During times of collaboration, do people consider your ideas good enough to "subscribe" to or do they just scan, skip, or even worse, consider them "spam?"
One of my favorite blogs is Lateral Action. Contributing writer Rajesh Setty posted about whether bloggers, Twitters, etc., could know if their ideas were succeeding in influencing their audiences in a positive way. His idea is that the audience would “tell them” by the manner in which they responded to the online content.
This got me thinking about how we know if the ideas we share in team meetings, staff meetings, etc., are influencing the "audience" of our co-workers or team members. Are they responding to what I am saying. Are they listening or ignoring me? Are they subscribing to my ideas and sharing them? Or do they simply see my ideas as "spam" in the conversation?
In many ways...how we react to the ideas we hear during times of collaboration is similar to how we respond to the content we encounter daily on the web.
Great ideas engage us. We hear great ideas and then want to leverage them. Some ideas transform the way we think about a topic or problem. And some ideas just waste our time.
Rajesh suggests there is 9 ways people respond to content. Spam, Skip, Scan, Stop, Save, Shift, Send, Spread, and Subscribe. Remixing these, I found there are 9 ways we respond to ideas when we collaborate in our teams.
If your ideas, thoughts and comments do not provide any benefit to your team, or worse, seem self-serving as opposed to meeting the needs of your team or organization, you are going to lose credibility as a member. Make a contribution through collaboration that benefits the team and the organization.
2. Skip: “The reader makes an assessment that he or she won’t lose much by reading it. In this case, the reader has not written you off yet but if you consistently create content that is worth “skipping,” the reader might write you off.”
The worst thing that can happen to you as team member is to have others stop listening and stop giving any consideration to your ideas, thoughts, and comments. If you consistently fail to add to the discussion in a positive way, or focus on yourself instead of the issue at hand, the organizational needs, etc., people are going to consider your ideas, thoughts and comments worth skipping.
“Skipping” is a failure in collaboration.
3. Scan: “The reader thinks there are only a few parts that are of relevance and wants to get right to the core of the content and skip the rest.”
Cut to the chase. The most valuable resource for your staff is their time. Don’t waste people’s time. Effectively collaborate by getting to the point, being succinct, staying on topic, driving to the core of the issue, and providing possible solutions or ideas to the issue at hand. If you want team members to stop, focus, consider your ideas, and collaborate on them--get to the core quickly.
4. Stop: “The reader is touched by the article and stops to think about the article, it’s relevance and what it means to him or her personally and professionally.”
During team meetings our sharing goal should be to get members to "hear" things that make them stop, take notice, and want to dig deeper. Great ideas, meaningful comments, powerful solutions make teams stop, think, and collaborate to create impact for the organization.
5. Save: “The content is so good that the reader might want to re-visit this multiple times.”
Smart teams will save great ideas and revisit them. Smart teams will save the best ideas and look for ways to use and apply them in new situations. Knowledge Management should focus on content that is so good your organization will want to revisit it.
6. Shift: “The article is transformational. The reader is so deeply affected (in a positive way) by the article that it shifts some of their values and beliefs. In other words, this piece of writing will transform the reader and make him or her grow.”
An important aspect of any organization or team is the word “learning.” Learning teams and organizations are always learning from each other, from current research, from experience, etc. Learning teams and organization adjust or shift what they do, how they do it, or what they know when they apply what they have learned.
7. Send: “The content is not only useful to the reader but also to one or more people in the reader’s network. The reader simply emails the article or a link to it to people that he or she cares.”
When learning organizations or teams learn something of value, they share it with others to make a bigger impact for the organization. Sharing knowledge, ideas, and solutions by “sending” them on to others in their networks is what learning organizations or teams do. It is at the heart of collaboration.
8. Spread: “The reader finds the article fascinating enough to spread it to anyone and everyone via a blog, twitter or the social networks that he or she belongs.”
Spreading ideas through our networks is a characteristic of a learning organization. Technology should be viewed as a natural part of how it works. You should take the time to spread ideas through your organization and networks. Learning organizations and teams spread smart ideas.
9. Subscribe: “This is the ultimate expression of engagement and a vote of confidence that you will continue to provide great content. When the reader wants to continue listening to your thoughts, he or she will subscribe.”
Subscribing is the end result of trust and credibility. All teams are more effective when there is trust. When you prove you are trust worthy, that you have knowledge and ability, and collaborate with your team, you become credible. Team members “subscribe” to credible team members.
Rajesh Setty gives a few more things to consider that are equally valuable for team collaboration.
1. Understand Your Audience
“…your audience should be the center of the focus and not you. The more you know about your audience, the better you can connect with them.”
The better we can connect with each other in our teams, the better collaboration we will have, and the better results we will produce for students.
2. Check Your Objective
What is the purpose or goal of your team meeting? If you don’t know what you are walking in the door to discuss then you probably aren’t prepared. If you are not prepared you are not going to be able to add your best during collaboration. Know your objective.
3. Unleash Your Creativity
“You know the audience and you know the purpose... Now the next step is to unleash your creativity and create something that will generate the kind of response that you are looking for.”
Unleash your team’s creativity through purposeful collaboration and intentional creativity.
4. Learn from Feedback
Pay attention to the response and feedback you are getting from other members. Notice if they are spamming you, skipping you, scanning you, stopping for you, saving you, being shifted by you, sending you, spreading you, or subscribing to you. Reflect and then adjust your collaboration style to get the results you want.
It really comes down to having a high ROII,"Return on Investment for an Interaction."