Social intelligence, please…

Social networking gets a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. Our society is connecting more and more electronically through communities of shared interest and less and less through neighborhoods of shared proximity. Like the telegraph, the train, and the telephone, this new technology gives us greater access to individuals and their ideas. There is, however, a problem inherent to this suddenly open world in which we find ourselves. There are only a few individuals with ideas we want. And, conversely, there’s an abundance of fools inundating us like never before. Fools aren’t interested in getting work done efficiently and creatively – they are interested in short term attention, looking good, and using the media to maximize their exposure. Fools liter our facebook, snapchat, Twitter and the like. Fools are a fact of work and life. And, your social network has given all of them a platform; including people like me. Yikes…

Guard your attention. Build your social intelligence faster than your social network. Build your ability to read the face more than you read facebook. Build your ability to recognize the sharks in your office more than you talk office politics. Build your ability to charm and disarm difficult people more than you get recommendations on Linked In. Build your ability to find and deeply connect with your few, more than you try to increase the numbers of folks following you.

Guard your time. Give your attention to people and ideas that, like a good neighbor, are insightful and useful to your OPUS. Mastery, remember is a long and arduous climb that requires your attention and only a few alongside. Masters eliminate noise and distraction so they can focus on their craft. Are you?

Social networking isn’t good or bad. Social networking can help or hurt depending on how you use it. Use this tool to your advantage. Understand that the new open world in which we live brings more fools into your neighborhood than ever before. Find the few that share your interests, your passion, and your discipline to get work done efficiently and creatively. Give them your attention. A few new ideas, remember, is all it takes. You choose. Your choices have consequences. I suggest you build your social intelligence. I’ll even go so far as to be polite – social intelligence, please.


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