I’m friends with a fellow who questions everything. He wants proof. He wants to know the methodology used to attain the proof, and he wants to know the pedigree of the person providing the proof. Then, he gets a second opinion and questions it as well.
He’s a hard sell, this friend of mine. And he’s been very successful because of it.
You see, as he “questions everything” he’s asking questions. Many people who are prone to question are really “know-it-all’s.” They question everything under the presumption that they already have the answers. That’s not the case here. Sure, my friend puts ‘everything’ through an inquisition. Yet his real motivation is knowledge acquisition. He’s not motivated by the need to be right; he’s motivated by the need to learn and grow.
It’s been fascinating to observe this friend enter into the social media world. He had one eyebrow raised as he set up his LinkedIn page. He audibly huffed as he logged into Twitter the first time. Yet his inquisitive nature forced him forward, all the while questioning and asking questions. “Is this stuff real?” “Is this worth my time?” “if it’s real, how can I make it work for me?”
I’m around some social media gurus on a regular basis. They knock it out of the park with all their blogging, tweeting and linking. Yet I know few people who can top the quality and usefulness of my information-seeking buddy’s social media endeavors.
He joined a couple targeted groups on LinkedIn and has had the nerve to ask probing questions and offer real answers to others. He’s not on there cloaking sales pitches as questions or discussion topics. He’s starting conversations with colleagues.
Here are some ideas from my inquisitive colleague’s notebook that can help you dive into LinkedIn.
Find and join at least one LinkedIn group that you’re interested in.
- Treat your LinkedIn group as a round table of like-minded colleagues.
- Seek out opportunities to answer questions within your group.
- Answer and banter honestly within your LinkedIn group; don’t treat postings like classified ads.
- Take the relationships found in LinkedIn groups to other places online. Connect via Twitter or Facebook, and watch simple interactions become real alliances.
As my friend might say: “Without question, question everything.” That mindset and his openness to learn new things has enabled my friend to plant seeds for great professional relationships. He’s already found some effective services and connections, and he’s had the chance to provide ideas and answers likewise. That’s social media at its best. No question!