Activity is not productivity – we all know that.
But why do we keep engaging in activities that are not productive?
One answer: Simply because it is easy to engage in activities that are not productive.
This is true especially when it comes to activities that are geared towards building engagement with the other person.
Sometimes, it is easy to think you are engaged when you are not even on the other person’s radar.
Here is the basic rule:
When you are engaging with your network (online or offline) who you are AND the nature and level of conversations you have will influence your level of your engagement with the other person.
The diagram above shows ONE framework that explains this relationship.
As you can see, the need for creativity goes up significantly when you need higher levels of engagement
Here are the levels:
- A. Mindless Chatter: This is basically saying whatever comes to your mind and sometimes you might get a reply (the other person may also be bored, right?) and you might think there is engagement.
- B. Inconsequential Topics: These are like ice-breakers. After you break the ice, you have to move on but many people are happy to continue those conversations forever and think they are engaged.
- C. Genuine, Caring and Thoughtful Conversations: You are genuine, caring and thoughtful about those topics you are discussing. That comes across and this is like the entry point to getting the other person engaged at a higher level. When I say this is an “entry ticket,” it means there is more work to be done. It’s not over.
- D. Immediate Relevance: From here on, you always include the previous section starting from C (Genuine, Caring and Thoughtful) as a given. You talk about things that are of immediate relevance to the other person. So you become a positive possibility for the other person right NOW.
- E. Future Relevance: You start engaging in conversations that are of immediate and future relevance to the other person. You show that you are a positive possibility for the other person now and in the future.
- F. Who You Are: This is where your personal brand kicks in. You not only show that you are a positive possibility in the immediate and future concerns of the other person in your conversations but also by showing “who you are.” The other person will make an assessment on the level of engagement based on both – what you are saying and who you are.
Think about all your conversations in the last thirty days. Where do you slot them? Are they in the right slot to elicit the right level of engagement?
If not, start unlocking your creativity to engage in higher-level conversations that will automatically lead to higher levels of engagement.
A quick note on Twitter: I included a reference to Twitter because you have an opportunity to initiate conversations with people that are loosely connected to you (meaning you are following them and they are not following you). It is easy to have a LOT of conversations on Twitter that are at best leading to moderate levels of engagement. You could, if you wish THINK and take these conversations to the next level by being thoughtful and creative. It’s your choice.