gen Y thinks they are better than everyone else” stereotype. An intern refused to go on the daily coffee run for the second day in a row. I was once asked by an intern boss to take her kids to the dentist, and politely refused. That had no benefit to the client, the business or any meetings that were going on. Now, if a client had cracked a tooth at an event, I’d take them to the dentist.
Some think this might be an ethical thing. True or False?
1. If you’re asked to set up lunch for a client meeting and set out coffee, it’s ok. It’s not ok to ask your employee to go on a coffee run for you everyday.
2. Talk to your supervisor about it. If you don’t think it’s something that is benefitting the business or the client, tell them. Present to them your work duties, and why you think that it doesn’t fit.
3. Be aware of your tone. Accusatory and whiny isn’t going to get you anywhere. Stay calm, cool and collected – and address the situation as a business professional.
What else? How do you address an obstacle with a boss? What can we do to combat stereotypes?
This week’s #u30pro chat will be about overcoming obstacles and the steps you take when challenges arise. Join David Spinks and me on Thursday at 7 pm EST.
A blog post went up today on the PRSA ComPRhension blog that was titled Status Updates: Millennial Staffers Can Update Your Social Media Plans. Kasey Skala and Lauren Fernandez are both PRSA members (Minnesota and Ft. Worth, respectively) and found that the article, if followed, might lead to social media disaster. They were both offended as PR pros – but what can you do to ensure that you take a positive approach to social media in the PR world? As a Millennial or senior staffer?
We found three things that really stuck out to us (there is more, but let’s leave that to the comments conversation.)
1. Tapping on these new professionals may seem like a gamble. You don’t want them speaking to clients, let alone producing messaging.
The biggest issue with this thinking is the rationale behind the hiring. As an agency or corporation, especially in today’s economy, the ball is definitely in your court in regards to acquiring the right talent. It’s always a “gamble” bringing a new person into your organization. You want to be sure they’re a right fit with your current staff, your organization’s mission and the clients you represent. However, if you base your hiring on someone’s age instead of his or her talent – especially when it comes to social media – then your organization has a lot bigger issues it needs to straighten out. If you don’t have enough faith and trust in their ability and talent, then why did you hire them?
2. However, to increase your organization’s toolbox and capture the attention of younger staffers eager to get ahead, the social media space is an ideal testing ground.
Social Media is an enhancement of your communications strategy already in place. It should never be an ideal testing ground. It represents your brand, just as much as a Web site, press release or marketing campaigns. Just because someone grew up online, that doesn’t automatically give them credibility in the social space. The biggest reason brands struggle with social media is because they treat as an experiment. The space may be new, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an effective strategy in place. You can change or alter your store layout, you can modify your cute promotion. Your online footprint is permanent.
3. A good starting point is to task new professionals with building up senior staffers’ profiles and networks on the organization’s social networking accounts.
Social Media is about your personality, your brand, your authenticity. Having a millennial build up your profile and network doesn’t show you. What if they state something wrong? Are they going to engage for you as well? Social media is about engaging and putting yourself out there. You lost total authenticity when you are speaking for someone else.A new professional brings the technology platform knowledge to the table, while senior staffers know branding strategy. Work together to meet a common goal.
So, what do you think? What approaches do you utilize in social media? How can millennials and senior staffers work together on campaigns and strategy?
As I’ve become more and more active on Twitter, one thought keeps popping into my head: how do I get to know these people in real life (IRL)?
I’ve found myself talking about people I follow as though I had coffee with them after work or had a great chat after a meeting. I don’t even notice much of a difference in the way I interact with those I do know IRL and those I’ve only “met” online.
Because I’m still young and newbie, I don’t get a chance to travel much for work, and I don’t get the chance to make it to a lot of Tweetups. So how can I transition from being that girl that everyone @replies on Twitter to a regular coffee buddy?
More than once someone I chat with on Twitter has suggested that we get some time, but then it doesn’t happen in large part because I don’t know what the next move is. Once I’ve expressed excitement about the idea, how do I make it happen? I mean, how do I make it happen without being awkward?
One of the big reasons I decided to become more involved on Twitter was because I wanted to build relationships, but I’m struggling to make that next big step.
There is only so much of myself I can show on Twitter and through my blog. I’m very passionate about public relations measurement, but there is only so much I can learn from the big names in this field by reading their blogs and asking 140-character questions.
I know that networking is never easy, but I think that the added dimension of the online relationship makes the whole process slightly more complicated (and awkward). It’s weird that there are people who know a great deal about me but have never actually seen me. Meeting someone you already “know” online is what I would imagine it would be like to talk to an old friend when you have amnesia. The steps to a relationship just aren’t the same
So how do you move relationships into the real world? And how do you do it without being a total dork?
*Image is a copyright of http://www.superbsuccess.com.