Using Social Tools To Become A More Innovative Manager

You know how to tweet, but can you use social tools to more effectively lead your team? Here's how to transform your strategy, take charge, and why you can't rely on words alone. Visual thinking expert David Sibbett explores what’s possible when you take charge of new media tools to lead your team effectively, even when you can’t be face-to-face with them.

If you have ever heard foghorns on a foggy bay, then you know that in soupy, dynamic conditions on the ocean, ships need buoys and beacons to navigate. The same is true of employees in an organization: the details of actually moving your ship are handled by your crew, but as a captain or navigator, you need to know your bearings. Do you know how to create a reliable signal in the fog of information that serves to orient everyone to the right path forward?

Using this nautical analogy, David Sibbett offers four tips to help leaders provide clear direction, even in the foggiest of conditions:

  1. Rise above the noise: Foghorns get attention, no matter what else is going on. Key communications need to stand out, especially with all of your team members struggling with information overload.
  2. Use consistent and rhythmic signals: Buoys and beacons repeat their signals on a set rhythm that everyone can count on. So, too, must you communicate with regularity and clarity.
  3. Use clear and simple messages: Buoys and beacons are not complicated. This is part of breaking through the information “clutter” and ensuring that your messages command attention. Simple, compelling communications are best. Analogies, like this nautical one, or telling stories can help compel your team to pay attention to your messages.
  4. Be redundant: Use multiple sources. In the bay, it is a system of foghorns with different signals that orients the ships and provides some level of certainty about where they are. As a leader, use multiple media and complementary messages to paint a more complete picture of your intended course and where the submerged rocks are.

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