The leadership methods from the industrial revolution demanded tactical thinking. Leaders were expected to manage resources efficiently and produce profitable results through streamlined production. Current technology has simplified mass production to a whole new level. Today’s leaders are faced with yet a new challenge: leveraging the human element. Whether your focus is on employees or customers, the social approach to leadership has a lot to offer.
Benefits of Social Leadership
Using a more social tactic in business involves connecting people through your personal brand. Recognizing the universal desire to connect with others and be part of a social community pays off in many ways. Connecting with employees nurtures collaboration and enthusiasm. Connecting with customers increases satisfaction and loyalty. Forming a social network of any kind is an important strategy in current business and career building.
Getting To Know People
The social dynamic is all about interpersonal communication. It starts with one-on-one interactions and grows from there. For managing employees, this could include knowing the strengths, weaknesses and opinions of team members. Asking for feedback once in awhile allows this information to unfold naturally.
For clients, communication will depend on you to spark the conversation. Knowing generally what your target market wants helps to get started. Once a dialogue has formed, clients will eventually give more insight into their thoughts and needs to keep the conversation going.
Examples of Social Leaders
New faces have revealed how social media can help business when paired with social leadership. Peter Blackshaw, head of Nestle’s global social media, revolutionized the way the company interacts with customers and restored consumer faith after the devastating palm oil controversy. Lin Bin, co-founder of Chinese smartphone company, Xiaomi, created a three tiered management system and encouraged employee interactions through social media. His method brought employees together in a way that inspired open feedback and suggestions to improving the company. In four years, Xiaomi has become the third largest smartphone maker in China.
Wendy Arnott, VP of social and digital marketing at TD Bank Group, brought social media to the banking industry. Connecting employees throughout the US and Canada, she set up a network allowing questions to be answered on a platform visible to other employees as well. In addition, she connected customers with the company’s top experts on an equally visible platform with great success.
Successful Social Skills
Whether online, offline, client, employee, or employer-based, the skills involved in social leadership are fundamentally the same:
Encouragement, whether recognizing employees’ work or client involvement, is simply finding a way to show appreciation. Rewarding feedback and discussion through incentives, or even verbal praise, goes a long way.
Honesty and openness include sharing strengths, weaknesses, or emotions. Truly empathizing with others can be another form of encouragement as well. Being honest without judgement develops confidence, encouraging equally open feedback from all sources.
Respect in the business environment benefits creative thinking collaborations and brain-storming. Cultivating a network where all views are respected equally fosters trust, promoting more valuable feedback from employees and clients alike.
The social element of leadership engages others on an emotional level. Providing a space where feedback is appreciated brings new insights through the connected cooperation of your network. Social media has revolutionized the way businesses collaborate on projects and day-to-day operations, and the results are compelling. When you’re ready to take the next step from a social follower to a social leader, contact Trademark-You. We turn followers into leaders through personal branding.
- Posted by Gabriella Sannino
- On July 19, 2017