Is the medium really the message or are you making the H2H connection? by Roz Usheroff
While we are all likely familiar with the Marshall McLuhan axiom that the “the medium is the message,” an image that was recently posted on my LinkedIn activity log gave me pause for thought.
Specifically the words within the image that made the assertion “There is no more B2B or B2C. It’s H2H: Human 2 Human.”
The fact is that we live in a 7/24 high speed virtual world that enables us to communicate with someone next door as easily as someone on the other side of the world. So I guess it is easy for us to get caught up in the technology of connecting as opposed to the reality of building meaningful relationships.
Perhaps this is the reason why the H2H reference seems to be resonating with so many.
The Fifth Chapter of my book is titled The Importance of Networking. In it, I talk about the reality that people will do business with someone they know, like and trust. When it comes to landing that dream job, those who hire will be more inclined to give greater consideration to someone who they either know or comes to them by way of a referral from a trusted connection.
This leads one to ask the obvious question . . . are we effectively leveraging social networking to its full potential to make real and meaningful H2H connections?
In this context, the following excerpts from my book regarding Julie’s story stands out as an example of how social media, and more specifically social networking, can set you up for success down the road.
For 15 years, Julie held a senior position within the healthcare industry as an event planner. Overseeing her company’s venues in both the United States and Latin America, she had built a tremendous reputation for being an on-the-ground, front-line manager whose presence at exhibits and events exemplified the term “personal service.”
In essence, she was the face of the company, welcoming guests and attendees, responding to staff needs, and overall doing what any exceptional event planning manager does . . . creating a positive and memorable experience for everyone involved. (This also included the members of her event team).
Having come through unscathed in an acquisition and subsequent merger of two divisions into one, it is safe to say that what happened to Julie when her company was most recently acquired caught everyone by surprise. She was blindsided, as she found herself suddenly out of work.
It is hard to say why, in this particular instance, she became the odd person out, especially since she had made every effort to become part of the new event planning team. But like Sheila, whose story I shared with you in Chapter 3, there are oftentimes circumstances beyond our awareness and control that can conspire to undermine our position. Once again, this is why no one is truly safe in terms of job security.
Despite a glowing track record and having strong relationships with members of her original company’s senior management, Julie still found herself unemployed.
When I spoke with Julie shortly after her dismissal, she reflected on the fact that the network she had built was for her a port in a storm. Besides receiving great emotional support from everyone with whom she had interacted and built rapport with over the years, Julie discovered firsthand how valuable her network was in terms of getting the word out that she was now available and looking for a new position.
Even though the disappointment and hurt at being cast aside after 15 years was still fresh, Julie did not use her network to vent or to point an accusatory finger at those she believed may have been responsible for her dismissal. Instead, she graciously thanked those who contacted her and asked them to keep her in mind should they hear of an opening at another company. Her network also became an important resource in terms of providing guidance and expertise on how to deal with the dismissal and how she might better her chances of finding the right position with a new organization.
The fact that Julie had been building a strong network over the years meant that she was not starting from a position of being familiar to only a close or limited circle of contacts. This means that similar to Sheila – who herself landed a great position with another firm after she was suddenly dismissed from her job – Julie’s prospects for landing on her feet were also promising.
It is interesting to note that just as my book was going to publication, Julie contacted me to let me know that she had landed a great position with another company.
While in my book, I provide the specific details as to how Julie used social networking to land her new job, it is safe to say that she was able to successfully make the critical H2H connection with her current boss.
So here is my question; are you using social networks to build the know, like and trust relationships that will solidify your success today, as well as create opportunities for new successes in the future?
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