The #IMMOOC experience (Innovator’s Mindset Massive Open Online Course) has three main purposes:
To dig deeper into the book, “The Innovator’s Mindset“
To create and connect your own learning
To build your own networks.
As I have been watching people share their own learning through blogging, videos, and other images, it has been fascinating to not only see what they are learning, but how they are sharing it. The hope is that this is not a course with a finite time, but something that is a push for everyone involved to their next level, whatever that is. Since building networks is crucial to innovation, I wanted to share some key things that I focus on to help continue to connect with others.
Authentically sharing the great work of others. Something that is a common mistake for people when building networks is that they share their work over and over again. Too much self-promotion not only can become annoying to others that you are hoping to connect with, it also does not show that you are willing to learn from others. It is okay to promote your own work (I will tweet this out), but it should not be the only thing you share out. When you share the work of others, not only do they appreciate it, it also shows that you are not only open to your own view. Now when I use the word “authentic” it is important. None of my tweets are “auto-tweets”, where I automatically share the blogs of others without reading them. Anything I share I either read or view, because it is important for me to know that it is good work. This also helps people to look at the quality of what you share, and helps build trust of the content that you think is important. If you just share everything, it will get lost in the noise. It has a much better chance of being seen if people know that you are looking for quality, not just RTs.
Find a balance of supporting and challenging others. I am going to be honest here. When people only challenge what I share over and over again, I often mute them on Twitter. This is not that I don’t think challenge doesn’t help me become better, but I treat it like the classroom. I go onto these spaces to become better, and if someone feels like they are sucking life out of me, I do not allow them space in my head. If a student doesn’t feel valued and only hear about the things that they are doing wrong, the criticism does not feel like it is trying to help, but to hurt. When challenging people, try asking questions, instead of making statements. This is Covey’s rule of “seek first to understand”, and is crucial for networks. If you don’t agree, ask questions. The conversation will help both parties grow, and when people see that you are willing to grow and help others, they are more likely to want to connect in the first place.
(Hard Work + Consistency) x Time = Success Results. Success is something that is measured in a deeply personal way. Think about exercise; for some people the ability to do ten pushups would be deemed a great success (myself included!), but for others, that would be a step backwards. Results (or growth) is what drives us and helps fuel people to move forward. If you are truly wanting to build a network that can help you learn more and become better in your work, you have to see building a network as an investment, not an expenditure. Stick with it, be consistent in your sharing, and do it over time. This is the only sure fire way that your network will grow over time. (P.S. This point can be applied to anywhere in our life, but it is no different for our networks.)
Keep connecting, keep sharing, keep creating. This is the only way a network can be developed, but it will take a time. Once you see that time as an investment, you will understand that all of your hard work will come back to you.
If you are new to Twitter, here is an article I wrote several years with some “guidelines” on what you should/shouldn’t tweet out. Hopefully it helps!
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